Regardless of what industry you are in, there are bound to be times where business slows down to a crawl. Instead of using that time to wish business was booming consider that are many different productive things you can do to get your business ready for busy season again. To start, sit down and re-evaluate the goals of your business.
Take a piece of paper and use the SMART method of goal evaluation. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound. Fit every one of the company goals into this SMART model and you will begin to see where you are doing well and what goals you need to clarify or improve on.
Here’s how the model works:
Specific: Goals should be simplistically written and clearly defined what you are going to do.
Measurable: Goals should be measurable so that you have tangible evidence that you have accomplished the goal.
Attainable: Your goals should be achievable but stretch you slightly, so you feel challenged. In this area, you must have the appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities to achieve the goal.
Results-focused: Should be measurable outcomes, not activities leading up to the result.
Time-bound: All goals should be linked to a timeframe that creates a applied sense of urgency.
Use this method for each goal you want to achieve in your business. While it does seem cumbersome to write out your goals in this fashion, it depicts a clear and defined pathway to take you towards producing results. Click here to see an example worksheet to help guide you through the process.
Build Customer Relationships
Another productive way to spend slow time is by building stronger customer relationships. Perhaps that may be calling customers to ensure they are happy with your product. Or even better, ask the customer what they wish was included with your product, or wonderful ways they are pairing your product with another one. This can give you very valuable insight into the minds of your consumers, and more importantly may give you innovative ideas on how to better your product.
Another way to increase your customer relationships is by creating a loyalty program. Some businesses especially in the food industry use punch cards for this method. Others use exclusive discounts for select customers and give buyers incentives for referring others. If your business does decide to utilize this method, consider investing some money into a quality Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program. Having a program that can easily keep track of all your customer information will be essential for growing your business once slow season subsides.
Perhaps if the answer for how to transform your business isn’t staring at you right in the face. If that’s the case, conduct a S.W.O.T. Analysis on your business. In this exercise, write down all the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats on a piece of paper. Next, divide up the strengths into two groups: (1) those that will help utilize the numerous opportunities and (2) those that mitigate threats. Then, break up your weaknesses into those that either help avoid potential threats or could potentially open opportunities by eliminating them. The S.W.O.T. Analysis visual representation can help shed light on the priorities your business needs to take immediately to maximize efficiency.
Utilize Your Time Wisely
While it’s tempting to take the time this time to slow down yourself, it’s very easy to see that there’s a lot of work to be done! Just because the normal work routine is not the same does not mean that there isn’t anything productive around the office that you can be doing. Having the ability to grow your business during times when productivity is low will give the company the ability to truly shine when the ‘busy season’ comes back around.