While the retail industry enjoys a busy season during the holidays, the time from November through January usually means a Slow season for almost every home improvement trade as people save money to buy gifts or recover from buying gifts, not to mention the challenge weather poses. Yet, just because your major outdoor projects are slowing down, doesn’t mean your business needs to. There are things you can focus on to keep things moving forward.
Rework Old Leads and Check in with Past Customers
During the busy season, you may be booked for months in advance and selective about jobs you take, overlooking low hanging opportunities. Go back through and contact the older leads in your database with fresh content and promotional deals.
Make sure your website has plenty of calls-to-action for people to stay in touch with you – email list or blog subscriptions – and feature some exclusive customer offers they can redeem for remaining a loyal customer of yours.
It may surprise you how many leads will reengage from a simple follow up email or phone call. Always try to curate a strong database before the slow season begins. Work to build your customer base up during the busy season to carry you through when projects slow down.
Look for Indoor Jobs/Diversify Services
It is important for construction owners to build a strong line-up of projects going into the winter months to keep business afloat. Interior projects like painting, flooring, cabinetry, and lighting are the more popular remodeling projects during the winter months. Many contractors will also offer special seasonal services during a slow season such as Christmas light hanging and other home services. Be open to stepping outside the normal services you offer during this period to cater to the changing season and client needs.
Manage your Cash Flow
Keep a close eye on accounts receivables, especially if you anticipate getting hit with a slow season every year. To make sure you are properly managing the company’s accounts receivables, set up a process to manage it. We love this guide from QuickBooks on steps to take.
Ramp up Social Media
Take advantage of the slow season by diving into any neglected Social Media efforts. It’s easy to let self-promotion on social sites go by the wayside. While social media may not be the best marketing tool for every business, it is beneficial to be present. In the United States, an estimated 185 million people used social media in 2016, a number forecasted to exceed 200 million by 2020. Not sure where to start? We love this guide for social media for small businesses by Sprout Social.
Start a referral program
One of the best ways to win new business is through referral programs. Offer an attractive incentive like a $50 gift card to any client who refers you to a friend, gift card received upon project completion. Make sure you are promoting it on your website and through email blasts to your client list.
We hear from business owners every day asking the same questions about small business financing to address cash flow issues. For more information, check out these answers to the top 5 most-asked questions we get.
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