10 Ways To Make The Most Of Slow Seasons In Your Business
Are you one of the many businesses around the country that have a slow season during the summer?
Of course, it’s not only hot weather that affects business; there are lots of seasonal trends that give all businesses their peaks and troughs. Whether you’re a retailer whose year revolves around the Christmas period, or perhaps spring is the best time for your product and things complete die off around the holidays, most companies have busy and quiet periods throughout the seasons.
But are you making the most of it? Summer is our least busy time of year, and we’re taking the opportunity to put in place what we can to make sure that the run up to December (our most busy period) is our best yet.
Here’s some ideas to help you make the most of slow seasons in your business:
1 – Evaluate internal processes
Sometimes we get stuck in the day to day of our businesses, not always realising that with a little thought, processes could be tweaked and changed to make our daily routines much more efficient.
Spend time looking at how you run things during the quiet season and you will benefit when that busy season comes along.
Is there any bottlenecks in your business model right now? Is there something that’s been working less than ideally for ages? Now might be a good time to fix it!
2 – Train your employees
Often, we wait until we’re incredibly busy to take on new staff, because that’s when we need them most – but this can often mean they’re thrown in at the deep end, and you don’t have time to get them up to scratch.
Use this quieter time to properly train your new recruits or even up-skill your existing staff.
It’s also a good idea to create a Training Manual as you go; that way, when you recruit again in the future, the training process will be much more efficient.
3 – Improve customer experience
Take a look at your business from the customer’s viewpoint. What can you do to improve your service to encourage customer loyalty? This can be sourcing new suppliers who can give a quicker turnaround on stock, to better quality packaging (we can help with this), or training your staff on customer service skills.
Use any spare time you have during slow seasons to review and soak up your customer feedback, and identify chances to improve based on it.
4 – Analyse your product range
Look at what’s going well and why; what’s not doing so well when you think it should be. Sometimes a really good product isn’t generating the revenue it should be, simply because your focus is in the wrong place.
Printed mailing bags were one such product for us here at The Printed Bag Shop. Last summer we spent time analysing the sales, marketing and production aspects of what essentially should have been a top-seller for us, but wasn’t. With some tweaking of minimum quantity orders, increasing size options and putting a focus on marketing, this product is now in the top-sellers list, where we expect it to be.
5 – Study current trends
Which of your products fits the bill? Often it can be a product you’ve been selling for a long time. If it’s now the ‘in-thing’, look at doing some marketing; promote on social media using a trendy #hashtag and put it in the spotlight!
Not only can this bring you unexpected revenue in a quiet spell, it could become your next best seller!
6 – Put a proper marketing strategy together
Think ahead: which of your products align well with upcoming seasons? Whether it’s Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Valentine’s Day or summer that works best for you, create a calendar of events, look at the local and countrywide traditions that your products will work for and get preparing for it early.
7 – Start planning your Christmas design carrier bags now
Of course, we couldn’t help but mention printed bags! Every shopper loves to carry seasonal printed carrier bags when Christmas shopping, as much as they look forward to the Christmas TV ads. The more seasonal the better!
At The Printed Bag Shop we have a top class design team to help you come up with an original, eye-catching printed bag that shoppers will love to carry. The same can be said for the sales that follow. Be prepared and be original.
You might think there’s not much to be excited about with a printed bag which says ‘sale’ – but you’d be wrong. With a little originality, your printed ‘sale’ bags can have you being the talk of the town.
8 – Look at your costs – where can you save money?
Too often businesses trundle along using the same utility providers, same suppliers, and same courier services; there’s nothing wrong with this, if you know that you’re getting the best service or quality at the best price.
That being said, it doesn’t harm to contact other utility providers, check their tariffs and compare – it might be worth switching, or you might get a better deal from your current supplier. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know!
By going through your regular costs, shaving off a little here and a little there, the overall saving might just surprise you, and help offset any quieter times sales-wise.
9 – Review your website
Is the content still relevant to the market you’re hoping to attract? Do all the links work correctly? Are there products up there that you no longer provide?
After your seasonal analysis you may find that you want to change the menu or move things around to focus on a seasonal product, or perhaps you need a complete overhaul.
Website edits can be time consuming, and so getting them done when your business is a little quieter means it’s good to go when things ramp back up.
10 – Give social media some attention
And we don’t mean scrolling through your personal Facebook feed! Go to the next level on your social media platforms.
Using a scheduling programme alongside your marketing calendar will keep you organised and your messaging consistent. If it’s not your thing, or you don’t have time, outsource to a content specialist – the return on investment can be well worth it.
Now that you have ideas on how to make the most of slow seasons in your business it’s time to take action!
Don’t forget, if seasonal printed bags are part of your plans – talk to the sales team here at The Printed Bag Shop! Call us on 0191 268 7555, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.