The cash register receipts are low and the customers are slow in coming. What do you do? Increasing revenue and protecting your cash flow will take some creativity, time and quick action in order to not get left behind by your competitors. During dry spells and downturns you need to evaluate where you are at, how you are doing and what more can be done. Asking and answering the right questions will help you keep your business afloat and growing. Here are some ideas for making what seems to be a dreaded time into a learning opportunity.
Seven Tips For Staying In Business During Dry Spells
1. Make the most of present customers, get repeat purchases through incentives, discounts for referrals – they say 80% of your business will come from 20% of your customers.
2. When trying to penetrate the marketplace with little money go places where your competitors will not go, i.e. try smaller venues. For example if you want to get your sauce on the supermarket shelves, begin with local corner stores, trade shows, fairs and festivals. Consider partnering with chefs and placing it one the menus or tables of restaurants.
3. Examine your process, prices, and look, then ask how can I make this better? What is one thing you could add that would really impress your customers?
4. Re focus- often times entrepreneurs will go from one product to 50 products to make the sales, the problem with this is nothing stands out, it requires more time, money and energy to market so many products and none is given proper attention. Trying focusing on the highest sellers and cutting back on the amount of service offerings or product lines.
5. Look at your current expenses and see where there are leaks in spending, can you cut back on some items, call your vendors and ask about suggestions on cutting expenses. They want to keep your business and will help you to continue to pay your bills and maintain a good relationship.
6. Do not throw away the idea of strategic planning it’s not only for the big businesses. Get together mentors, people who have a variety of skills and different opinions and ask questions, get ideas, make it easy for them to participate by keeping the questions brief and making the time flexible. As part of this strategic planning, survey your customers ask them what improvements they want to see; what they like most and do not be afraid that you will not be able to meet the request. This exercise may give you a whole new product line or additional services for your customers thus increasing your bottom line.
7. Go on a vacation – when you are in the midst of the busyness of work, selling, planning and moving forward, it is easy to forget the principle of rest.