Most businesses experience ebbs and flows.
Regardless of the industry, entrepreneurs will likely face a month or two every year where their products aren’t in as high of demand as they usually are. But this is no reason to panic. Although some fluctuation in sales might be inevitable, business owners just need to get creative to keep customers coming in every month of the year. From promoting a sale to debuting a new product, entrepreneurs who think outside the box will position themselves for success year-round.
Here are some tips and tricks to help entrepreneurs avoid a slow season:
Start selling something new
If a business owner runs a company with seasonal products, it might be time to think about branching out. Even if it’s not a seasonal business, if an entrepreneur notices a sales pattern where certain months are slow, it would be a smart move to start selling a new product that could help fill in the gaps during slow months. Before they debut something new, business owners should do some research to determine what product a store isn’t currently selling and if a company’s target audience would be likely to purchase that item.
Entrepreneurs that do this well might even expand their customer base or launch an entirely new line of products if the first item is successful. Innovative business owners position themselves to stay ahead of those who decide to simply accept their slow season as an unchangeable fact.
Launching a new product can be expensive – from the manufacturing, distribution and marketing of it – but new merchandise can pay big dividends down the line. To help finance the new venture, owners should consider applying for a small business loan from an alternative lender. Applicants can get approved for a loan in as little as 24 hours, and they won’t face the onerous credit requirements that traditional banks usually have.
Have a sale
Nothing brings in customers like a good old-fashioned discount. Running a sale on a product that might not be in high demand in the current moment might spur shoppers to come in and pick up that item for the future because of the reduced price. This is also a smart way for business owners to potentially expand their consumer base. If a consumer likes what they purchased, then they might come in again during one of the store’s busier months.
Entrepreneurs should do some research to find out what sales competitors will be running during a particular time period to make sure they advertise something different. Competing sales will divert traffic away from a business and neutralize some of the positive effects a sale should have on a company’s bottom line. Entrepreneurs can get creative and even attempt to cross merchandise with their sale by selling two complementary products together at a reduced price. Whatever they decide, business owners need to advertise their sale sufficiently so people are aware it’s going on.
To help finance the marketing campaign for an upcoming sale, business owners should consider an alternative business loan. Alternative lenders can approve applicants for cash much quicker than a traditional bank without the hassle and burdensome credit requirements.
Start a rewards program
Another way business owners can drive traffic during slower months is through a rewards program. Entrepreneurs should debut the program during a reliably busy time for their stores – such as the holiday season – to maximize the number of people who hear about the incentive. A smart move for owners to make would be to have the program go into effect during slower periods at a company. That way, people who want to utilize the program will have to come into the store during down times, which will help business owners make up some of their lost revenue.
Business owners can structure their rewards program in any number of ways – as a buy-one-get-on-free offer, 50 percent a particular product or even cross merchandising complementary products – depending on what they think will be most attractive to their shoppers.
To make sure business owners have enough cash to effectively market and advertise their rewards program, they should consider applying for a small business loan through an alternative lender. The process for approval is easy, hassle-free, and it can be done in as little as 24 hours.