The off season provides a break from the hectic pace of your prime selling months, which makes it the ideal time to reflect on your business goals and plan for the long-term growth of your company. To grow your seasonal business during the off season, take time to assess your product offerings and marketing plans, and focus on developing new strategies to increase sales.
Tips for growing a small business in the off season
The slow season offers the perfect opportunity to evaluate what’s working for your business and what you can improve for next season. Here are some tips to help you engage your customers and stay profitable when the peak season ends:
1. Revamp your products and services
When peak season comes to a close, take the opportunity to evaluate the products and services you offer. Dig into sales data: what goods or services are driving the majority of your revenue? Are any of them under-performing? These insights can help you tweak your product offerings. Consider adding new products and services that complement your most popular offerings. And if a product or service isn’t bringing in enough revenue, it might make sense to drop it and focus on your money makers.
2. Request customer reviews
Reach out to your customers for business reviews as soon as the busy season wraps up, when your work projects are still fresh in the minds of clients. Gather customer testimonials that you can use to promote your business on your website, in marketing emails and in blog posts. You can also solicit customer feedback for third-party review sites like Google and Yelp, to boost your visibility and help attract new customers.
3. Update your marketing plan
Review your marketing strategy, analyze key performance metrics and make sure your promotional efforts are driving your business goals. The off season is the best time to plan out your marketing strategies for the next year. Identify the promotional tactics that drive the most business, as well as those that are less successful. Build a new marketing plan for the upcoming year, using data to inform your decisions. Remember that you should market your business year round to ensure you stay top of mind with your customers.
4. Offer a sales promotion
Running a sales promotion during the off season can help drum up new business when work slows down. Reduce your prices or offer discounts when a customer adds on extra products or services to their purchase. You can also offer financing promotions to help close more sales. Consider special offers like 0% interest loans or deferred payments for six months. Developing strategic sales promotions during slower months can attract new customers and drive more revenue.
5. Engage old leads
Focus some of your off-season marketing efforts on reengaging old leads. Send out an email blast to subscribers who have already shown an interest in your company. Make sure the content of your email is targeted to this particular audience and remind them of your products and services. Consider offering a special discount for these leads, to further encourage them to purchase from your business during the slow season.
6. Focus on staff training
The off season is a great time to grow and improve your business, and that includes empowering employees to learn new skills or improve existing ones. Your team members will likely be less busy with work than at other times of the year, which gives you the opportunity to focus on skill development. Investing in your employees’ training not only builds their job skills, it also keeps workers motivated, makes them feel valued and helps reduce staff turnover.
The off season can be a productive time for your company if you adopt the right approach. By evaluating your business performance, offering customer incentives and planning for the future, you can successfully grow your business during off-peak months.
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