The summer can be a wasteland for many small businesses. Even if it’s your high-volume season, most businesses have a slow time of year. But how are you using that slow season to boost your sales and grow your business? Your slow season is the time to reevaluate your business and make changes. We can tell you the five ways you can use your slow season to transform your business.
Roger: Welcome to Local SEO Today. I’m Roger Murphy.
John: And I’m John Vuong.
Roger: And today we have Kayla Claus on the camera and in the studio looking after all our technical so Kayla, thank you very much.
John: Thank You Kayla.
Roger: Today in our segment we want to talk to small business owners, John we want to talk about well, in every…All through the accounting year. There’s different times of the year. There’s seasonal slowdowns and busier times and slower times. We happen to be going into summertime here in North America, right now and there are…For many, many businesses things to do to slow down because there’s holidays, etc. We should speak to…There are some businesses that are gonna be very busy but the idea is how to take advantage of this season.
John: Yeah, especially in Canada we have four seasons, right? And during the summer months usually July and August in Canada these are you know, summer months. You’re gonna spend time with your family, significant others and really travel and enjoy that time but as a business owner when things are slower should you actually take advantage of it with vacationing or should you really reflect and evaluate what’s going on with your business.
Roger: You can take this time and by the way this is exactly the same for you business owners that are busy in the summer because you do have a slow time most luckily in the winter so these sort of tips and tricks that we’re talking about in terms of how to use the slowdown to reevaluate with your goals in your business and strategizing, etc. Which we’re gonna talk about. This exactly fits for summer slowdowns and also for winter slow downs.
John: Yeah, so you know, right now if you’re evaluating…You’re really not focused on acquiring new customers because there’s no customers to acquire, right? So for example if you’re in the summertime and your HVAC company, heating, furnaces is definitely not what you’re after but air conditioning is, right? Roofers this is your busy time right now.
Roger: Contractors, yes. Landscaping.
John: Exterior, landscape so you know, I get it, different time, different seasons for your business but when it’s slower you know based on your industry and your seasonality what should you do as a business owner? Really reflect, evaluate how your expenses are, what your revenues like and project and you know, staff properly.
Roger: Exactly and kinda look at your…I suppose look at your numbers in terms of year-over-year. How the first part of the year has been? You can kind of look at the trends, your today. Where are you versus this day a year prior and then the idea is with this slow down to do some personal development. Do you reach out and do some networking? Let’s talk about some of the things that to take advantage of this slower time you may not be on Holly’s with the family but you’ve got this time around the office. What should we be doing?
John: Well, I think the first thing is how is everything working for you? Is it working or not working? How is your website performing? How is your marketing material? Do you have specials or deals and offers and really evaluate like are you getting leads on a consistent basis? And if not why? Where can you improve, right? Are you setting a marketing budget and what is happening with that, right? Are you doing a flyer campaign or newspaper campaign or AdWord campaign or Facebook Ads. SEO like whatever it is. Is it working and if not, why? And how can it get better?
Roger: And you want as a business owner, when you’ve got the inbound leads maybe of different products, or different services. This is a time where you can kind of…And then analyze and say, “Okay, come in for the next season when I get busier again.” I found that if I bundle this service here with this one I get more left or you just can try different ways to make clients sticky. How to keep them in and how to grow the business, how to get more revenue or take care of your clients so this is the time I guess to really be thinking about strategizing your offer.
John: And figure out who your customers are like ideal customers really because over the years you probably have set a persona and how do you market directly to them, right? Figure out who your ideal customers are.
Roger: So literally you could analyze your list or go through your sales and say listen, “ I see, I’m trading money here. This doesn’t make sense. That’s not my type of clientele.” Whatever it is. This is the time we can kind of analyze and say you know what, “I’m not. I enjoy working with this type of clientele. I can serve them much better over here this one does not make sense for me.”
