When you own your own business it’s inevitable that you will at some point experience a slump or decline in sales.
Some retailers experience this phenomenon in January. Once the holidays are over, customers may try to reduce their spending as a result of their overspending before Christmas. Or, if you run an online business, you might see a slump in the summer when no one is cooped up inside on their computers and smartphones.
No matter when it happens, there are ways to increase your sales despite a slump. Here are 12 easy ideas to try.
1. Create a Special Sale
Instead of only holding holiday sales, create other sales events to increase interest and sales activity.
Is one of your long time employees having a birthday? If so, you could use it to create a one-of-a-kind sales event and hold a “50th Birthday Party Sale” for example. Or, are you, as the boss, going to be gone? You could collaborate with your employees and have a “While the Boss is Away Sale”.
Consider the decline in sales activity to be your ticket to creativity. Engage your staff to help you think outside the box and come up with different ideas and reasons to have a sales event that people might find interesting. Having a special sale can be a fun and easy way to increase sales when they are down.
2. Increase Your Advertising
During a sales slump you might think it would be the wisest move to try to cut expenses and save money to counter the lower amount of sales. That may be true of many of your other expenses, but advertising isn’t necessarily one of them. In fact, a slump is the time to run new ads to generate interest and increase sales.
Use Facebook and other social media sites to advertise. Run a newspaper ad. Create a webpage or revamp the one you already have and include advertisements for the products and services you sell. Send email newsletters and also paper ones to your customers who do not have email. Start a blog and provide tips as well as advertise your products. Again, you can use the decrease in sales activity to you grow your business and increase sales.
3. Hold a Class
A great sales-boosting activity you could add to your annual calendar of events is to hold a class or demonstration of a product or service your business offers. If the decrease in sales appears to be a regular occurrence at this time of year, plan ahead and advertise the class early. Create a sign-up sheet and offer snacks or lunch if it will be an all-day affair. Then, add an extra incentive of a one-time sale on the products or services you used during the class.
Is your store a virtual one? If so, hold a web tutorial instead. These methods can increase your sales during a slow period and help you make up for the loss of sales in other areas.
4. Play Off Other Community Events
Another way to increase your sales during a slow period is to play off other events in your community.
For instance, each spring my small town has a home and garden show where vendors come to market products from mowers to outdoor furniture to spas and more. They have a few of their products with them, of course, and may demonstrate others during the event. You could have a booth during such an event but you could also hold your own event at the same time.
Advertise your own sale so when customers travel from a distance to attend one event in your town or city they have the opportunity to come to your store as well.
5. Have a BOGO
Rather than having a sale where you advertise a percentage off certain products, make it a buy one, get one at so-much-off type of sale. Instead of buying only one item, they have to get two in order to get the sale price. This increases your sales overall and can help toward your goal of ending a sales slump.
6. Make Shipping Free
Have you ever put off buying something yourself until it went on sale or the shipping was free? The chances are if you are anything like me and many other people out there, you have. So why not allow your customers the same opportunity from your business? Lower shipping costs or offer them free for a short length of time. Doing this type of campaign could generate just the right amount of extra cash flow your business needs during a slow period.
7. Examine Pricing
When was the last time you had a price increase? From time to time you must re-examine your pricing structure in order to keep up with increases in your overall business expenses. A good time to go over your pricing and make changes is right after your fiscal year or calendar year ends.
8. Change Displays
Sometimes you can generate renewed interest in what you sell by changing your displays. You should be updating displays on a regular basis anyway, such as monthly. But when you experience a busy period it is also an easy task to forget about or lose track of. Examine your displays and take down old items, dust the shelves, and put up something new and fresh. Sometimes items you have carried for quite some time will sell fast if you feature them in a display and renew interest.
If your business is purely online, try taking new picture of products, or updating your webpage design to draw new interest.
9. Have a Sidewalk Sale
When the weather is nice it is a fantastic time to have an outside event. Whenever people see a sales event happening outside they are naturally drawn to go see what the buzz is about. They can’t help themselves. Take advantage of the sunshine and your customer’s curiosity and hold a sunshine and sidewalk sale to increase sales when they are low.
10. Introduce a New Product
During a slump you could generate additional interest and sales by introducing a new product or service your company offers. List it in newsletters and emails. Post pictures on social media and make it front and center on your website. Putting a new product out there can draw the attention of your customers and add to your sales and bottom line.
11. Up Your Energy Level
It can be depressing when sales drop. Don’t let yourself get into a slump too just because business has slowed down. Do something energizing for yourself. Listen to fun music, go to work early, wear a favorite outfit, or re-organize your office. Any of these tactics can boost your energy level and that can be contagious. Go ahead and let it spread to your other staff.
The point is to do whatever makes you feel energized or renewed. Once you feel your energy level increase you will be able to get past the sales slump blues and create some new ideas to increase sales.
12. Do What You Have Put Off
Do you have a “someday” list of activities you want or need to do? Nearly everyone does. Use a slump to tackle projects you have always meant to do but haven’t had time to do. Some of them can even help you to increase sales and productivity.
It can be scary when you own your own business and your sales drop off. However, you can use the time to your advantage by employing these easy ways to increase sales during a slump.