How To Survive Your Slow Season
When running a business during your busy season, time can fly by, and you often feel like you don’t have enough of it. But traffic ebbs and flows and every business has its slow periods – a drag for business owners and employees.
While it may seem like a challenge to keep up the energy and numbers during your slow season, this is actually the best time for productivity. Keeping your team excited and involved, making adjustments to stay lean during low selling periods, and revisiting your marketing strategies are a few ways to take advantage of your slower months.
The brand of a business is best reflected through its employees. And while the work day can often feel longer when business is not at its peak, the last thing you want is low energy to be passed from your team along to your guests.
Slow seasons can be discouraging when employees have quotas and aren’t hitting them, making this the most important time of year to keep your employees engaged and excited. With sales contests and fun daily incentives you can keep your team happy and motivated to sell.
Store manager of Verve Coffee in Santa Cruz, CA, Kara, weighs in by sharing “Staff morale is so important. Our slow times of year are the best to organise employee events to keep everyone involved.” Whether it is team bonding activities, more staff meetings, or training activities, keeping your employees encouraged and engaged is sure to reflect on their performance and translate to your guests.
Adjust and Be Lean
In order to prepare for slow seasons, it is important to be aware of how your customer base and foot traffic will change. Kara, from Verve, says she “will adjust ordering pars, making sure not to over order products, as well as knowing what will be in demand that time of year, checking out last year’s sales reports, and also navigating slower business by adjusting store hours and employee shifts.”
During slow season, make adjustments to your work flow to uncover new operational efficiencies. This is a great opportunity to create new opening and end of day procedures, whether it’s deep cleaning or re organising 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 refresh your brand by asking yourself and your employees’ what’s worked and what 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? Store Owner of Mermaids Swimwear Boutique in Kona, Hawaii, Carrol, uses “this time to research what is trending and apply that to her target audience; start new local ad campaigns or social media campaigns to share summer sales in order to clear out inventory for the busy fall season.” Don’t let your slow season be a drag, this is your chance to have the most productive season!
Contributed by Daisy Mardian, Revel Systems Client Relations Specialist. With restaurant and retail background, Daisy connects with a large portion of Revel’s clientele and strives to ensure that each customer experience is only the best that Revel has to offer.