Educational startups: how do you handle down seasons?
Almost any education related website sees a spike when school is in and then traffic drops off (by over half in my case) when school it out. How do other startups deal with seasonal traffic, and seasonal revenue as a result?
There are a few ways to deal with the seasonality of selling to schools:
Cash reserves - Easier said than done, but since seasonality is predictable, this means saving up when cash flow is strong and staying trim when school is out. Alternatively, some startups use this time to ramp up development and build out feature requests collected during the school year.
International markets - If your product can be translated to an international market, you'll find that English-speaking schools in Australia are active when US schools are inactive, and vice versa. There are many international English-speaking schools with strong edtech programs and budgets.
Diverse revenue streams - If your only buyers are schools, then seasonality will be a fact of life. If you can find other kinds of buyers, such as summer programs, adult education programs, parents, tutors, etc, then you can minimize these seasonality effects.
Adjacent markets - Related to the last point, if your product could be used by another market, that can also diversify your revenue stream.