Not all businesses are busy all year round. Most businesses run in cycles with highs and lows. A seasonal business is particularly affected by this. If your business involves selling holiday decorations, holiday packages, winter clothing and things like that, you will know what I am talking about. No one is going to buy their Christmas decorations in January or their winter clothes in April.
You know this and are prepared. Low season for you is when you can take a holiday and do some cleaning, spring or otherwise. You need a holiday and cleaning up is always a good idea. But what else can you do? Sitting around dealing with the few inquiries that do come in is fine, but why not try and use this time more productively? Productively in a way that will mean profitably. Here’s a list of things you can do during the low seasons
- First of all, you can learn. Read books related to your business. Attend classes, seminars, and workshops. No matter how expert you may be in your field, something new will have developed in the last 6 months. Learn what has been happening and how they affect your business and how you can use these developments to your advantage.
- Use these seminars and workshops to network and build contacts. They will always be useful.
- Visit your competitors’ shops and websites. Look at what they are doing and see if there is anything you can adapt to your use. Buy a few of their products and use them. How do they compare with yours?
- Talk to people, visit marketing sites and read magazines. Are there any new products in the market that could be of interest to your business? Any new applications for what you already deal in that never occurred to you? Why not look at altogether new business opportunities?
- If you need to upgrade your computer, systems or anything that could affect the workflow, this is the time to do it. Disruption will be minimal.
- Sit back and look at what you have been doing since you started your business. I’m not talking about analyzing your mistakes and success. That is an ongoing activity. But what about things you thought of doing but never got around to? Things you did but now wish you had done differently? Dust off these old ideas and see if they are relevant today. You will be surprised at how often an old idea, married to subsequent experience, will turn out to be a winner.
- Dream. The best ideas come from them. 99% of dreams may not be translatable into reality, but the 1% that remains is often the next big thing. Remember a man who said, some years ago “I have a dream”?
You probably do all these things, to some extent, all the time. But the slow business season is when you can give these important aspects of your business life the time and attention they deserve and do not get when you are busy running your company 16 hours a day. Something good always comes of it and even in the off chance it doesn’t you will have learned a lot, relaxed and cleared the cobwebs from your mind. And that’s always a good thing.