Just like the weather, businesses go through spells of good and bad conditions, but there are a few simple ways you can protect your business from the peaks and troughs.
A few days ago we arrived in Honolulu, Hawaii to speak at a conference and it’s been raining almost non-stop. Not exactly the weather I was promised. My husband told me that it will be very tropical and hot here so I only packed summery clothes and wasn’t prepared for the colder weather (to tell you the truth, it was a strategy so I had an excuse to go shopping!).
Unfortunately a lot of businesses are like the weather, one week the sun is shining, the next it’s raining, sometimes even for a whole month or season! For a small business to run smoothly and its owner to be stress-free, the business needs to be set up with the right systems to avoid peaks and troughs. A lot of business owners seem to just accept that their business is like a roller coaster ride which is absolutely not necessary.
Here are three ideas for you to avoid the rains or at least to stay dry:
1. Have marketing systems in place that work for you like clock-work. Whether you are busy or not, your marketing strategies should be set up for you so that you never run out of clients. Most businesses only think about marketing when it’s too late, i.e. it’s already raining and there are not enough clients. Make sure you set up a few key strategies that keep attracting clients to your business over and over again.
2. Get your clients or customers to come back for more. Make sure you exceed your clients’ expectations so they come back for more. As you may know, it’s much easier to sell to an existing or past client than acquiring a new one (given that you’ve been nice to them in the first place!). If the bad weather is approaching, ask your current clients to come back for more (hopefully you keep your database up to date so you can contact them easily).
3. Think about how you can create recurring income through maintenance programs or an ongoing service or product delivery. A dog food company in the US (I can’t remember their name) realised that they can offer a much better service (and make much more money at the same time) if dog owners subscribe to receiving dog food delivered each month. This way the customer doesn’t have to go to the shops each time the dog food runs out. Very convenient for them and great for the dog food company as they secure regular customers.
Can you do the same in your business? A couple of years ago we did something similar with an organic cleaning business. Their customers can choose to receive the cleaning products sent to them on a regular basis so they will never have to think about getting them again. It’s proven to be a very popular option.
I trust these tips will help you think about how you can rain proof your business. Please let us know how you go.