Are you a seasonal business that is trying to stay afloat until your busy season arrives? Take your downtime to focus on these effective business growth strategies and transform your slow months into lucrative time spent building your business.
Review and Analyze Sales Numbers
When there are no customers in sight, use your slower months to focus on reviewing your business’s data from the previous year. By taking a close look at the black and white numbers of your business’s past performance, you can arrive at key information to improve your business where needed.
Look at the previous year’s sales numbers and try to find answers to the following questions:
- What was your total annual revenue from products/services sold?
- What were your annual overhead and production costs?
- How many customers purchased products/services from your business?
- How many customers purchased more than 1 product; more than 2 products; etc.?
- Which were your top 3 selling products?
- Did you have any products that were not purchased?
- What month/week/day were the busiest and slowest in terms of sales made?
- How did the majority of your customers hear about your business?
- How many documented referrals did you receive?
Knowing the answers to these business sales questions will allow you to improve your business plan. It will help you really understand the inner workings of your business model so you can monopolize on your strengths and work through your weaknesses.
Analyze and Tweak Your Website
There’s no better time than slow months to review your website analytics. It’s 2016 and all business owners know the value of a user-friendly, responsive website. But when was the last time you devoted a considerable amount of time to analyzing your analytics? Taking that question a step further, when was the last time you tweaked your website based on the data you discovered while analyzing those analytics?
We aren’t suggesting a quick overview of your unique visitors; a glance at your average bounce rate; or a skim through your most popular landing pages. We are suggesting that you roll your sleeves up to spend a day or two going through your website data. If done properly, you will be able to find answers to these game-changing questions:
- What is the most/least popular page on your website?
- Why is it the most/least popular page; what is the content topic or function of the page?
- How many of your users are coming from a search engine, social media site or referring website?
- What call to action button has the highest/lowest click-through rates?
- How many users utilize your on-line contact us form?
- Does your blog audience increase on certain days?
- What is the behavior pattern of your unique visitors? Which page do they enter/exit on the most/least.
- Did you see an increase in traffic around specific events throughout the year?
These are just a few of the questions you will want to find detailed answers to. When you really analyze your website’s analytics you will start to see trends on that data. The trends will allow you to form educated theories as to what your users like and need the most on your website. Once you know your users’ behavior patterns, you can tweak your website to be more user-friendly and customized for the perfect customer experience.
Read our article, 3 Free Ways to (Really) Get to Know Your Customers, to learn more about reviewing your website traffic data.
Nurture Past and Existing Customers
It’s that time of year that no one is buying what you’re selling. Take control over these slower months by approaching it with positivity. Appreciate the extra time you have to devote to nurturing your customer relationships.
Business growth strategies that work focus on customer satisfaction. Get out your past and existing customer lists and start dialing. You don’t have to call them to sell something; call them just to say hello and thank them for their previous purchase. Use this time to ask them a few customer satisfaction type questions. Find out if there’s anything they really love about your product or service; is there anything they would like to see improved? Give them a little discount or a small free gift to show your gratitude for their participation.
If you have a high volume of clients and can’t make personal telephone contact with them all, shoot out an email blast or newsletter to touch base.
Create and Implement a Marketing Plan
Since it is your slow season, you can create and schedule a marketing campaign that will run during your business’s busy season. It’s the best use of your downtime because it serves three purposes at the same time.
1.) Develops a Concise and Clear Marketing Strategy
Successful business owners know that marketing plans take time. Utilizing the extra time you have during your off-season is a smart way to get a head start on your marketing efforts.
2.) Scheduling Posts Allows You to Work in Advance
These days, you can preschedule everything from your blogs to your Facebook posts. Nothing is stopping you from posting your entire marketing campaign in advance and scheduling publication dates in the far-future.
3.) Your Busy Season Will Benefit from the Content Shared
During your busy season you are focused on fulfilling orders and pumping out your products/services. If you scheduled all of your blog and social posts ahead of time, you can have a very active social media presence without lifting a finger.
Research Outsourcing Solutions for Your Busy Times
Knowing what you can handle and can’t handle during your high season is vital to the success of your business. That’s why one of the most popular business growth strategiesis researching third-party vendors that you can outsource tasks to during your popular months.
If you can’t handle the high volume of calls you receive during your peak times, consider outsourcing your customer service to a digital call center. If your accounting is unbearable during high season seek the help from a business accountant and outsource your payables and receivables.
So instead of watching the clock tick slowly by and waiting for your busy season, be proactive. Don’t sit idle during your slow months; take the extra time you have to grow your business.