How to prepare for business peaks and troughs

Most businesses experience peaks and troughs, be it peak buying periods in the retail sector or greater demands on accounting firms during the tax season.

There are several measures businesses can adopt during business lulls to ensure greater business longevity and sustainability.

While seasonal fluctuations are commonplace, it is a business’ ability to adapt to the ever-changing landscape that ultimately determines success.

Invest in your employees

Make use of business downtime to train employees and provide them with skills that will allow them to operate more effectively and efficiently. By upskilling employees during seasonal lows, businesses will ensure their people feel valued and that they are playing an important role in the business’s success.

Mind the budget

Business owners should consider saving additional finances to prepare themselves for seasons of lower demand in order to remain on top of cashflow.

Create offseason excitement

Organisations can create excitement by offering specials, conducting direct marketing activities and running promotions. This will attract business during off-peak seasons and remind customers about the peak season ahead.

Create niche markets

Customers have needs all year round. Try and find a way to service those needs throughout the year. It’s all about finding ways to anticipate and service evolving demands. In this way, business owners can keep what they do relevant, innovative and desirable.

Maintain customer contact

No matter how positively customers view a business, these feelings will soon dissipate if they don’t hear from it for an extended period. By keeping in constant contact with their customers, businesses can reassure them that they have partnered with a business that cares about them. Sometimes all it takes is a small prod in the form of an email, whatever the business can afford.

Promote data analysis of business operations

It’s imperative to have clear oversight of a business’s strongest and weakest aspects to help businesses prepare for high demand seasons and budget for low demand seasons. This is why it is so important to have good quality accounting packages and customer relations management (CRM) systems in place. Businesses that do not have data at their fingertips cannot make relevant decisions.

Think outside of the season

Business owners should not wait before trying to establish a year-round customer base. They need to be creative in their thinking around fluctuating seasonal demand and then focus your marketing activities to align with that. Use strategy sessions and meetings with management teams and employees to their input when trying to find creative solutions for an ever-changing market landscape.

Inventory control

Some businesses generate a year’s worth of revenue in a few months, so availability of stock is paramount for them to meet high demand in peak seasons. Businesses need to assess all factors regarding inventory management, from forecasting and supply chain management to the optimisation of retail space.

Spend time on marketing and admin

Businesses should invest time in thinking creatively and considering whether their current website and advertising measures are still relevant to their customers. They can also use seasonal lulls to get feedback from customers on how to improve their offerings to better meet their needs.
Although admin can often be tedious, it is an important driver of business success. By tracking expenditure versus income on an ongoing basis, businesses will have a bird’s eye view of what is happening in the business at all times.

Get online

Take advantage of what technology has to offer to create opportunities for new business and stand out from the crowd.
By doing things differently and embracing the technological era, businesses can position themselves optimally, drive traffic to their platforms and capture their customers’ attention.

Bridget du Toit, Head of Sales and Services, EasyBiz Technologies

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