For many businesses December is the busiest month of the year. However others, including service providers and B2B businesses can struggle during the holiday season when consumers spend their money selectivity, on presents and not much else.
Similarly, it is also common to discontinue services in December because year-end makes decisions about termination easier if customers are unsure or dissatisfied. The loss of customers leave some businesses struggling at the end of the year; however, there are several things small businesses can do to keep revenues up and customers buying this December:
Use down time wisely
The increase in your time is really an opportunity for your business to take care of all the things that are neglected or overlooked when business is booming. Staff reviews, strategic business and marketing planning are all good uses of your time and get your business ready for the coming year. Even simple things like organising the office and filing the mound of papers on your desk is a worthwhile endeavour and a good use of this time.
Additionally, this time could also be used to achieve a new qualification or earning a special licence. Regardless of the market in which a business operates, there is always room for improvement and advancement. Research which qualifications or awards are most beneficial to your business and pursue them actively. There’s no better time to invest in your business!
Running a promotion or offering a discount for December can incentivise consumers to stay and spend with you. It could be something simple such as offering a 10 per cent or even a multi sales discount; whatever it is, make sure you get the word out about it. Just because it is likely to be a slower period, doesn’t make it impossible to get new customers. People tend to look for bargains in December and January, getting the attention of these consumers can go a long way in helping revenues.
Improve your customer service
Prioritise and deepen the existing customer relationships you have. Slow times are the perfect opportunity to show your customers that their business is important to you. Follow-up transactions with a thank you card or a personal email; you could even go so far as to send a small gift and card to your clientele wishing them a good holiday season. Alternatively, keep it simple by sending out an e-newsletter, but get in touch and remind them of your business and why they chose you in the first place.
The downtime also means that you have the opportunity to respond extremely quickly to any problems or questions that arise. Show customers the benefit of staying with you by offering them the best customer service.
If you are likely to be affected by a December drop off period keep that in mind and factor it into your overall finances. Think about it from the beginning of the year and budget for it starting in the summer months. Unfortunately it’s too late to start for this holiday season, but it’s important to keep this in mind for next year, start early and get ahead of it.
The best thing to do is plan for a worst case scenario and have the finances ready to cover your business should it get that bad. Have enough set aside to get you into the new year at which point business should pick up again.
A slump in business during December is common across different industries. The best thing to do is anticipate this and plan ahead to make the best use of this time for your business and customers. Happy holidays!