5 tips to make the slow months work for you
It’s already begun. Calls are answered by voicemail bots, whilst emails are reciprocated with out-of-office replies. With less than two months left in 2017, prospects and existing clients are becoming harder to reach, as many businesses brace themselves for the quiet period here in Australia.
But few things are absolutely barren of perks. So in the true spirit of resilient entrepreneurship, here are five tips on how business owners can capitalise on the slow months and thrive all year round, regardless of industry, size and season.
1. Go to where the peak season is
Valerie Johnson, the founder of Big Feet Pajama Company in Washington, US, found that whilst sales suffered at home during the summer months, a steady stream of orders were coming from Australia and New Zealand where winter was in full blast.
She began investing in the market through targeted and paid online campaigns, which was more affordable than creating new products. Soon, the Southern Hemisphere was making up for almost 70% of all sales from March to August annually. The moral of the story? Your product or service is always “in season”, somewhere. You just need to find out where that “somewhere” is.
2. Enjoy the break
Despite being one of the countries with the most annual leave, a survey shows how 8 out 10 Aussies admitted feeling guilty about taking leave.
Other data has repeatedly shown how most SMEs are time-poor and burnt out. Having a healthy company culture, no matter the size of the company, starts from the top down. Putting more “ME” time in SME will prevent entrepreneurial burnout and return you refreshed to your business.
3. Personal and professional enrichment
Prefer to stay busy anyway? Here are some activities to consider:
- Attend local events
Too busy to network during peak seasons? Well, no more excuses. Check out what’s happening with local peak bodies and pop over real quick. You never know who you’re going to meet.
- Give back
Volunteering a business’ services or products has been found to give more meaning to the work itself and lead to higher employee engagement and workplace morale, whilst improving overall health and wellbeing.
- Seek out a mentor
How invaluable would it be if someone could help you avoid entrepreneurial mistakes and make the right choices instead? That’s what a mentor can do. They bring perspective and experience money cannot buy, and they’re often available through non-profit associations.
4. Get social
Many SMEs are still quick to mock the need for an online presence. It was found in 2015 less than half of Australian businesses had a website. While brick-and-mortar businesses still appeal to consumers, they will always suffer from locale limitation in trying to reach a new vertical physically. Meanwhile, 16 million of the nation’s 24.7-million population are on social media, with a 90% penetration among those aged 18 to 49.
5. Automate business processes
The same “time-poor” poll also found 46% of those feeling overworked spent most of their time at work doing menial, day-to-day administrative tasks, with little or no time invested in business development.
Success rarely reaches its goal alone. If there’s a solution or software you’ve been eyeing to try, this is the time. Technology will never replace your experience and knowledge, but it can help free you from being snowed under paperwork and manual data entry, and that’s a great place to start.