For retail businesses, the holiday season can be one of the busiest times of the year; for other industries, like the service industry, it’s not uncommon to see a lull in business from Thanksgiving to New Years. However, there is still plenty that you can do during these slower months to set your business up for success once business picks back up again.
Focus on content marketing efforts
The holiday season can be a good time to focus on creating creative marketing campaigns. A study from Outbrain found that more people consume digital content during the holiday season. This means more potential eyes on your digital marketing. Make the most of this opportunity by putting out high-quality creative content. Getting customers to notice your digital marketing can help keep your business on their radars even if they’re not l spending money with you during the holiday season.
Consider alternate revenue streams
If a holiday slowdown could be detrimental to your business, it may be worth thinking about new ways that your business can diversify or pivot during these slower months. For example, if you run a restaurant that has lower in-person dining during the holiday months, you could use this time to build out a take-out or catering service to drive more sales. Or maybe your business is built on a single product, which does not encourage repeat buyers. Expanding your product offerings and introducing something new can be a great way to generate fresh business and help eliminate the stress of relying on only one revenue stream.
Have extra cash on hand
If you know in advance that your business is going to be experiencing a slower period during certain months, it’s good to have some backup cash saved up to cover operating expenses during that time. Putting aside a small portion of your income throughout the year can build up into a safety net for your business during these slower periods.
Establishing a line of credit ahead of the holidays can also be a good way to generate some extra cash flow for you to lean on in the end of the year. This extra cash not only helps you cover routine expenses, but also it helps you feel more secure if any unexpected costs were to arise.
Finally complete overlooked tasks
Some of the more tedious administrative or organizational tasks can easily be forgotten about when you’re busy dealing with more pressing aspects of business such as inventory upkeep or paying invoices. As business slows down, it would be beneficial for you to spend some time focusing on these overlooked tasks. Reach out to customers for feedback. Organize your finances. Make updates to your website. Any aspect of your business that you’ve been putting off – now is the time to get it done.
See what competitors are doing
The extra time you have during this slowdown period can be used not only for organizational tasks, but also for competitive analysis or planning tasks. Take the time during these holiday months to look back on any industry trends that arose throughout the rest of the year and reflect on how your business can better deliver in key market areas where gaps may exist. Look into things that your competitors may be doing differently that could benefit your business. Getting to know the market landscape and competition better can help inspire new services for you to offer or new ideas to make your business stand out. Creating these kinds of adjustments will allow you to flourish once the new year begins.
Take care of yourself
Running a business can seem all-consuming. If you’re finding the stress is getting to you, the slower season could be the perfect time to give yourself the break you deserve. Practice bringing mindfulness and self-care into your daily routine to help combat the kind of fatigue that can come along with managing your own business. Listening to your mind and body and allowing yourself time to implement the care you need in your personal life can help to make your work life far less strenuous.
By Michaela Lenahan in Small Business