The days may be longer and the weather warmer, but for many small business owners, the arrival of summer equals a downturn in sales as customers set their out-of-office replies and go on holiday.
If you’re no stranger to the dreaded sales slump, here are some practical steps you can take to get back on track.
1.Change up your messaging.
‘Tis the season to head to the beach, eat too much and do some serious relaxing, which gives you a good opportunity to take inspiration from these themes and change up your messaging. For example, you might send an email to your mailing list with the subject line “You’re probably on holiday, but…” or create a product or service bundle centred around people’s needs during the holiday season. Using humour and relatability will help build a rapport with your audience, and highlighting useful products and services helps you stay relevant even during slow periods.
2. Work toward longer-term goals.
Most small business owners have a list of long-term aims that sit on the back-burner whenever day-to-day business gets in the way. If you’ve been thinking about making any major long-term investments or improvements in the business, use this opportunity to research these objectives further and turn abstract ideas into concrete plans. Create a written timeline for long-term goals, including the steps to achieving each goal and the budget required to do so. This will give you a solid reference point to work from in tandem with your day-to-day responsibilities.
3. Sow the seeds for the busy season.
You probably have some more time on your hands now that business has slowed, which means it’s a great time to start planning your year ahead and get your ducks in a row before sales pick up again. Use this time to plan future marketing campaigns, sales strategies, and operational processes so that when you hit a peak again, you’ll be well prepared to handle demand, boost sales and provide the best possible customer experience. You could even spend some time on the Yellow Business Hub, where you’ll find a wide range of how-to and informative articles on digital marketing that could inspire your marketing plan for the new year.
4. Hold a holiday sale.
Everybody loves a sale, and the holiday season offers a good opportunity to incentivise customers with discounts so you can maintain a decent cash flow even if your bottom line isn’t as lucrative as other times of the year. If you’re a product-based business, holding a holiday sale also allows you to sell off excess stock and cut down on storage costs, which will free you up to sell more when sales pick up.
5. Get social.
During the Christmas holiday period social media usage peaks. This is a great opportunity for you to advertise your business on social, connecting you with more customers and building your social following. And if you haven’t explored social advertising before, take some time to experiment with what works, testing different messaging and different post times.
Try to keep your messaging fun and inline with the holiday vibe that floods social feeds during this time. For hints on creating a great social campaign check out our article – ‘7 clever social media campaigns that are super easy to set up’.
6. Take a break.
If it seems like the rest of the world is on holiday or kicking back and relaxing over summer, it could be a sign that you should do the same. You’ve worked hard all year to keep your business ticking along nicely, so if you can manage it, take a well-deserved break and come back refreshed and ready to kick those goals in the new year.