Yes, there is a balance between running a business and enjoying the holiday season but for many small business owners right now, things are slower than desired. In a continuance from yesterday’s post, here are some small business challenges and things you can do to help your business right now.
1. Stop to breathe. It is second nature to panic when the phone isn’t ringing but if you start randomly discounting your products and services, you could potentially do more harm than good. When you have a quick fire sale, you decrease the long term value of your brand and you attract price-sensitive clients. Have faith that if you stay the course, you will be better in the long run.
2. Look to your current clients. Unless you are in retail where advertising can bring lots of new people in right before the holidays, it is difficult at the very end of the year to stir up a bunch of new clients. Cull through your database and see what products or services you can create for your best clients. Create some smaller targeted mailings or pick up the phone and call and chat with your clients. We know it takes more time and effort to cultivate a new client than to take care of an existing one.
3. Focus on the 1st quarter. Start thinking about what you can do to generate revenue in January, February and March. Talk to local charities or neighboring businesses to see if you can drum up an event or sales promotion. Talk to your current clients to see what they are needing. You must always be thinking about how to keep the sales funnel full.
4. Remember that marketing is always better than discounting. Think about it. Wouldn’t you rather be slower and have time to come up with some aggressive or even small and targeted marketing and promotional campaigns? Or would you rather be super busy at an unfortunate discounted rate? You only have so much energy right now so if you are slower than you like, look at it as an opportunity to attract some less price-sensitive clients and build your brand.
5. Enjoy your family and the holidays. Focus each day on doing something to grow your business and then go and enjoy your family. If you have kids, they are only young once.