The Associated Press reported that March 2012 saw the number of U.S. citizens seeking unemployment aid fall to a four-year low, with weekly applications dropping to a seasonally adjusted 348,000. Given that the national rate of unemployment fell accordingly to just 8.3%, it would appear that the change in seasons has done little to hinder the burgeoning economic recovery. However, with millions still unemployed and seasonal businesses looking for alternative revenue streams during the spring and summer months, it is worth identifying potential opportunities for growth between now and September.
Work Opportunities to Look Out for This Spring
While the national rate of unemployment in the U.S. continues to fall, this trend is not prevalent across all social demographics. For example, the IMF reports that youth unemployment continues to soar significantly in the U.S., with the rate remaining above 18% nationwide. This is an issue that the federal government has been quick to identify, and has already been addressed in part by the White House Summer Jobs Initiative that proposes the creation of up to 180,000 youth employment opportunities. However, young job seekers should also use the arrival of spring and the warmer weather to broaden their own job search, and consider which industries are most likely to hire between March and September this year.

Outdoor jobs become more readily available in spring, as niche service providers look to maximize their profit during the warmer months. However, while companies that landscape gardens or maintain swimming pools may be keener to hire during this period, the subsequent demand is unlikely to create vast opportunities for the young unemployed. Instead, young job seekers should turn their attention to market sectors such as sales and retail, where spring traditionally heralds an upsurge in activity and consumer spending. For example, the warmer weather and improved consumer confidence has already allowed retail outlets to sell high volumes of summer clothing lines, holiday wear and garden accessories in the U.S., which in turn should create an increased demand for sales representatives, administrators and shop floor assistants.

Maximizing Profits During Warmer Weather
For independent seasonal businesses, their performance during off peak periods can often be critical to their success. No matter how much revenue a firm earns during its peak season, a poorly administered budget or sustained period of inactivity can see profit reduced to a minimum. The answer lies in creating a complimentary seasonal business, which will allow an organization to trade all year round and maintain a sizable and consistent turnover. With an established client base and an existing reputation already in place, seasonal businesses would be in a far better position to develop a new commercial idea than traditional start-up companies.

For businesses that ply their best trade in winter, there is often an emphasis on adapting a core service to suit an outdoor setting or the summer market. For example, a business that spends the winter months selling bikes and accessories to the Christmas market could easily be adapted during spring to provide a complimentary rental service, whereby consumers can hire sporting equipment for outdoor pursuits and family days out. Not only would existing customers be more likely to hire from a firm that they trust, but the business itself can use its industry expertise to save on costs and expenditure.

Establishing a Profitable Seasonal Business
For individuals who are both out of work and without an existing business, the arrival of spring provides similar opportunity for growth. The Obama administration has helped to reinforce America as the land of opportunity, and its 2010 Small Business Jobs Act has helped independent organizations to flourish, while encouraging entrepreneurship among proactive citizens. With this in mind, starting a seasonal business from scratch is no longer the daunting challenge that it used to be.

In terms of creating a profitable seasonal business from scratch, however, it is important to remember that start-up costs are just as important as the amount of capital that can be generated. With limited experience, it is better to start a business that requires very little financial outlay, so that any revenue earned can deliver a healthy bottom line profit. Dog walking, window cleaning and offering outdoor painting services are all potentially lucrative business ideas to suit the spring and summer months. Since these businesses require only a minimal start-up investment, they can deliver a high volume of well-paid work.

The Bottom Line
Whether you are a job seeker, seasonal business owner or aspiring entrepreneur, the change in seasons can bring huge opportunities for personal growth. While some industries may suffer a downturn during the spring and summer, other industries see a huge increase in demand and may expand their operation and create job opportunities. With the U.S. government supporting entrepreneurship and proactive job-seekers, this is the ideal time to tap into the seasonal demands of both consumers and employers alike.

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