For most business owners, 2020 is a year they’d rather forget. The coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to conduct business in a normal way. With so many stores having to close their doors for various periods of time, retail sales across Canada tanked last year.
With 2021 now here, tough times are still present thanks to COVID-19. And for business owners who generally find the wintertime to be their slow seasons, times can be especially tough. What steps should you take to get your business through its slow season?
Diversify your offerings.
Is there something your business can offer its customers to meet their needs during your slow season? For example, if you usually sell summer-based apparel, is there room for winter coats and spring jackets in your store? As Meredith Wood points out on Alignable.com, you may need to use your slow season to identify smaller niches which have a need for your products and/or services all year-round.
“Dave from Driven Insights, an outsourced accounting firm that works exclusively for small businesses says that he routinely helps our clients successfully navigate their slow seasons,” informs Wood, “His advice? Offer more and different. He shares, ‘A way to minimize the impact of the slow seasons is by diversifying your revenue streams (eg: a bike shop might sell skis or stoves in the winter or a landscaper might plow when the snow flies).’”
Better manage your cash flow.
During the time of year when you’re not raking in the dough, it’s vital that you are mindful of how you’re spending the dough. Naturally, you don’t want your expenses to exceed your earnings. Managing your cash flow may entail revising your business hours, reducing work shifts, renegotiating contracts with your suppliers and holding back on marketing. None of these ideas are ideal, but cutting costs is vital during your slow season.
“When sales are less predictable in the off-season, it makes sense to have a financial safety net in case of emergencies,” Rebecca Wessell on CSMonitor.com, “This means managing your cash flow carefully during your busy season in preparation for the off-season and managing your off-season expenses.”
Focus on customer service.
Never let it be lost on you that the way you make customers feel goes a long way. Many consumers will continue to support brands that value them as people over brands that just offer high-quality items. Do what you can to step up your commitment to customer service. Focus on giving visitors of your store memorable experiences. Doing so encourages repeat business.
“And ask for referrals,” encourages Wood, “All across the board, small business owners say there is nothing quite like word-of-mouth – and simply making sure that the customers that are already with you are happy and feel appreciated is always going to be your number one asset.”
Get a merchant cash advance.
At Synergy Merchants, we have many years of experience helping business owners to get through their slow seasons. For information about how our unique merchant cash advance program can help you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-877-718-2026 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also apply online for a free, no obligation quote!