How to market your business during a slow period

Slow periods. Every business has them and they can cause real worry. But just because there’s a time when your customers are less likely to do business with you, that doesn’t mean you can’t promote your business.

In fact, promoting your business when things are slow can help you smooth out the peaks and troughs in your cash flow.

In this guide we’ll look at how to promote your business during a slow period, with the aim of giving you a boost during what can be a challenging time.

Offer a discount for early payment

Smoothing out your cash flow over the course of the year is a good way to stop slow periods biting as much as they might.

So if you’re running, for example, an outdoor activity business that closes down for the winter, you could offer a discount to encourage people to book early for next summer.

That way, the cash comes in even when you’re on your winter break.

Have a sale

January is a classic slow period for all sorts of businesses – people have spent a huge amount of money before and during Christmas and are likely to be more frugal as the new year begins, especially now during Covid times.

And of course January is also a classic period for sales.

These two facts are connected.

Lowering prices during a slow period is a tried and tested way of attracting more customers during slow periods.

And sales and special offers aren’t just limited to business selling products – restaurants and bars can offer two-for-one promotions, for example.

Even builders can get in on the act – few people are likely to want to have major work carried out on their house over the Christmas period, but how about an early-bird discount for anyone who books in a major job to start in January six months early?

If you’re a web designer, you could bundle in extra services – for example buy a new site and get six month’s support free.

There are two big things to remember when having a sale/special offer.

The first is to promote it so people know about it. The best ways to do this are through email marketing campaigns, which will help reach people who already know about your business, and through paid advertising, which will help you reach people who might not know about you.

Launch a complementary product or service

If you’re running an online store that specializes in Halloween costumes, it’s unlike that anyone is going to be convinced to buy from you at Christmas even if you offer a huge discount.

But what if you started offering Christmas-related fancy dress? Or even fancy dress for stag parties and hen dos?

If you’ve got a business with a physical premise that’s seasonal, such as a beachfront café, you could consider turning the place into a “Christmas grotto” for a few weeks in winter.

Finding a complementary product or service to offer is a great way of growing the year-round potential of your business.

Web designers might want to look at learning search engine optimization (SEO), or other digital marketing techniques where a monthly fee can be charged.

Launch a competition

Giving people a chance to win something is a great way to build up your marketing list.

You can send anyone who doesn’t win the big prize a special offer or discount to encourage them to buy from you during your slow period.

And of course you can send them your regular marketing emails.

Evaluate your marketing plan

A slow period is a good time to look at your overall marketing efforts, and doing so can help you bring in more customers during slow times and peak times.

Next Steps:

A slow period can present a challenge for any business, especially during these tough and uncertain times, but by tackling it head on you can develop ways to improve your business and adapt in both the short and long term.

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