Most businesses go through at least one period a year when sales are low and there is hardly any activity in the office or store. The dreaded off season is a challenge not only in trying to stretch your dollar to meet all financial obligations and business overhead expenses, but in staying busy and keeping the business from looking like a 24/7 graveyard shift.
There are four goals you can work on during off season which will pay huge dividends for when your sales start to pick up. In fact, it is even possible that by achieving at least one of these goals, you will be able to cause sales to pick-up and shorten the off season period!
Goal Number One: Start working on upgrades and/or renovations
If your business sorely needs a facelift, this is the time to do it. You will have to plan this carefully during your peak season so your cash flow does not suffer. Although if you want to work on upgrades right now because it is your off season, start with low-cost changes. These could be:
- DIY paint job
- Launching an e-commerce feature
- Re-layout of your website
- New, fresh content
- Changes in packaging design
- Improving or adding social channels
Goal Number Two: Expanding your network and database
The time to grow your database is when you don’t have to go heavy on marketing. Build your email marketing list, convert visitors to your website to subscribers, get in touch with previous buyers and remind them you are still around, and push hard on new and valuable content to generate leads.
You can also work on improving your calls-to-action or CTAs with a blog or tempting offers. Basically, you have to work on improving traffic and quality of traffic. You want to get the right people to your business site; potential customers or clients.
Goal Number Three: Solicit Reviews and Testimonials
If you have been in business even for a few months, you will be able to gather reviews and feedback from previous customers. Just be careful not to overwhelm them with requests for reviews or you could get tagged as a spammer. This is a critical phase in any business because today’s consumers are using reviews to help them decide on a purchase. Around 70% check online reviews before buying while 88% say that reviews have changed their buying decisions.
There are different ways to generate customer reviews:
- Chat with them if possible through email or when they are on your website
- Make it easy and simple for people to post reviews
- Post comments and thank those who offer reviews. In fact, answering negative reviews show a pro-active stance of a business owner who is not close-minded and willing to listen
Goal Number Four: Keep your social channels active and dynamic
There is one huge misconception about social media. A report released last September revealed that Millennials are not shopping through their social media accounts! However, this does not mean that social media should be abandoned. On the contrary, social media is all about branding and brand awareness. Thus, keep working on your social media marketing because consumers are learning about exciting products and promotions through their social media accounts – and they are on their social media accounts at least one hour a day.