Sometimes business is slow. Depending on your type of business, there could be downtime as the end of the year approaches. Your customers and clients prepare for family gatherings, shop for gifts and take vacations. Downtime doesn’t have to be bad for business though. If you plan for slow periods, then you can use them to your advantage for things like planning and forecasting, strengthening relationships with customers, getting organized and evaluating feedback.
Here are 5 ways to maximize your time when things are slow and grow your bottom line in the process.
Check in with customers.
You could probably grow your business just by getting in touch with current customers and asking if there’s anything they need from you. In the banking business, life changes for customers mean new savings accounts, college funds and loans. Use an existing customer database or create one to keep in touch by email or a newsletter. You can also do things like send customers a card on their birthday and ask them to refer a friend if they’re happy with your service.
Get client feedback.
This goes hand in hand with checking in with your customers. Find out if your clients are happy with your services, what they like most about your business and whether there’s anything they wish you offered. This will provide some valuable feedback about what you’re doing well and what you could be doing to retain them and attract new customers.
Get organized and look at the big picture.
All businesses can benefit from some time spent on organization and planning. No matter how hard you try, it’s difficult to focus on these things during day-to-day operations. Are there processes you can streamline? What tasks take up the most of your time? Where would you like to see your business in one year or five years? What do you need to accomplish to get there? Creating a plan and thinking things through can go a long way toward future success.
Conduct an online audit.
With so much information on the Internet and social media these days, it can be overwhelming to keep track of what’s out there about your company. It’s always a good idea to Google your name periodically and see what comes up. Maybe your website or social media profiles need updating, or there’s a customer complaint floating around out there that needs your attention.
Tell the media about yourself.
Local newspapers, magazines and TV and radio stations are always looking for interesting stories to cover. Send them an email or write a press release about an aspect of your business that makes you unique. Is there a service you offer that no one else does? Do you have an employee who’s won an award or accomplished something notable? Your effort could result in free advertising and bring in customers who read the story.
Not on social media? Have a page but you haven’t been able to update? More than ever consumers are looking to social media for business information such as contact info, hours, or a website; they are posting reviews – good and bad – make sure you are following up on all of them and they are looking for ideas. Use this time to think how social media can boost your brand, attract new customers, reward followers or show how your product can provide a solution for them.
MidSouth Bank offers several business banking services that can help increase sales, decrease costs and improve cash flow. Check us out online at MidSouthBank.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for tips, alerts, and community outreach.