How To Keep Your Staff Busy When Business Is Slow – Part 1

Business Is Slow - Empty Shopping CentreThere may be a time in your business when sales are slow. For many, this can be during the holiday season, but whenever it happens,  it can be a time when concern, frustration, tension can creep in.

A good manager/owner will use the time wisely. The slow down could be a hiccup in the year, or it may signal a shift in the market. Whatever the reason for the downturn in sales, it is important to utilize time and resources to be ready for the next sales increase or to review latest trends and instigate a change in order to generate more sales. Here are a few ideas…

1)      Review your marketing

When reviewing your marketing, the big question is whether or not your strategy is working. This should be undertaken throughout the year. However, when sales are good, marketing is generally left alone unless there are major campaigns timed throughout the year. A lull in sales is an ideal opportunity for a review to understand which strands of your marketing are working and which require fine tuning.  If you are not monitoring your conversion rates, it is essential that this gets implemented so you can take advantage of, and grow a high converting channel or offer. If something isn’t working, then now is the time to re-group and change it.

Take for example your email list:

  • Have you got an email strategy?
  • If you run an ecommerce website, do you follow up on abandoned carts with a ‘reminder’ email?
  • What are your email open rates? – could tweaking your subject line improve them?
  • Are you keeping in touch on a regular basis?
  • Could you improve your lead magnet to gain more email subscribers?

2)      Consider testing offers

When sales are low, this could be an ideal time to test offers. These tests could be done numerous ways. How about offering your best selling product with a specific bonus at a significantly reduced price? As long as you cover your cost on the bonus item, you are still better off due to the profit made on the lead item.

You could test a package of goods rather than two products combined. These goods could be lesser selling products, which you have a lot of stock of, yet they are useful to a buyer but tend to be forgotten.

3)      Look for joint venture opportunities

You can either combine another company’s product with yours as a great package or possibly offer a joint marketing venture whereby costs are shared.

Again, there are many ways to work with a joint venture partner which could result in increased sales or a stream of warm leads for your sales team to follow up. But, they can sometimes take time to establish. Finding a company with similar values and creating the right mechanism for the joint venture to perform are some of the challenges facing you. But, the rewards can be worth it.

Remember, if you are able to create one joint venture that is highly profitable, there is no reason why you cannot create a second, third or fourth etc. Joint ventures can be between two companies, but you may also find ways to create multi-company profitable ventures which may significantly reduce marketing costs and create opportunities for product development.

So far my tips have been centered around marketing. The reason for this is simple. Marketing is the engine that drives a business, whatever its size. It is known as the heart of a business for good reason. Without good marketing, prospects do not take the next step into your sales funnel. It is then up to your sales system to help the prospect understand your products or services and match them with their needs or wants. Notice, I didn’t use the phrase “close the sale.” If your team are trying to close a sale hard, then this is not a good way of creating customers for life.

4)      Organise

Whenever there is some breathing space in your usually busy day, there is a massive opportunity to complete some of the tasks that are forever left and really need doing. These tasks can sometimes be arduous but still, they need completing whilst you have the chance. They could be simple tasks like moving emails into folders. Whilst this should be done as a matter of course, some people are more organized than others, and little things like this tend to be left. Other ideas here revolve around organizing the office, people, teams, solving IT issues etc.

In part two of this article, you’ll discover a few other key areas that you could tackle to help you become a more efficient and effective business.

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