Business seems to drop, slow or even stop during the winter months. As tourist traffic slows or stops during the winter months so does the incomes of many local business owners. The first step in overcoming this problem begins in your brain (don't they all?)
To begin with, don't see these slow months as a dead time. See them for what they are , a time to build customer relationships and prepare for the busy season to come. There are a few things that you might try to cushion the slow season. Below you'll find a list of strategies that just might work for your business.
1. Hold a class or Informational seminar-- Invite all your customers to come in for an educational session. Make sure that you have some nice deals for them on related items so that they can spend some money with you. It may well be worth considering doing the class for free. (gasp!) Some of the types of things that come to mind are Fishing, crafts, investments, flower arranging, interior decorating, travel tips, Information about certain surgerys, back pain relief, parenting, writing workshops and on and on??
2. Work up package deals that will be available during the "on" season but sell them now=get money now. Remember that money now is always worth more than money later! Here's a great idea for a resort. Pay us $250 now and we'll give you a two night stay and a boat rental (with 4 hours guided) and a picnic lunch. Just make your reservation any time in the year 2004. I've seen this exact package sell over 20%! If you offered this to 1000 prospects and sold 200 You would gross $50,000! Could $50,000 now tide you over for a few weeks?
3. Tune up your advertising. Start using benefits and offers to get up to 500% more return on investment from your advertising. I'll show you how for free if you call me. 870 213-7032
4. Learn to use word of mouth to up your sales. Call me.
5. Send press releases
6. Run a contest
7. Distribute Coupons
8. Use give aways to generate traffic and be prepared to sell. (give aways could consist of informational materials)
9. Pre-promote an "On" season special or event (ok this one is not going to get you winter dollars but it will be a productive use of your time
10. Don't forget the locals! Find something they'd like to invest in. This is the Thursday before Valentine's Day and I have not seen any resorts or hotels doing the "Romantic Getaway" deal
There are dozens of tips and strategies that will increase your winter dollars. You just have to implement some of them to profit. OH! Want to know an awesome secret? You can do the above all year long! Cool. Very cool.
John M. Satterfield
Marketing Coordinator Long Term Care White River Health System and Small Business Consultant
About The Author
John M. Satterfield C.Ht is a certified hypnotherapist and a corporate marketing director. He lives in Mountain View Arkansas wife is Mary Gale, Cocker Spaniel is Sir Lancelot