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9 Things to Do When Business Is Slow

There are more than 30 million small businesses in the US alone. Only half of the founded businesses survive five years or more. Every year one in twelve businesses closes. With the statistics being as they are, it’s no surprise that small business owners start to panic as soon as they notice business is slower than usual. However, panic is never a good state for making decisions, especially not when it comes to business.

That is why you need to calm down, take a deep breath, look for the causes of the hold-up first, and then consider your next moves. In this article, we’ll try to guide you through this process.

Find out why business is slow

There can be a number of reasons why your sales department isn’t making enough profit, and some of them are beyond your control. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Seasonal trends will inevitably affect sales, and that largely depends on what type of business you’re running. If you are selling swimwear, for example, you shouldn’t expect a lot of traffic during the fall and winter. However, you can predict the slow periods and prepare special offers to help your sales department make progress.
  2. Analyze your Customer relationship management (CRM) and the performance of your sales team. Make sure all the contacts are segmented properly and all the data is included. Also, check how many deals your employees close vs. how many they lose.
  3. Measure the results of your marketing campaigns.

Check for “glitches”

Even the tiniest mistake in the customer journey can cause your customers to look elsewhere the next time. So, go through everything, starting from the online store to the physical one to see if you can pinpoint the moment when the client became the ex-client. Analyze everything from scratch and work with your team to come up with better solutions.

Work with the marketing team to generate leads

An effective marketing campaign can only be achieved through the cooperation of both the sales and the marketing team. This way, the marketing team will be able to document the gaps in the customer’s journey to completing a purchase.

Here are some things you can do in the marketing department to get back on track:

  1. Generate new content that will establish your business as an authority and relevant source for the topics in your industry.
  2. Start a social media campaign – organize contests and give rewards, use a fresh approach, create a sense of urgency with ephemeral content, etc.
  3. Perhaps you might need to do market research once again (we suppose you did it at the very beginning of your work). Based on that, you can build a new marketing strategy.

Give your business a good polish

Change is good. Change means something is happening, and people will want to know what. Here are some novelties you can introduce:

  1. Spruce up your place of business and let the customers know the space is renewed by throwing an opening ceremony.
  2. Improve the look of your website and your e-commerce store. Go beyond the appearance and optimize the website for easier navigation.
  3. Come up with a new product or service.

It’s understandable that you will shy away from all these things, especially in this difficult period for your business, because they require investing additional money. Still, if you do an assessment of the potential gains and establish that the investment will pay off, you should definitely find the means to do it.

There are plenty of modern lending solutions that can provide you with a loan while ensuring the repayment plans match your cashflow. Cubefunder, a business offering alternative lending solutions to small businesses, even points out on their website the most common purposes they provide loans for. The listed reasons for borrowing vary from funding marketing campaigns to easing cashflow and everything in between.

Improve the representation of your products

If most of your sales come from your online store, you need to make sure that potential customers will be looking at realistic, but also appealing product photos. The products need to be photographed against a contrasting background and from different angles to provide the viewer with enough information visually. This covers the realistic side, but what about aesthetics?

This part is covered with lifestyle photographs that evoke emotions and cause people to buy based on their feelings. For this, you will need a good photographer who knows how to evoke desirability for a product.

Address your past clients

Reaching out to old customers might seem like an aggressive move, but it’s important to note that, in some cases, they didn’t stop buying your products or hiring your employees because they don’t like the service. Sometimes they just forget. Remind them that you’re still available for work by sending personalized emails or giving them a friendly phone call. Just remember not to be too intrusive.

Find a partner

Depending on your line of work, you can team up with other businesses or professionals to present a comprehensive offer to the customers and clients. This way, you can even split some of the costs of marketing campaigns.

For example, if you design gowns, you can find a shoe designer and enter the market together. A good example of this, on a larger scale, is something the “big players” such as H&M do by hiring famous designers to design unique collections for them. If you’re an independent professional, such as a content writer, you can team up with a graphic designer, and offer your work to websites and media.

Get your name out there

You represent your business, and so do your employees. If you are in the media, among the people or with the professionals from your branch, your business will become more visible. Here are some suggestions for being “out there”:

  1. Do some pro bono work for a local non-profit organization, volunteer for a good cause, give to charity, or offer to teach a workshop at a local community center or school. Not only will you put yourself in the eye of the public, but you will also improve your image.
  2. Go to industry events where you can meet influential people from your branch.
  3. Use your social media profile to teach and provide value to your audience, interact with them, and network with various people or businesses from your niche.

Never stop learning

Finally, you can never get enough knowledge, particularly when you’re trying to stay afloat or keep your business growing. Likewise, professional development is imperative for all the employees, especially the sales department. It keeps all of you more engaged and motivated. It gives you an idea of where the industry is headed and how to keep up with the changes. In short, it helps you grow both individually and as a team. The progress can be achieved through conferences, seminars, courses, certifications, reading books and industry blogs, and consulting more experienced colleagues.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

By Sheena Jordan
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