Recovering a business after holidays is an arduous task. Every year, businesses all around the world spend a considerable amount to boost their sales during the holiday season. However, they face different challenges once the holiday season is over. The Halloween season rolls into Thanksgiving, Christmas, and then New Year’s without anyone realizing it.
Before the onset of the holiday season, businesses often drain their resources to maximize their sales. However, once the festive season is over, a slow period dawns upon companies. Marketing is all about managing the slow periods well and then maximizing the profits when the traffic increases.
However, the problem lies in the fact that these “slow” periods last during most of the year. With a large chunk of their marketing funds depleted, businesses are left with limited options of making a recovery post-holiday.
As you say goodbye to the year 2019 and get ready for 2020, you cannot repeat the mistakes you made during the year. It is essential to analyze the slow period, assess the trends during this period, and take measures to mitigate your losses.
It is imperative to organize yourself before the year comes to an end. Your sales and employees are affected the most during the slowdown period. In addition to ensuring the two factors are not affected by the period of low sales, you also need to take steps to mitigate the consequences of reduced sales.
Here is an insight into the steps that you can take to mitigate the risks attached to a period of low sales after the holiday season.
1. Check the Inventory
The first thing that you need to do is to come to grips with the inventory you have at your disposal.
For all businesses, inventory management is the focal part of the strategy they take for the next year. As the shift in sales takes place, it is imperative to adjust the inventory levels accordingly.
The adjustments to the inventory should match the demand of the consumer. It should also account for the surplus inventory you have in store. You should rely on cash sales on the days or weeks that follow the holiday. The spending does not cease after December 25th as many customers make the dash to the stores before the New Year to make returns or to purchase new items. Therefore, you should adjust the inventory while keeping in mind the methods you need to take to push products that appeal to the customer.
Inventory is not all about the stock on shelves. It is about managing the purchases and making decisions at the perfect time so that they are in harmony with seasonal trends. Businesses may see the implications of this act differently: some may decrease the quantity of their purchases, while the others may ramp up their purchase orders for the next season.
2. Review the Data
Once you are done managing the inventory and the numbers behind the stock, it is time to review your performance during the holiday season. It is time to dig deep into the metrics and analyze your performance. This will help you determine the keys to success and give you essential takeaways for the next season.
In addition to reviewing the data and statistics, it is imperative to make a list of the best and worst-performing products. You can also analyze the promotions by comparing the numbers of each promotion you offered. You can also compare your performance with your competitors to get a clear idea.
Another aspect of data review that many business owners undermine is the expenses during the holiday season. Don’t forget to record the expenses during this season. Not only will this help you during budgeting, but it will also help you in finding areas where you can make deductions for the next year.
3. Adjust the Pricing Strategy
Businesses change their pricing strategies to account for the holiday season and maximize their revenue. Holidays, according to many retailers, are all about discounts as they are meant to attract sales.
However, similar efforts during the post-holiday season may not provide you with the same benefits. This is why it is imperative to reconsider the pricing strategy when you begin the next year. Some businesses deliberately keep the margins up to make up for the slowdown that comes post-holiday.
Other businesses change the prices strategically and move the surplus inventory to leverage the number of sales.
Factoring a revenue or inventory target is the best way to adjust for the demand, and you can look back at the sales of the preceding year to set an achievable target.
Now that you are aware of some pricing and finance decisions that you can make to manage the consequences of the slowdown, here are some methods that you can use to increase sales.
After going through the periods of high sales, a business realizes it’s potential. Most businesses make the mistake of slacking after the period of high sales. Waiting for things to happen is the last thing that you can do a business owner. Rather than being reactive in your attitude, it is imperative to be proactive and to take the challenge head-on.
Before you decide the policy or method to keep the sales numbers roaring, you need to remember the occasion. Post-Christmas is the most unpleasant time of the year. Wading through the snow to go back to their lives is something very few people find attractive.
4. Focus on Marketing
Rather than offering new promotions that you find challenging to balance; you need to look for other ways to increase sales. Reading the mindset of the customer and then giving them deals that fit the mentality is a strategy that some of the best businesses use.
New Year is the only time during a year when you see a stark difference in the attitude of the customers. Just before the final moments of the New Year, you can see customers enjoying and partying and having a good time. However, the mood changes entirely as soon as the calendar hits January 1st.
Customers now transform and possess a high level of resolve and practice self-constraint over all the deals that you offer. This is the time that you can shine by shaping the business according to the needs of the business. Amazon is the finest example of a business that changes according to the different moods of the customer.
You will see loads of fitness tutorials and tax preparation software on the website that is meant to aid the customers in achieving the goals they have set for themselves.
Once the festivities are all over, people are not going to indulge in expensive habits. Neither are they going to buy junk foods, nor will they purchase expensive wardrobe items.
Items that will enhance their New Year’s resolution will be on top of the list. Therefore, you should look to promote and sell products that are meant to encourage organization and to enhance the health of the users.
5. Email Marketing
If you feel that your business is not designed to cater to a large market, you can always try a more personal and interactive method of marketing.
One of the best methods for maintaining sales following the holiday season is email marketing. Consider the best practices for e-commerce and create customize emails during the holidays. You can also use the target list of core customers. Once you have a list of the addresses that you can target, start offering the customers with discounts and promotional packages.
Don’t wait for too long. Like other things, email addresses too have an expiry date. Some customers will soon forget that they ever purchased anything from you. While the memories of purchase during the holiday season are still intact, contact them through email and promote the discount package you have to offer.
6. Don’t Stay Silent
Once the holiday season is over, the retailers, the customers, and to be honest, even you are tired and exhausted. While this might seem like an incentive to take a break, you cannot afford to remain inactive for too long.
The customers may be quiet, and the market may lack the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but it is still listening. If you raise the voice when everyone is silent, you get an advantage you can only dream of having during the holiday season.
Not only should the business go on, but you should also aim to make the business better by setting targets that are above all your competitors.
Once you have your sales and management in order, you need to focus your attention on your employees. The holiday season might be a wonderful time of the year for the customers and the people visiting the business, but it is a stressful one for business owners and their employees. One of the complaints that owners have after the holiday season is that the employees lose their motivation once the holidays are over.
7. New Year Goals
Setting New Year goals for your employees is one way that you can motivate them and increase their productivity levels. The rewards and incentives of achieving a goal are some of the driving factors that convince workers to deliver their best performances.
Before leaving for holidays, the full focus of an employee is on achieving the deadlines and clearing the tables. However, the employees are being extremely short-sighted when they are looking to meet the last-minute deadlines.
Long term goals are a great motivating factor for workers; it gives them a clearer picture and allows them time to focus on the details of the project. You also need to ensure that the deadline you set for the employees is manageable and is not too taxing for the employee.
8. Prioritize Teamwork
Employees typically face an increase in the workload once they come back from holidays. One way that you can manage the workload for the employees is by dividing them into teams. Rather than making them stay long hours after work, assign teams to get done with the work assigned.
You need to ensure that the employees understand their responsibility and are willing to work together. You can review the performance of each employee after the break and remind them of the trust and accountability they have for each other’s work.
Find experts in the company who are willing to collaborate with the team. Also, look to improve communication in the workplace and ensure that all the employees are on the same page.
Getting back in the full swing once the holiday season is over is challenging for all businesses. However, transitioning between different phases of business is as important as preparing for the holiday season. You can use the steps mentioned above to monitor a smooth transition while keeping the sales intact and recovering your business from the holiday season boom.