Updated: Jul 15, 2020
Anyone who has been in business for some time knows that some months are quieter than others. It could be a dip in the market, a new rival business on the rise, or even due to global events such as COVID-19. While we’d all love to take a breather during quieter times, these moments are an opportunity to build growth in your business and really focus on product promotion. Not sure where to start? Here are my top four tips on what to do when business is quiet.
1. Take a look at your existing customer base
The first step in any business plan is understanding your customers. Have a look through your Sales Journal in your accounting software and get a feel for your customer base - what sort of products or services are selling more than others? How much do your customers tend to spend at one time? What are repeat customers most invested in? Asking these sorts of questions will help create a picture of who your customers are and what they are after.
2. Brainstorm promotion ideas for the coming months
Once you have an understanding of your customer base, brainstorm ideas for a promotion that focuses on what it is your customers want most. Keeping in mind that when things are quiet, I recommend pushing a promotion on a single product or service that you can maximise profit on. Consider talking to your suppliers about what items they have in stock and negotiate a good price for a bulk order. Remember to always ask for any run out stock where you can make a better margin. Once you’ve settled on a product to promote, work out how much you can invest in this new promotion and have a sale outcome of what you wish to achieve. If necessary, ensure you have minimums in place so you are not getting orders that are too small for the promotion to be a success.
3. Check in with your customers on social media (or pick up the phone)
A good way to test your promotion idea is by asking your customers directly if it is something they want. Create polls or ask for feedback on your social media channels as to whether people are interested in your promoted product, whether it’s within their budget to currently purchase such a product, and if they’re interested in a reduced price. By engaging with your customers this way you not only gain insight into whether or not your promotion is a hit, but you also generate interest prior to launching your promotion. More often than not, people really speak their minds online, so you’re sure to get honest feedback before your promotion kicks off.
4. Run your promotion
You’ve cut a deal with your supplier, gotten feedback from your customers and have formed a plan…now it’s time to run with it! Don’t doubt yourself - if you’ve taken the time to properly plan your promotion, then the execution should be a breeze. Create a PDF flyer to email out to appropriate customers and have designs ready for social media. Make sure you lay out the terms of the promotion and attach any relevant order forms or links to online purchasing that are easily accessible to your customers. Keep an eye on incoming orders, and if all goes to plan you’ll have created a successful promotion to see you through a quieter period.
Have you been experiencing quieter months because of the current COVID-19 pandemic? Let me know what steps you have taken to generate sales, and feel free to ask any questions on how to get through this period.