Don’t Let Your Slow Season Slow You Down.
Yes, everyone, their brother, their mother, and their cousin’s mother’s brother’s uncle has written about slow season marketing, but I’m going to write about it as well. Why? Because it’s important and I want your small business to grow from a little sprout to a huge oak tree. Plus over the next few weeks, my colleagues and I are going to take a deeper dive into each of the tips I give you below so you can take the next steps either on your own or with help, because, you have other things to do like growing your business.
When business is slow it can be tempting to just ride things out until the busy season starts again. But in reality, your slow season is not the time to take a break. Why? Because when you have extra time and aren’t busy is the perfect time to take the next steps towards growing your small business, including your local online marketing efforts. So on to the actionable steps:
Revamp Your Website
During your busy season, you don’t have time to think about things like, “does my website say let’s party like it’s 1999,” because the last time you revamped your website was in 1999. As a business owner, you’re running your small business, and often you’re not just running it, you’re also on the storeroom floor or in your customer’s homes and businesses and not in the office, planning your next marketing move, let alone an entire website redesign.
But during your slow time of year, when you can spend time in your actual office and in meetings with your marketing team, (even if your marketing team is your dog), you can plan anything from minor website updates to a complete rebranding that you’ll launch to bring in new customers and delight your loyal clients.
You could start by making sure your website is accessible to your customers with disabilities, or updating it to remove any old-fashioned elements that slow it down, and don’t belong on a website in this day and age.
Boost Your Social Presence
Your slow time of year is not the time to disappear. And yes, I made that rhyme on purpose because I want it to become your mantra whenever you’re having a slow month or it’s the time of year when customers just don’t “pull the trigger” and make a purchase.
The great thing these days is that for any time of year, the internet has made it easy to stay connected to your customers and to attract new ones. Plus social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more have made it easier than ever to engage people and to keep the conversation going no matter what time of year it is. And there are both free options and paid social options that mean even when business isn’t booming, you don’t have to break your budget just to get the message about your business out there in front of people like in the old days when your only options were spots on late night television, print ads, or just plain standing on the corner, in the snow, dressed as a bear or other mascot while wearing a sandwich board.
Although that last option might also go viral on social media if you do it anyway and have an employee put the video up on social media.
Stuck in a rut and not sure what to post? Here are a few great (and easy) ideas for keeping your social media pages…well… social.
Engage Your Customers with Email
Your website has a contact form, right? You did collect email addresses for people who visit your business or your website, right? Because if not, your competition definitely did. In the words of Men’s Wearhouse founder, George Zimmer, “I guarantee it.”
But don’t feel bad just because I gave you a heavy guilt trip about it. If you haven’t been collecting customer and website visitor emails, it’s not too late to start. Remember you’re revamping your website, so add a contact page, or consider a paid media campaign or a blog that people can subscribe to.
If you are collecting emails and have a database, your slow season is a great time to think about building new relationships with people who are new to your business as well as strengthening relationships with your existing customers. It’s the perfect time to start a newsletter, run a special promotion, or host a contest and email is a great tool for all those campaigns and more.
Need More Tips?
Don’t worry, like I promised way back up there at the top of this post, in the coming weeks my colleagues and I will be giving you lots of specific information on how you can take action on all 3 ways to grow your business during your slow season, and a few more as well.
The important thing to remember is not to despair when it’s that time of year when your phone doesn’t ring, or customers don’t come through your door. Don’t stay in bed and hide under the covers. Take action, revamp your website, get active on social media, and collect those customer emails and use them to stay in touch.
You might not make your slower months busier, but when business picks up it’s going to jump and that’s what makes me jump for joy too. (No, seriously, I jump a lot. Coworkers have asked me to stop).