Operating a business during its busy season seems to make time fly by, leaving you with the feeling like you don’t have enough of it. However similar to every business, there are periods where sales is particularly slow – a drag for business owners and employees.
While it may seem like a challenge to keep up the esprit de corps and numbers high during your slow season, this is in fact the best opportunity for productivity. Getting your team hyped and involved; making adjustments to stay lean; and revisiting your marketing strategies are few of the many ways how a business can take advantage of their slower months.
The spirit of a business is best displayed through its employees. And while the work day can often feel longer when business is not at its prime, the last thing you want is ‘negative’ vitality to be passed from your team along to your guests.
Slow seasons can be depressing when employees have sales quotas ain’t even close to hitting them. To turn this around , you may start sales contests and implement fun daily incentives to keep your team happy and motivated to sell.
Adjust and Be Lean
In order to prepare for slow seasons, it is important to be aware of how your customer demographics and how the traffic will differ. Adjusting ordering quantity, making sure not to over order products is a good way to keep cost low. Forecasting can be done by checking out last year’s sales reports.
Another method to lean the cost can be to reviewing and adjusting store hours and employee shifts in accordance to previous year trend. During slow season, make adjustments to your work flow to uncover new operational efficiencies. This can also be a great opportunity to create new opening and re-look end of day procedures, whether it’s kitchen cleaning or re-structuring of areas that aren’t able to be a focus during busy times of operation.
While these adjustments and actions create slow season productivity, they also prepare you for the busy seasons to come.
Having down time in your business is a great opportunity to revisit marketing strategies and invigorate your brand by asking yourself and your employees’ which strategy has worked and which hasn’t?
This is your chance to take advantage of the downtime and revisit your brand and image and how it has reflected on your sales. Try to touch back on what you love about your business, what inspired you to start it, and how you can share that with your customer. How about revamping your company’s website or social media page?
Fully utilize the time to research what is trending and apply it to your target audience; start new local ad campaigns or social media campaigns to share seasonal sales promotions in order to clear out inventory for the next season.” Don’t let your slow season be a drag, this is your chance to have the most productive season!