A seasonal business is one whose bottom line is largely dependent on a particular season or period of the year. This type of organization is a huge part of the business world, as there are currently more than seven million businesses nationwide that employ around 135 million part-time and seasonal workers (US Department of Labor). Industries that see more seasonal businesses include retail, hospitality, tourism and entertainment, and peak seasons tend to be winter or summer. These types of organizations face some unique challenges, as they accumulate a lot of data and traffic during their peak season. They often have to decide between investing in new resources that will largely go unused, or struggling through the busiest time of the year with the bare minimum.
Luckily, this struggle can end. Cloud computing is a great computing alternative for seasonal businesses. The cloud is known for its power, control and flexibility. Seasonal businesses simply aren’t receiving these benefits with traditional solutions.
The Scaling Challenge
Seasonal businesses face a unique scaling challenge that only cloud computing can successfully address. These organizations often struggle with the decision between purchasing additional resources that will go to waste during slow periods, or trying to make due with limited resources in the peak seasons. They shouldn’t have to compromise, and with cloud solutions, they won’t. A huge draw of cloud computing is its scalability, which is undoubtedly beneficial for all businesses, but especially seasonal ones. Scalability allows businesses temporarily scale up their cloud resources in peak seasons to accommodate higher demand without needing to purchase additional hardware or software. And once the off-season hits, it’s easy to scale back down again. Cloud computing finally offers the flexibility that these organizations need.
The Financial Challenge
As described above, seasonal businesses face a tough choice of spending more or struggling with less. Fortunately, cost savings go hand-in-hand with scalability in the cloud. You simply pay for what you use! Cloud computing resources don’t require huge capital expenditure. Instead, you pay for the exact resources you used, adjusting according to your seasonal demands. This means organizations can cost-effectively respond to changing business needs without making huge investments that would simply go to waste during slower periods.
The Communication Challenge
Training new staff is a another unique challenge for seasonal businesses. These new employees have a lot to learn, and often, only a little time to learn it. Trainings often cover a phone system, computer system, ticketing system, cash register, etc. It’s important for these organizations to have user-friendly communication systems to aid in and improve this process. By hosting things like software or phone systems in the cloud, businesses will experience a lot more flexibility and ease. They can quickly add new users and their information and introduce familiar, intuitive systems to new employees. Additionally, as employees leave at the end of a season, it’s easy to remove them from the system to ensure minimal security risk.
Cloud computing makes life for seasonal businesses a little less challenging by addressing their exact needs. Traditional solutions simply cannot compete!