In today’s episode, I will speak to entrepreneurs who have seen a decline in their business this summer or in other seasons and how we can change it!
In today’s episode, we’ll talk about:
- How to use slower seasons to your advantage?
- What strategies can we use to pivot?
- How to keep things running in our business during slow seasons?
If you’re ready to learn how to use slow seasons to better you business, tune into The Next Level Social Podcast!
I am stoked beyond belief to talk about strategies for making sales during slower seasons! Many messages and calls with my clients, students, and incredible online community have been around slower sales in August.
Every business goes through ups and downs, and it is essential as entrepreneurs to be mindful and prepared. Our responsibility as business owners is to make pivots and decisions with a proactive mindset so we don’t panic when sales inevitably slow. From a mindset perspective, it’s about checking ourselves before we wreck ourselves!
Know Your Numbers
The upside of having a slower month or season is that it’s predictable! Having the data to predict business climates is where knowing your numbers is super, super important.
As entrepreneurs, we need to keep a constant eye on our numbers. And if I’m being honest, this was not something I did at the beginning of my business. Looking at numbers was something I avoided – I didn’t even like to log into my bank account! Money mindset was something I needed to work on, and it ultimately came from a place of scarcity. I had to come to a place where I acknowledge avoiding numbers was ultimately a disservice to my business.
Now I love looking at my numbers; it literally lights me up!
The numbers I track in Quickbooks are my:
- Monthly sales
- Cost of Sales
- Profit margins
- Quarterly sales
- Year-to-date sales
- Return on any marketing or investments
I track and review my financial metrics daily, weekly, and monthly. The main reason for knowing your numbers is simple.
“You cannot manage what you cannot measure.“
Numbers that you can not measure, you can not predict. By tracking your financials, you can start to see patterns and use this information to anticipate and prepare for slower seasons.
Mindset Mindset Mindset
Mindset is so essential in entrepreneurship! It is crucial when things start to decline, and leads and sales aren’t coming in as you hoped. I know this can be paralyzing, but do not let a downward dip break or stop you. Understand it’s not personal, especially in the weeks like august, when we know people are less active online because they are living life! As they should! People are attending weddings and going to the beach and the lake and a lot of moms are prepping for back to school by spending time with their kids before the school year starts. It’s a lot.
As a result, it’s natural for our views and sales to decrease during times like end-of-summer. So being aware of this season, even for likes or views, is essential to roll with the downturn and prepare.
You should also remember that you should never compare your business to someone else’s. We are all on our journey in our businesses are all a little different. How can you compare? The only comparison you should be making is how YOUR previous monthly sales compared to your current months of sales. That is the only comparison metric you should pay attention to as you prepare for high months or slow months.
It’s also important to talk about preparing from a cash flow perspective. One of my mentors, many years ago, told me two things I’ve never forgotten.
To have a real business, you need two things.
- You need to take yourself out of your business and have your business still run.
- You need three months of runway (cash flow) so that if you stop working for three months, you can keep every aspect of your business running.
These are two strong statements. Taking the owner out of their business for three months and remaining profitable is not easy. Do not let this overwhelm you but keep it in mind! It’s something I’ve always had in the back of my head as something to strive for.
The value of having a real business is it allows you as an entrepreneur to show up in the most productive way possible. You will no longer sell from a place of scarcity because you need to hit a certain number to pay your bills. You will be able to show up from a much stronger position with a sense of prosperity your audience will feel and be confident purchasing from.
Again, don’t let it overwhelm you. Having runway and business autonomy is something to strive for, prepare, and plan to achieve.
We can use this time to prepare, plan, and execute when things are slow. We know that when busy times come again, there won’t be room to plan or strategize your marketing campaign. It will be all hands on deck to fulfill and maintain the sales during your busy season. Use these slower moments to optimize sales for when you know they’re coming.
- Set up meetings with your team
- Plan your next offer
- Keep things moving forward
- Focus on the backend
The ideas above keep the front end moving forward and ensure the back end is solid!
