It’s Summertime and I’m thinking about the holidays. That’s right, the holiday seasons is more than 6 months away but I start thinking, planning and talking to our customers about the holiday season. Right after the holiday season, I begin talking about the summer months and grilling season. Am I crazy or just crazy as a fox?
In my retail world, summer is the slowest of all the seasons. After being cooped up all winter people around here want to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather not spend time shopping. It happens the same way every year. I can almost predict it down to the week. In your business world, your busy and slower periods may be just the opposite. One thing I know for sure is that in most businesses it is easy to predict the seasonality or ups and downs in your business. Here are 4 tips to help you through those ebbs and flows:
- Offer a product/service that people use during the slower times. As an example, if you’re a landscaper, offer snow plowing. If you’re an exterior remodeler, offer insulation that can be done when the weather isn’t conducive to outdoor remodeling. In my case, offer grilling ideas/classes in the summer and holiday gift giving ideas in the winter.
- Start planting the seeds with your customers 6 months out so that when you’re focused on selling the customer has already been thinking about your product or service.
- Pre-sell jobs for the next season – Is it hard to get on your schedule during the busy season? What would the effect on your business be if you pre-sold jobs for the next season to guarantee a place on the future schedule?
- Do an 8-week cash flow forecast each week so you know and can focus on how much revenue you need to bring in to reach your revenue goals. By forecasting out your revenue and expenses you can be proactive and brainstorm ideas to bring more business in the door. There is nothing worse than having to react because you didn’t plan ahead.
Start planting the seeds now for your slow season so your customers are primed and ready to buy during slower seasons. The busy season will return again in no time!
By: Jackie Zach