How To Increase Business During Slow Seasons

By Chris Keenan on October 12, 2017

Slow seasons can be difficult for both old and new businesses, no matter how many years you have been in business.

Less money coming in is always something to become nervous about regardless of how many times you have ridden out the storm of decreased profit. While you may have survived it before, you could be missing out on ways to keep the money more consistent.

Now, sometimes, changes do mean an increase in overhead, but in reality, you may not even need to spend more much to be making more and filling in those gaps based on your business–and potential seasonality of it.

Below are quick suggestions, if you are able to swing it, on how to keep customers calling and walking into your business even when the season is done:

Increase your product or service offerings

Sometimes, increasing your offerings to fit the seasons is a first step you can take to ensure customers are interested in your company well past the normal slow season.

An example could be if you are a small business shoe boutique, but you tend to specialize in only caring shoes that work in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Why not start offering some more clunky, but stylish, boots for winter? The more people know you offer this, then you can fill in the gaps during the slow season.

Stepping out of your element seems like it would not make sense, but as long as the increased offerings still jive with your business plan, then it could help out with slow seasons and an increase in sales.

Look at where you can trim back products or services that do not serve you

Let’s look at the flip side of once you increase offerings in spots that could bring in pest control customers–trimming down on overhead that is weighing you down.

Not all overhead can be useful and you need to look at your numbers to see where you can trim back and replace with an item that can be more profitable during the busy and slow seasons.

If you are a pest control company, perhaps no one ever calls for Lady Bug extermination, but a lot of people call for Gypsy Moth’s–which you do not offer. You may want to consider eliminating one offering in replacement of the other, especially if one can help you through the slow season as well.

Saying goodbye to certain products and services that do not bring you money in any season can allow you to replace with a product or service better suited to help you ride out the slow times.

Work on pricing and your geographic location of service

If you are a brick-and-mortar store, then this may not apply, but for companies that do have a little freedom to move around, this could help you out greatly.

Businesses that are located within a very seasonal location such as beach towns and seasonal cities, like Sleepy Hollow, NY or Salem Massachusetts, who see a bigger influx during certain months, can benefit from a change in location or pricing.

An example could be simply renting a shop close to the beach during the busy season and then scaling back to just offering the same jewelry in an online format but at a lowered price and without being set in a certain location.

Food trucks owned by small business owners can also benefit from a change in pricing or location. Many food truck vendors use college’s as their home during the school year, but when students go away, what happens? Well, options could be if you can afford it to buy another permit and park elsewhere, or continue your residency but work on your pricing to keep people interested even once students are gone.

These are just quick ideas on how to adjust your numbers and marketing for your business to entice customers during slow seasons. You know your company best, so finding the right way to make positive changes for profit is a very personal approach to every small business.