Even if your busiest time of the year has just passed, there is still a lot to be done. The slow periods for a seasonal business are when the company has an opportunity to set itself up for future success. Here are some ways to improve your business when operations aren’t as busy and you find yourself with more time to spare.
Experiment With New Promos
Customers may need enticement to come to your store during the off-season, so give them a reason to visit. Offer products, sample sessions, discounted pricing, or a loyalty rewards program to bring customers in and retain them. Hold promotions encouraging the purchase of goods, such as buy one, get one free; or return patronage, such as buy one, get 50% off your next order; or hold a limited time offer for free shipping. Implement a referral program that gives discounted prices for bringing in customers. Ultimately, regardless of the deal, maintain records and statistics to track the success of the offer, net benefit received, and likelihood of extending the offer again. This analysis can also be done during slower months in preparation of offering the best deals during the busiest times.
Plan the Next Peak Season
It is never too early to prepare for a busy season. First, make a workload projection based on historical results and anticipated growth. Then, ensure you have the capacity to fulfill all customer needs. Do you have enough staff on hand? Do you have concerns about inventory levels or storage? Were there any shortages, waste, or inefficiencies you can improve upon? What was the most common customer complaint? Are there other markets you can enter? Addressing these questions during the slow months makes the busy season run smoother.
Develop New Products
The off-season can be a period to experiment with new products. Although cash flow may be more restrictive during the slow months, this period is a great time to take risks with what you offer. After receiving customer feedback, implement upgrades to your product line. Invest in research and development to create a brand new product that satisfies an unfulfilled customer need. Better than jeopardizing sales revenue during busy periods, take some risks during slow times to see what your best options are going forward.
Focus on Social Media Development
With more time on your hands, invest more effort into developing an online presence. Create a profile on numerous platforms, and begin to develop content and a follower base. Employ online advertising, garner customer reviews, ensure your contact information is up to date, and correspond with potential customers. Capitalize on social media by raising awareness for what your business does, where it is located, and what you offer. By being proactive and generating a following prior to the busy season, you amass a customer base by the time your peak season hits.