Business could always be better. Particular times are dreadful. How do you improve business while income is slow? Anxiety and negativity won’t invite commerce. You might as well make the most of your present situation, minding strategies of ongoing motivation.
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Employee Vacation Time
You’re experiencing a period where staff could be spared. Some may appreciate the offer to work less. It saves you money and relays a sentiment of flexibility and appreciation to employees. Furthermore, employees are more likely to do you a favor, such as cover an additional shift, once things begin to pick up again.
Maybe your employees have ideas about igniting sales. Take your staff on a group outing, addressing the slow period, inquiring whether they have any ideas. A number of them may appreciate you asked for their insight. You’ll have to invest money in the group outing; but, the idea generation and camaraderie afforded may be well worth it. The generous sentiment expresses your ability to stay positive during a potentially nerve-wracking period.
Shop the Competition
Use downtime to ignite the business’s strategy. Have you ever gone to your competitors’ shops, experiencing their establishments as a customer? What good ideas could you take away from them? What things could you identify you do better? Those are good things to know. Take some staff on an outing, perusing through competitors’ stores.
Improve Customer Service
Often, there are not many factors differentiating one competitor’s product/service from another. What separates good from bad business? It is the level of customer service provided. Take this time to initiate better customer service practices, achieved through hiring a consultant, going online for tips and suggestions. Have employees exercise things learned, improving the level of customer service throughout the store. Does your store have a Web page where customers can ask questions before coming in? That’s a great customer service idea! Invest time in implementing a higher level of customer service.
The notion of spending during a slow period seems illogical; but, expanding offered goods and services may drive more traffic to your establishment. Take a survey of available goods. What is selling well, hardly, and not at all? Could anything be cut or exchanged for a new offering? A little change could pique the interest of a new set of consumers or newly intrigue present ones.
Start a Hobby
Minding something other than waning foot traffic is healthy. Is there a hobby you ever wanted to start? Learning something new challenges the brain; getting the brain thinking differently may help you generate new business ideas. Sometimes it’s just a matter of patience, allowing the slow period to dissipate. Focus on a new hobby; pass the time in a wise manner.
Study Periods of Success
Go over your sales records, peering into successful periods. What was going on at that time? Was it due to a holiday season, the release of a new product, or a sale? You can’t replicate the holiday season; but, you could replicate other factors related to successful times. Hosting a sale poses a cut in initial investment; however, the return on the initial loss can be a reversal of fortunes.
It Will Be Okay
It’s one of those maxims, which are incredibly annoying to hear, yet makes sense in retrospect. This too shall pass; it will be okay. Your time is much better invested in attempting to do something positive for your business rather than worry about things beyond your control. The immediate sales are beyond your control; but, thinking positively is within your control. Take a look at the big picture; isn’t it pleasing to have issues related to your own business? You have your own business. That’s a pipedream of many; you’re there. That’s a positive.
About the Author: Valerie Cecil is a research coordinator, marketing specialist and writer for Outbounding.com. Her work allows her to investigate many topics, ranging from online consumer relations to effective communication in the workplace. When she is not working, she enjoys kayaking, watercolor, and scouting out the cutest Retail Packaging Gift Boxes she can find.