Many business hit their busy stretch during the summer months. For a some industries however, things tend to slow down in the summer. This doesn’t mean you get to slow down though. There are things that can be done during quieter periods, whether it be summer or some other time of the year, that can help you stay on top of the game.
Plan for the Holiday Season
Most retail businesses see a huge surge in sales during the fall months with the holiday season approaching. The frenzy begins on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) and continues until the end of December. During the summer months, start planning Black Friday promotions as well as those for Small Business Saturday. Do some research and see what your customers are going to be shopping for this year. Consider targeted promotions for regulars, and make certain your inventory is where it needs to be. Slower periods are when business owners can attend trade events and find new products to sell. If you are starting a business and have something that could interested holiday shoppers, start marketing toward that end well in advance.
Spend Some Time on Training
Work on training staff during this time when things are on the slow side. Send employees to conferences or have someone come in during lunch. This can be a refresher on old skills, training for new skills, or motivational in nature.
The show must go on, but happy staff makes for productive staff. Make sure everyone, including yourself, gets their vacation time. This serves two purposes really. Not only do you and the staff get a much needed break, but attention can be paid to cross-training. This is the time to see which positions need to be trained to do, in case of an emergency, and potential issues with fraud or negligent work will come to light.
Take a Risk
If you are considering launching a new product or menu item, this could be a good time to try it out on a temporary basis. If you get great reception you know to carry it on throughout the year. If it bombs, you didn’t spend too much trying it, and it won’t be hard to move along without it.
Whatever you do, don’t stop. Keep the momentum. Do not consider this a time to sit on your haunches and let things glide until business kicks up again. Make the best of the down time so that your business can grow.
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