Most businesses experience a slow season at one point or another, but being proactive and predicting your off-season slump can make all the difference.
There are several ways to stay busy and keep your brick-and-mortar and/or ecommerce business growing during the slower months. Here are five tips for keeping the cash (and ideas) flowing during your off-season.
Time Your Product Launches Just Right
Thought it sounds counter-intuitive, introducing new products during your slow season (and just before your busy season) will help you build momentum into your peak season. It allows enough time for customers to get excited about new and upcoming products.
Endicia customer, Julian Bakery, specializes in gluten-free and paleo products. The holidays are typically slower for them since people tend to gravitate more towards turkey, pies and cookies rather than gluten-free bread during this time. Dieting season is at its peak from January to April (once people have made New Year’s resolutions to hit the gym and start eating better).
Keeping this in mind, Julian Bakery decided to release a multitude of new holiday-themed products such as cookies, brownies and chocolate bars during what is typically their off-season. These tasty (but still healthy!) treats were a hit during the holidays, and continued to perform well even afterwards since the post-holiday season is usually when Julian Bakery is busiest.
Stay On Top of Social Media
Maintaining your social media platforms is a must during your off season. Just because business is slow doesn’t mean that your social media presence goes into hibernation mode. Even if customers aren’t flooding your doorway or website, you better believe they’re still checking their social media newsfeeds. So make an effort to show you care about staying up-to-date year round and predict the questions your customers are going to ask.
Also, find a way to make your content relevant to the current season. Julian Bakery runs a blog on their website, where they’re constantly uploading season-relevant recipes. This is an excellent way to stay connected and relevant to your consumers while still promoting your products.
Offer Discounts and Promotions
During the slow season, make sure to continue promoting your products. An excellent way to continue drawing attention to your business is with discounted products, free shipping and promotions.
For example, Julian Bakery continuously promotes their $5.95, 2-3 day nationwide shipping deal when purchasing six or more items.
Piggyback on Current Trends
One way to push the momentum forward during the slower seasons is to identify current trends that fall in line with your products.
Since Julian Bakery offers vegan and grain-free products, they make sure to take note of diet fads like “low-carb” and “gluten-free.” They also make sure to play up the fact that Lebron James follows the Paleo Diet and that the founder of the Paleo Diet, Dr. Loren Cordain, is a big fan of their products.
Stock Up and Plan Your Strategy During the Slower Months
Use the slow season to plan ahead for busier times. It makes it that much easier to stay on top of things when sales start to pick up again. Rather than running around like a chicken with your head cut off, stay calm and collected by having a plan in place.
Predict your weekly sales volume, stock up on popular products, have a shipping solution in place and make sure you’re well-staffed before the busy-season stampede.
Taking a proactive and creative approach to your off-season slump is crucial for keeping your business thriving all year long.
To learn more about Julian Bakery’s story, be sure to check out the video below.