There comes a time in every business when you have been around long enough to understand your sales trends and what the market is doing.
Some industries make for easy reads. Home made jewelry sells quite well around Mother’s Day and Christmas. Furnaces sell well in the fall and new air conditioners are typically installed in the spring. Years ago, the best deals on new vehicles came in January and February as dealerships needed to clear out inventory to allow the new models to have space on the lot.
There tend to be advantages to purchases in “off-season.”
With the #totsreno house, our furnace and central air system was purchase and installed at a great savings because it was done in March, a fairly slow period for furnaces and significantly before the summer heat became a factor and installations were booking three weeks in advance.
Not only was the company quick to book an installation, but there were sales promotions in place to ensure the company remained active in a traditionally slow period, apart from service calls on broken furnaces. It was a win-win for us without the hassle of haggling.
A popular idea these days is online coupons or coupon codes. We used these on occasion at From The Stash when it was our store. I always liked the idea of the coupons. We set them seasonally around holidays and in some cases used them for advertising and promotions. In our case, customers didn’t tend to use the codes for whatever reason but at least we tried.
Here are three other suggestions for drumming up business during your off-peak sales period.
1. Work with a partner and vice-versa. Let’s say you manufacture your own glass baby bottles and Stephanie down the street makes organic formula. If you work together and cross-promote discounts for customers who make purchases, both companies could be better off.
2. If sales are down, you may find yourself with more time. That’s time you can use to research alternative marketing ideas or prepare for the inevitable upswing after the seasonal or summer blahs.
3. A contest. Nothing brings in customers like a chance to win something.
Business is all about being prepared. If you are prepared to face your challenges head on, you have a better chance of success.