How to get past a summer sales slump and score a 4th quarter victory
Many businesses experience a lull during the warmer months, thanks to customers and staff going on holidays and the general Canadian attitude of enjoying as much of the outdoors as possible that takes over this time of year. Unless you’re in the tourism industry, chances are you’ve experienced this too. Fortunately, you can hit the ground running once fall rolls around with these expert tips.
1. Assess your goals
Many owners can get bogged down in the day-to-day tasks of running their business, like providing exceptional customer service and ensuring smooth operations, while neglecting an overall perspective of the master plan. Fortunately, the break summer provided should have helped clear your mind, making you better able to tackle the bigger picture from a more nuanced point of view. Ask yourself: Are you on target to meet your revenue and profit goals? What areas are currently the most profitable? How many new clients have you gained this year? The answers to these questions will help you develop a reasonable but ambitious plan to finish out the year and start setting objectives for the next fiscal.
2. Reevaluate expenses
Once you consider your revenues, it’s time to have a closer look at your expenses. There’s almost always somewhere you can cut costs without cutting corners or quality — you can often get a better rate or services upgrade simply by making an inquiry. Review the pricing on your telecommunications services, insurance, payroll administration, banking plans and office supplies to see where you can get a better deal with the same company or by switching to another provider. Saving on expenses will boost your bottom line.
3. Update your tech
Now’s the time to make sure your information and that of your customers is safeguarded and protected. Install or update your antivirus software on your computer and devices, and double check that all your partners and service providers — from your payment processor to your cloud storage — are invested in security. At Elavon, we are a leader in upgrading customers to the latest technology solutions standards, protecting your business with secure solutions and an exceptional uptime service rate and 24/7 support. We also offer secure mobile and wireless payment processing solutions that offer encryption and tokenization capabilities to protect data both in transit and at rest.
4. Get creative with promotions
Think outside the box when planning fall promotions and offers. Most businesses will give customers special deals for traditional, well-known holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween. Stand out from the crowd by offering your promotions during more obscure holidays, like Make a Difference Day in October. Try finding something that’s directly related to your business, too. For example, hobby shop owners can bring in more business during Game and Puzzle Week, while restauranteurs or frozen yogurt store owners can take advantage of National Parfait Day in late November.
5. Streamline for simplicity
Whether it’s your professional email or your payment processor, you’ll save time and money by integrating and consolidating at every point in your workflow. Think bundling your phone and internet, and using a single platform for email and file transfers. For an easy-to-use, flexible and secure mobile payment solution that allows you to use a single processing company for in-person, online or on-the-go, check out Converge from Elavon. Converge lets you accept credit, debit and electronic gift cards plus more innovative payment methods like Apple Pay and Alipay wherever your business takes you.