Planning For The Slow Season Of Your Business To Increase Sales
Every business experiences slower periods. For some, they sell more during the Christmas season while others move at a snail pace. Some sell more during the summer and others less. The key is being aware of your seasons and alternatives available to solve the challenge and change the results.
All businesses need down time, breathing room to re-evaluate where we’re going, and where we’ve been. What’s working and what’s not? What changes need to occur and where we want to go in the future?
Have you planned your breathing room time into your calendar year?
As a coach and independent professional, I know by personal experience and through the feedback of my clients, that during the slow times, stress, fears, and challenges on how to pay the bills increases. Sometimes, stress increases without any money factors because we’re not used to having additional time on our hands, so our brain manifests things to fill the void. So, what are the alternatives? Good question. Let’s explore the possibilities…
You can use the “save for a rainy day” philosophy by moving a certain percentage from a regular account to a money market or savings account for those rainy time periods.
You can plan out, on a paper calendar your seasonal periods. Look at your Income Statement for the past few years and you will see a pattern appearing. If that history isn’t available, ask others in your field area. As a coach, I’m in the personal development field. I would contact others in this field, like speakers, trainers, who have experience and history and interview them on the question.
After you review your historical financial information, keep in mind that future economic conditions will influence your seasonal plans. This requires a strategy on who and what you are going to use for economic indicator flags. This may require a financial planner, economist, or other professional on your support team. Reading the paper or watching the news is all well and good, however, it can also add to confusion. Too many cooks in the kitchen syndrome. Choose one or two cooks and ask the others to leave the kitchen.
Remember, there are different seasons all over the world. When its summer in the United States, there is a different season in Australia and Japan. If your marketing vicinity is global, you need to plan your seasons very carefully. Each requires different marketing strategies and procedures. When marketing in the U.S. reduces, marketing in other countries will most likely increase. Especially if you are in the bathing suit business.
If your business is strictly local, you can create additional products or services that will only be available during that season. This can maintain momentum. You can use the “limited availability” technique for these products.
You can use this time for vacation, organize, plan, create new products, and use your rainy day funds for support.
As well as, establish new joint ventures, expand personnel, test new product ideas, clean up backlogs in filing or emails, send out thank you gifts, upgrade your computer, or learn new software.
Keep in mind that leaving some of these to-dos might be detrimental to your revenue generation thinking. Allowing a build up of the items that support your success, as mentioned in the above two paragraphs, can create a desire to create your own self-fulfilling prophecy. You will intentionally create a slow period when a natural occurrence wouldn’t regularly happen. An indicator can be if sales don’t return after the slow cycle. Pay particular attention if it occurs.
Choose to do some planning today on your seasons for the money results you want tomorrow. Identify when and where your business and industry seasons are, explore all possible solutions, and work through a plan to fill the void. The results will almost be a given.
(c) Copyright 2004, Catherine Franz
Catherine is a veteran entrepreneur and communications
master coach. Additional articles, newsletters, workshops,
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