Most businesses see a boost in sales during the holidays, and depending on your industry; you might have specific months when you do your best. For example, local businesses might always have high sales when more people are out shopping in the summer months. Unfortunately, most companies also have an off-season, which means slower sales and more difficulty attracting customers. Having slow periods is standard for all businesses. That doesn’t mean that you can sit back and relax while you wait for the busy season again; instead, you should use this time to find ways to drive off-season sales so you can earn more money. Here’s how to drive sales in the off-season.
While you should never drop your prices so low you won’t make any money, offering specials during the off-season sales can help you bring in more customers. For example, if you’re a local business that does well in the summer months but is slower in the winter, you can try offering a percentage off during slower months. By holding more sales, you can bring in more customers during a season when you might not have very many.
Upsell And Cross-sell
Don’t forget about your customers just because they’re not purchasing anything. Instead, reach out to your customers and offer special exclusive deals. For example, if you have an eCommerce store, you can start cross-selling by showing customers items related to those already in their carts, prompting them to purchase more items and spend more money.
Offer More Payment Solutions
You should be able to accept payments from customers, no matter how customers choose to pay. By offering more payment options, you can attract more customers and have a higher revenue during the off-season. Small businesses can benefit by providing more payment options, especially if they only accept cash. By allowing credit card payments and even personal checks, your business won’t have to turn away customers.
Focus On Marketing
Maybe you can’t drive more sales in the off-season no matter what you do. Some businesses will always have slow periods. For example, laser hair removal centers might experience slow seasons before winter since most people won’t be worried about putting on bikinis during the cold season.
However, by focusing on traditional and digital marketing instead of simply accepting that you won’t get many sales, you can start experimenting with new ways to drive sales no matter which season it is. For example, during your slow season, you can begin building out your marketing strategies for the months to be ready for when your business picks back up.
Host An Event
Hosting an event is an excellent way to get locals in the door. It will also help keep your business in your customers’ minds even if they won’t be spending any money. Your event could showcase everything your company will offer in the next few months. Or even offer discount products and services for a short period.
Try Selling A Different Product Or Service
If you want your business to succeed in a competitive marketplace, you’ll need to find new ways to get sales, including marketing a new product or service. For example, a laser hair removal business might offer other laser services and facials to attract new customers and keep old customers returning during the off-season.
Partner With Other Businesses
If you’re a local business, you might find partnering with another local company can help both businesses thrive during the off-season. For example, a food truck might want to partner with a local restaurant to bring in more customers to both the truck and the restaurant. In addition, you can brainstorm ways to help your business succeed during slow periods by working with other businesses.
Focus On Local
If you own a local business, consider focusing on local customers during the off-season. For example, if your location depends on tourists, you’re bound to have at least a few months out of the year that is slow. You can focus on local customers during those months by holding a sale, and your customers will be thankful for the deals and fewer lines.
Figure Out What Your Customers Want
A slow period might seem like the end of the world. Nonetheless, you can use this time to learn more about your customers. While you always want to be selling products and services, having some time to spend getting to know your customers can help you find better ways to market to them, increasing your sales and revenue later on.
Do you want to figure out what your customers are looking for? Consider surveying to see if there are other products and services you can incorporate into your business to fit their needs.
Try Low-Cost Marketing
Because your sales are slower, your budget should be lower during the off-season. Look for marketing methods that require less money and more time. Such as organic social media marketing, email marketing, and creating content. These are low-cost marketing options that require time, which you likely have during the off-season.
Plan For Next Year
During the busy season, you barely have time on your hands to focus on marketing and advertising. Instead of dealing with your marketing during the most active season, consider using your off-season to plan your marketing strategies. That way, you’ll be prepared. For example, an eCommerce business might experience a lull if it sells seasonal items, and if your business sells swimwear, you might have fewer sales in the winter. During this period, you can start planning for your busy season. Budget and plan your marketing initiatives to make your business even more dynamic during its most active season.
You can also use this time to develop a loyalty program to reward your loyal customers. You can keep them interested with free products and services or discounts. By building out this plan now, you’ll be happy to gain more customers throughout the year with a clear plan for how to handle deals.
Off-Season Enhances Busy Season
What you do during your off-season sales will impact your business during its busiest months. If you don’t take the time when you have it to plan your marketing, you might find that you overspend during your busy seasons just to get more customers in the door. However, by using your off-season to plan ahead while focusing on sales and getting to know your customers, you can set your business up for success during the rest of the year.
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Guest Author: Matt Casadona
Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music.