Every business experiences quiet times. But it’s how you grasp a lull in customers and turn it to your advantage that counts. And we’re not just talking tidying the store!
You don’t have to give away your margin to shift your quiet hours into a faster gear. Here are eight smart ways in which you can turn a quiet time into a WOW time for your business.
Use quiet time to plan your next marketing campaign. Ask your staff for their ideas; they will appreciate being able to contribute to the business’s success – especially if you reward them for ideas that boost sales.
Get out and about
Networking is the best way to make your business known in the community. You’ll be amazed at how many opportunities and new ideas will come your way once you raise your personal presence. All it takes is a few moments to drop into other local businesses and introduce yourself.
Spend time with your team
Take time to chat with your team and bring them up to date with your plans. Share your ambitions and challenges. You might be surprised to find that they have been waiting for the chance to contribute their fresh ideas and solutions.
Dream a little
Blue-sky thinking isn’t just a clever marketing phrase. Take some time to reflect on your business. Are you too distracted by the day-to-day activities? Go for a walk or do something out of the ordinary, like spending time in the local park or gym. Putting yourself in new surroundings is proven to stimulate fresh thinking and you may see your business challenges in a new light.
Learn something new
Make valuable use of quiet times to expand your professional knowledge. Do something as simple as reading a magazine article or insightful blog. Watch that webinar that you saved for this very moment. Or register for an evening class on a topic that will expand your thinking.
Walk like a customer
Take time to walk around outside and inside your store. Try to view your business as if you’re seeing it for the first time. What do you see? And what should you see? Perhaps there are posters that are out of date. Maybe your best offers are obstructed by something and could be better highlighted. Take the opportunity to whip things into shape.
Are you collecting customer feedback on your store and service? There are now numerous apps that make it easy to design your own questionnaire for customers. Display the survey on an iPad within the store and invite customers to tap in the answers by themselves, so it won’t distract your team from sales. You can also send it out to your customer database in return for entry into a prize draw.
Thank your staff
Use your quiet times to thank and reward staff that have been particularly good at upselling, cross selling and providing excellent service. Ensure the rest of the team knows why you’ve rewarded your top performers. Introduce regular competitions and challenges to motivate your staff and boost sales.
Even if your business is never quiet, it pays to take time out to reflect on your business, what’s working and what’s not. Need inspiration? Get more marketing and small business tips from the experts at LDN.