The holiday season is usually a peak traffic time for businesses. However, after the holidays business can really slow down. Staying on top of your marketing and creating events that draws customers can help generate more traffic and commerce. Here are some simple tips to get the slower months of January and February moving.
First, stay on top of your social media. I connected with several businesses to ask what they do during the slow season. Three out of four said they make sure they are posting on social media. They use the slower time to update their product photography, post about upcoming events, and share their new items. Susan, who works at Harbor Blooms in Aberdeen, says that posting on Facebook does work and does draw customers into the store. Social media posting helps you maintain a relationship with your followers even if they aren’t using your services or visiting your store. In FB, you can forward plan posts and that is a great use of time during slower months.
Also, several businesses I spoke with focused on creating events to help draw people to their business.
Owner Sue of Quilt Harbor focuses on offering classes in January and February. She says this is very successful for bringing people to the store. She closes the shop for a brief holiday but reopens in early January. Having classes starting in January gets her into the swing of things and keeps the store busy.
On a similar note, Brodey, owner of Ocean Beach Roasters keeps an open mind for hosting events such as open mic, live music, and wine-dinner pairing meals. He says these events help create an awareness for their services. Hosting an event can be a great way to draw people that have never visited your business before.
Next, even though business can be slow during the months after the holidays, stay on top of your advertising. Do continue advertising locally and online. Advertisements are the reminder for the public that you are in business. One of my mentors used to say that advertising and marketing are the last items you want to cut when business is slow because these are your means for communicating to your prospects that you are in business.
Lastly, but certainly not least, the best place for engaging in business is when one is ready for business. Use these slower months to get your finances organized. Understanding your cash flow and profit and losses will help you know your own business better and be more prepared for making positive changes. These are key to marketing and growing your business.
— Mia Johnstone is a Business Advisor for the Small Business Development Center, located in Aberdeen. The SBDC offers no cost advising to small businesses. Mia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.