How To Turn Your Slow Months Into Your Best Months
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When I think of winter in South Africa, I think of a glass of red wine, having some friends over for a braai and watching the Springboks play rugby (a cherry on the cake would be to watch a Spar Protea Netball match). That’s a perfect winter Saturday evening.
The reality of winter in business however is that it can be deadly. Sales plummet in these months and you need to have a plan to combat this.
The good news is that you can turn your slowest months into your best months with these six strategies.
1. Slow months are predictable
The upside of a slow month or season is that you can predict it. This is where really knowing your numbers can make or break you. As an entrepreneur, you need to keep a constant eye on your numbers. The most important numbers in your business should include:
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- Monthly sales
- Cost of sales
- Profit margins
- Quarterly sales
- Year to date sales
- ROI on marketing spend
- Monthly expenses
The main reason for knowing your numbers is simple: you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Numbers that are not measured cannot be rewarded.
You should also never compare your business to someone else’s business – remember that everyone is on their own journey and everyone’s journey is different, so why compare it?
The only comparison you should be making is how is your current month’s sales are measuring up to your previous months sales.
I cannot express the importance of this enough. As you progress in your entrepreneurial journey, you will start to see patterns. But you’ll only be able to see this if you’re measuring the results by having your hand over your numbers.
2. Plan, strategize and execute
When business is slow, use this opportunity to plan and strategize for the busy season. Keep in mind that when your busy season breaks on you, there’s no time to plan marketing campaigns or strategize on your new social media campaign.
It will be all hands-on-deck to fulfil and maintain sales during your busy months. Use slow seasons to strategize, so that you can optimize sales in your busy season.
3. Move your business to where the season is
Hold on, don’t go packing your suitcase just yet. I’m not talking about a physical move. I’m talking about a digital move. For example, if you’re selling bikinis online in South Africa and it’s in the middle of winter, I can guarantee you that you will experience a dip in sales.
Instead of closing shop, why not move your shop digitally to where summer is, like in America or Europe? Start a social media ad campaign directed at those demographics. You will experience high sales as the British Pound and US Dollar sit favourably against the Rand.
Now you’re expanding your footprint, getting more customers and generating more sales. What more do you want as a business owner?
4. Train and educate your team
This is the ideal time to invest in your employees. Remember, systems don’t build businesses, people do.
5. Increase your social media content
Use your slow time to engage with your clients. Educational content is key in 2019, so host a live or online tutorial and answer the most frequently asked questions by your clients. Who knows, that video might just be that little push you needed to turn a prospect into a customer, and boom, you have an extra sale.
6. Increase your SEO footprint
For the newbies that are unfamiliar with the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it’s the process of attractinf traffic to your website through free, organic, editorial or natural search results. In other words, will people find you when they are Googling anything that relates to your product or service offering?
The most important aspect of a business is online traffic – without it you won’t gain leads, clients or sales. In order to drive more traffic to your website and build your SEO on Google, find other online platforms where you can write about your business like.
These include Medium and Quora, and of course Youtube for video. All three of these platforms have millions of people already viewing them, so you don’t need to re-invent the wheel.
Understand what your customers need, what content interests them and helps them, and then create what they’re looking for. You can then create backlinks and keywords to your website where they can view your offerings.
Pulling it all together
Winter months can be tough for some businesses, but you can use these six points as some ideas on how you can turn those months around into great months.
Remember, nothing that is worthwhile is easy. The key is to take action. The only way a problem will go away is when it is defeated by a solution.