John: And how do you get more of those ones that you wanna work with, right? So allocate you dollars accordingly. Figure out how they became a client and market like how they want to be marketed, right? And that could be relationship building, right? So are you networking? Are you meeting more people? Are you, you know, just out there.
Roger: To your point about meeting, what about these business improvement areas you know, they’ve got meetings and networking events if things are slow why not take advantage of getting out there. Make sure you got your pocket full of business cards and rekindle or reach out and make contact out there.
John: And if you’re in trade, is it a specific type of contractor that it gives you most lift? Go out and build that relationship. Go for coffee, lunch whatever it may be. A sporting event. It’s all about building connections and relationships so that they will continue referring you business.
John: Right? And so you can continually grow and if growth is not in the horizon and you just want status quo, it’s just making sure that you have your ideal type of client.
Roger: I mean the reality is too is you’re forever…You’re gonna be losing clients. You’ve got to find new ones because some people leave the business, etc. But every business needs to acquire just because of inflation things cost more. You gotta keep growing.
John: And even…This is also a great time to reflect on some of the processes that you have built, right? So currently what is your process on acquiring new customers, maintaining clients and your referral base and retention. Sure, right? So what systems or software or things can you do better so that you have leisure, right? And you could acquire and get them to spend a little bit more with you, right? Is there a revenue stream that you can look at, right?
Roger: Exactly. There’s a lot of things like newsletters, you may not have been newsletter today but what if you did put out a monthly newsletter of you know, to your client base with a building an email list. There’s so many things during this slower season we kind of go,”If I could start dripping on my clients to remind them that I’m here, we’re here when they need us.”
John: And this is all business related but what about your personal life, right? Work-life balance is so critical today, right?
Roger: You know, John speak to podcast because you do enjoy. I enjoy also but in terms of when you’re driving, you’re in the office or whatever; podcasts are everywhere and they actually can you know, there’s personal growth ones. What other ones have you been listening to?
John: You know, the health ones. Health is very important, and technology ones and whatever you are interested in. There’s hobbies, there’s things like I am a big Raptors fan, a basketball fan and so I’m…I do follow some of the commentaries, right? So whatever Charles Barkley says. Or TNT, ESPN whatever it may be. Whatever you’re interested in, allows you to catch up and this could be on your downtime, right? So for me you know, whatever it is, focus on getting some time back so you can actually enjoy life as well, right?
Roger: So we exercise, health, you’re eating well as you say but some of these podcasts do …You can listen to and maybe learn a few tips and tricks on maybe new marketing ideas. It might be you know, in terms of networking or just how to grow your business in terms of increasing revenue and there might be an idea of sales ideas, subsidies like there’s so many podcasts out there. You can just literally can search you know, there’s so much available for us.
John: So that’s the education piece and also there’s ways like reading a book or you know, or even like just going online or going to a live event, right? So whatever you’re interested in. This is a great time to actually improve and get better but never stop learning as well, right? So continue educating yourself because there’s always things to learn, right?
Roger: So at the end of the day really whether this is the summer slowdown for you in your type of industry watching us today or whether it’s the winter slowdown where because you’re so busy this summer it’s that time. Taking advantage and not just letting time tick away but making good use of it personally, professionally. How to grow your business? How to make sure you’re healthy because if you’re not healthy you can’t be of service to your community and can’t help your family so…
John: And you might not have to work within 10, 20, 15 hours a day during this period but that’s say half of that time to continually improve your business, right? And really take time to reflect as well and personally grow. Cause that’s what life is about, right? Enjoy what you have and live life?
Roger: Exactly, so at the end of the day, thanks for watching today. John, thank you for your time and for all business owners out there think of how to utilize any slowdowns that you can refocus and strategize for the next season of your business and how to help you know, hit your targets for the rest of your year.
John: Perfect thanks a lot, Roger.
Roger: Thank you, John. Have a good day. See you again at Local SEO Today.
John: Thank you.