In our previous blog post, we discussed how your small business can boost sales and maintain customer engagement during a slow period or during an off season. During the traditional holiday season, most small businesses do experience minor upswings and downswings in sales and the majority of retailers experience a strong increase in business.
Experiment With A New Marketing Plan
Not every small business experiences drastic shifts like the ones that depend on certain seasonal weather conditions or provide niche products or services that are only popular during certain periods of the year. Luckily, the entrepreneurs and investors behind these businesses usually understand this dynamic beforehand and design their businesses plans to compensate. However, as we previously discussed, that doesn’t mean that your seasonal small business should be ignored or even shuttered during your off season. In fact, it’s the perfect time to experiment with a new marketing plan or strategy or try out a new social media service!
A Seasonal Advantage
The pros and cons of owning and operating a seasonal business are pretty clear. In most cases, a seasonal business can predict that one period of time will be considerably busier than another and must hope that the revenue generated during the “on” season will be sufficient to keep the business viable through the “off” season. Yet seasonal businesses do experience one distinct advantage over traditional businesses. With a predictable off season, seasonal businesses can count on their off season to take a “breather” and make any necessary changes in anticipation of the next busy season. This means that your seasonal small business has a distinct advantage when it comes to adopting a new marketing plan or strategy – you can try a new marketing strategy, test it out on a limited basis, and discard it if necessary.
Exclusive Events And Temporary Sales
In our previous blog post, we discussed using your small business to organize local events, parties, or special “exclusive” events and temporary sales during your off season. Although these events are likely to be sparsely attended and may not be profitable, they provide excellent opportunities to reconnect with your local community and generate positive buzz for your business. Another advantage of hosting these events is the opportunity they provide to test the effectiveness of a new marketing channel, strategy, or branding initiative. Even if the audience is extremely limited, you will likely have the opportunity to poll attendees personally and informally gauge its effectiveness.
Don’t Dilute or Damage Your Brand
While an off season provides a great opportunity to try something new, it’s important that you don’t dilute or damage your brand in the process. Every marketing plan and initiative that your small business implements should be an extension of your brand and adhere to the promises you’ve made to your customers through your branding. Even if you restrict your radically new marketing plan to a limited local market, and even if you abandon it before the start of your busier season, traces of it may still exist for quite some time and Internet postings can be preserved forever by search engines such as Google. Even if your radical new marketing plan is effective and is positively received, if it conflicts or damages your existing brand then it will ultimately do more harm than good to your business, especially if you disregard it and return to your existing marketing plan. If you are testing out a new marketing channel, such as a new social media platform or service, also be sure that you remove the account or explicitly note that your account with the service is no longer actively maintained.