Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Getting Through the Holiday Business Slowdown

Many businesses view the holiday season as their ‘make or break’ selling time. Unfortunately modular home builders aren’t in that camp. In fact, sales take a nosedive in November and don’t even begin to recover until February.

Getting through this and coming out the other side stronger means you have to adopt some new strategies. Many builders use some of them but this year you need to step up your game and don’t just sit at your desk waiting for the phones to ring and eating Christmas cookies.

Here are some strategies you can use to help you get through this slowdown:

1) Target Marketing
If you are experiencing a business slowdown, it's always a good time to create and launch another marketing initiative. It is important to continue to promote your business creatively and cost-effectively. What better way to spend a slow period than in taking actions to attract new business? (Plus, taking action will keep worry or stress from overwhelming you.)

2) Relax.
This strategy works if you are feeling good about your business and your accomplishments. Use this time to catch up on some sleep, read a few good books, in short, take some time off for rest and relaxation. Sometimes, time away can help spark creative ideas or profitable insights.

3) Get ahead.
Use slow time to get ahead on weekly or monthly projects. Look ahead to future months and see if there are any steps you can take, today, that would position you more solidly in the future. This can help you feel more in control as the pace picks up again.

4) Invest in additional training/learning.
A business slowdown is a great time to upgrade your knowledge and skills, you have the time and the incentive. Take classes, learn more about marketing, sales and social media, become even more valuable to your customers by adding new products or services based on your new knowledge.

5) Develop a Marketing Plan.
Take time to review your progress so far, checking it against your goals, and making any necessary adjustments. Use "slow time" to plan for how you'll tackle new projects, or expand your business or offerings. This can be really fun.

6) Network/socialize.
Use "slow time" to get out and meet more people to talk about what you offer, learn what they need, help them connect with appropriate resources. Take this time to increase your contact base, and to attend meetings or events you might not usually have time for. An added bonus to this tip is that you might perceive new trends in your industry which can help you guide your business.

7) Upgrade equipment or processes.
During a business "slow down", it's a great time to find easier, more efficient, and better ways of running your business. You might upgrade equipment so you can serve customers more effectively. You might automate parts of your sales process, or invest in additional training for your staff. You might use this time to make sure you are in compliance with all the relevant state laws, or to paint your office space.

While occasional business slowdowns might be inevitable, these strategies ensure that you're making the best use of the downtime - allowing you to attract ideal customers.

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