10 Ways To Keep Your Business Afloat

business-afloat

How does your business survive when sales are slow? That is the question we asked dozens of entrepreneurs. Their responses prove that there are several ways to get through challenging economic times, so don’t give up on your business.

Here are 10 tactics small business owners use to keep their businesses afloat during slow seasons…

1. Cement every client relationship. Conducting one-on-one meetings with every customer to ensure complete customer satisfaction and to renegotiate temporary rates to keep the business where necessary has been a key strategic move during this season. -Ruben Estrada

2. Focus on advertising. My best tip for keeping business afloat during slow season is to focus on advertising, and actually invest and spend on advertising. In other words, take a counter-intuitive approach to advertising. Why? Because in the summer season for instance, advertising is a lot less competitive as most businesses (with the exception of travel) spend less during the summer. You can buy advertising cheaper, and you can also make your business stand out because of less competition. Consumers don’t just “shut off” in the summer, and in fact most consumers are predisposed to spend more money in the summer months, which can make advertising pay off. -Mike Sprouse

3. Get active. When things are slow, I have a number of actions to take to get myself in action again. You cant rely just on online sales. I participate in craft fairs and flea markets and will often set up a sale to bring in new customers. I am also approaching stores to talk to the owners or managers about wholesaling my work. Finally, I do custom work. I have done a few pieces for people in my building and that leads to others who want jewelry made just for them. -Jacqueline Gikow

4. Recharge your business. As my company experiences slower moments, we leverage those opportunities to concentrate on ways to recharge and grow the business. So often, we are so busy serving clients that we often do not take sufficient time to organize ourselves, come up with new ideas and processes, and to shine the light on our own company. Thus, we change the emphasis at those times to truly working on our business, instead of solely in it, which recharges, educates, trains, and connects us. Further, as a marketing company, we brainstorm and work on our own marketing initiatives, as they seem to fall by the wayside in favor of our clients’ marketing. -Anahid Lisa Derbabian

5. Produce more sales. This is the highest and best use of my time as without new sales the business will certainly fail. Spending two full days per week in the field with the sales team is an absolute must for the remainder of this year to ensure our revenues. Ruben Estrada, CEO of Estrada Strategies, a CEO coaching firm based in Southern California. -Ruben Estrada

6. Take your business online. We shut down the brick and mortar side of the business to preserve cash and save the business and operated solely online, leveraging top organic search placement in the search engines, in addition to paid search strategies. Everything online is trackable and measurable–there’s no fat. The online marketing emphasis helped us survive, preserve cash and reach a national client base. -Toby Danylchuk

7. Do “good” work.  When things are slow in my business, I find myself taking on more pro-bono work and volunteering. It not only allows me to use my time and talents for the greater good, but it also provides a platform me to try out new ideas or tools that have been wanting to implement. I volunteer because I am passionate about the cause, but it generally leads to more business opportunities as well! -Jillian Koeneman

8. Adapt to the season. Some seasons are slower than others but if you keep your business relevant to what’s currently going on, your customers will appreciate the sentiment. Offer deals, contests, and giveaways pertaining to the holidays. Another appreciative notion your customers will take positive notice of is giving a nice ‘thank you shout out’ to all of your loyal supporters in your newsletter. Around the winter months remind your customers they are all priceless presents to your company. -Deborah Sweeney

9. Improve efficiency. We’ve always tried to make sure that we keep on improving the efficiency of our operation. When we say we make our operation more efficient, it means we try to scale well when business grows. When we first began, our focus was obviously to grow the sales / revenue. However, as we grew, we made sure that our revenue / employee ratio continued to increase instead of decrease. -Reyna Ramli

10. Manage the bottom line. Cutting out all luxury expenses and managing the numbers month-by-month to maintain profitability and positive cash flow has been the most difficult thing to do. We get comfortable justifying many expenses in our business that are not operational critical and can be either completely eliminated, differed for a future date or cut back. -Ruben Estrada

Help your business survive challenging economic times by putting the strategies above to work for you.

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