Does your business stay busy year-round…or do you have distinct busy and slow seasons?
Seasonal business types include tax preparation, landscaping, holiday retailers, certain vacation resorts, and many others. If you’re in a business with predictable slow periods, congratulations! You have something most businesses don’t—extra time to plan your business’s growth!
Take advantage of it and turn your seasonal downtime into a period of productivity and development. Don’t let that time go to waste, because once the busy season kicks back up, you may not have a chance.
With that in mind, here are three sure-fire tips to maximize your extra time and ramp up your earnings!
Look for ways to improve your products and services.
Now’s the time to give your business plan a cold, objective glare. There are bound to be plenty of areas in need of updates and revisions. Ask yourself tough questions like:
- What’s working here and what isn’t?
- How’s your business fairing against the competition?
- What’s changed in the market, and how can you adapt?
- Which of your key performance indicators are in the yellow or red zones?
- Are your branding and marketing as effective as they need to be?
In addition to your business plan, take a look around you. Is your software or computer system up-to-date? Are your staff all pulling their weight? Are there ways you could get leaner and more efficient?
Be brutally honest with yourself. Hoping problems will fix themselves isn’t a strategy. You’ve got to roll up your sleeves and put in the work to fix them yourself.
Reflect back on lessons learned so far. Don’t be afraid to rethink your game plan if things aren’t going the way you want them to. Sometimes all it takes to get on track are a few minor corrections, but other times you need a serious upgrade or even a total overhaul.
One thing’s for sure—your busy season isn’t the time for such changes. Take the downtime while you’ve got it to plan ahead and prepare your business for a growth breakout!
Invest in yourself and your staff.
No matter what business you’re in, odds are there’s something new you and/or your staff could be learning to boost your productivity—and your profitability!
If you run a service-based business, consider tackling some advanced education and training to beef up your existing skills. If you’re selling products, spend some time learning more about effective marketing and building brand loyalty.
Maybe you just want to get better with your accounting software or are curious about how AI tools can integrate into your business model. Whatever your training needs, your slow season is the perfect time to address them!
None of this extra education has to be done through a college degree. Degrees are a long-term endeavor, not something you can knock out in a season. Instead, look into certifications or short online courses through MasterClass, Udemy, edX, Coursera, Skillshare, or LinkedIn. Also, check out local educational institutions such as community colleges and vocational schools. There could be a class or workshop that’s just right for meeting the training needs you or your team might have.
Anything new you learn could add enough extra value to justify charging more for your services. Another tactic? Learn something completely new, so you can expand your service offerings. As for selling products, the more you know, the more likely you’ll avoid the fate of the 65% of businesses that fail in their first ten years.
Investing in your own professional development and that of your staff will almost always pay dividends in the long run!
Recharge your batteries.
Our bodies aren’t machines, but they do have things in common with them. For starters, they can get overworked and break down if we don’t take good care of them.
Luckily, a little bit of preventative maintenance goes a long way. If your slow period lasts a few weeks (or months), break off a chunk of that time to unwind. How? That’s up to you!
Everyone relaxes differently. For some, flying off to a tropical island paradise hits the spot. For others, all that vacation planning is more stressful than it’s worth. Sometimes a peaceful staycation is more than enough.
The point is, take some genuine downtime and use it to let your mind and body refresh and recharge. Many entrepreneurs have trouble practicing this sort of self-care. Thus, they run the risk of burnout later, and all the physical and mental symptoms that come with it. Don’t be like them! Take care of yourself and your people!
Bring in more leads to stay busy year-round
Your customer engagements may be seasonal—but your business isn’t! As a business leader, you’ve got to work year-round to scale your enterprise and maximize your profits when that busy season strikes.
Ruby’s lead generation playbook is packed with tips and insights from nine industry experts—helping small businesses of all sizes and specialties find ways to bring in leads during your slow season and beyond.
- Lead Gen 101: Learn who and where your leads are…and how to convert them into paying customers!
- Tactical Tips for Channel Mastering: Get up to speed on the digital marketing tactics you need! SEO. PPC. Podcast ads. Live-streaming videos. It’s all here!
- Industry-Specific Ideas: Nail your approach with the most potent strategies for your industry!