The next tip is, for the love of god, show up! Just because things are slow in the season you’re at doesn’t mean we stop showing up, creating content, offers, and promoting. It’s imperative that you’re still active online and putting yourself out there. You still want to stay top of mind for your audience because when they’re ready to buy, you want them to think of you first. You’re not staying consistent if you go offline for weeks and months.
I want somebody consistent when I think of hiring a mentor or investing in a product or service.
Consistency is the key to success. And if you want to take time off, I encourage you to do that. But prepare! Schedule some posts, pre-record stories, and have some content going out. There are many incredible apps for scheduling content (Plannoly & Later) and strategies for batching content. For me, the success in my business is owed to my consistency in the content I deliver, showing up, supporting, engaging, and offering value. Show up during the slower months to keep your audience warm and stay top of mind.
Pivot Pivot Pivot
I feel like Ross Geller has made the word pivot iconic. You can still pivot any time you want, and if you still feel called to do a launch, you can absolutely do that. When things feel a little slower, I like to create and offer something new if I feel called. Not every time, but sometimes I want to explore new things and pivot when things feel right!
For example, if you sell swimwear, I can imagine that you experience a dip in sales during the fall. Instead of closing up shop until the vacation season, why not move your store digitally to a place where it’s still summer? Or why not start a media campaign directed at those demographics? There are many ways we can try new things and pivot so long as we don’t let our minds discourage us.
If you are an online business or content creator, you can always create low-ticket offers without any capital required, like an ebook, pdf, or audio series. You can also pitch an idea to your audience without making anything, and when someone buys, drip out the product (release it in stages as you create it). You don’t have to reinvent the wheel as you pivot. In business, you need to get used to pivoting, and instead of getting intimidated, let it fuel your creative juices.
“There are many ways we can try new things and pivot so long as we don’t let our minds discourage us.”
If you have a team during slower seasons, use this time to invest in your people. Slower moments are ideal for teaching, building, and integrating processes with your team. Use your team to help create or update operations that will streamline your business once sales increase.
Engage with Your Audience
Focus on planning and creating valuable social media content and engaging with your audience during this time. Use the slow times to respond to DM’s, follow up with people, and channel build your accounts by following similar brands and starting conversations with their customers. Get your brand seen and increase your presence and authority in your space. I love channel building and do it daily because it lights me up. I love having conversations, getting feedback, and learning from my audience. Some of my longest clients found me through a reel, sent me a DM, and after a voice note, have stuck with me for months.
Plan Educational Content
If you start thinking about what your content will look like in the next week, month, or quarter, it will give you a sense of relief while projecting your scalability further. I personally, as a coach, love to plan educational content. When I have space and time to go live, do an online tutorial, or master class, I love to answer frequently asked questions from my audience. You never know who will see that live or watch that reel, and it might be the little push they need to turn them into customers. BOOM. You have an extra sale.
Lean into providing educational content, valuable content, and planning it out.
If you don’t have an email list, I recommend you start one today. At the end of the day, we do not own our social media following, our accounts, or the content we’ve uploaded. Taking the warm audience you’ve built on social media and turning them into email subscribers is really where the magic happens. We can do this by creating free offers like a Pdf, ebook, or video series. Anything that your audience would want from you. Slow seasons are when you can build an email list or waitlist, promote for the future, and prepare your audience for what’s to come.
Especially if you’re an online store, you can do some sales tactics like:
- Summer sale
- Free shipping
These sales tactics will enhance your offer and provide urgency for signing up for an email list. You want a strong call to action and an incentive to take action fast. Perhaps you have an affiliate program and get ambassadors to promote your product on your behalf. You can pull many different levers if you give yourself the time and space to execute.
Okay, My Loves!
Okay, my loves! Just know that this is a season. Slower months will come, and they will go. As an entrepreneur, it is up to you to prepare and execute in the most efficient and effective way for your business and yourself.
If you found this episode valuable, I would love it if you could screenshot it and tag me on social! It means the world! xo
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