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Sales Suffering? A Survival Guide For Lean Months

As entrepreneurs, we have the opportunity for unlimited income. But when sales go soft, the comfort of a steady paycheck can seem awfully attractive. And what happens when a red month turns into a red quarter? The future success of your business can all of a sudden seem in peril. When this happens, hopefully there is something within your control that you can do to turn things around. But sometimes slowing sales can be completely unrelated to you. Either way, there are some ways to survive these dry spells, so that you’ll be well on your way to recovery when sales pick back up.

Reduce Expenses – You have fixed expenses, but there are always expenses that could be curbed if you really needed to do it. Well, this is the time to do it. Trim expenses that are the least necessary: these will be different for everyone, depending on your type of business, so going through your expense categories might help you to identify areas that have been unnecessarily leaking money.

Tighten Up Your Advertising – This is a good time to evaluate your current forms of advertising or outreach, and see what has historically worked the best. For example, review your internet CPC advertising campaign to see where your budget is being used and if it’s being used effectively. This is not the time to cut back on advertising, since that might be the best way to increase sales, but you shouldn’t be spending money on methods that haven’t worked for you. Identify what has the most reliable return, and only start experimenting with something new if absolutely nothing is currently working.

Reduce Prices – If you really need cash flow, running a sale or promotion, or otherwise reducing prices, could drum up some new sales. This is sometimes daunting, since you mostly likely have heavily invested in your products or services. In times like these, however, your investments will only benefit you if they become liquid.

Reach Out To Your Customers – This could be a more proactive way to generate sales, but it’s also important to do to find out why there has been a sales slump in the first place. By contacting your customers directly, they might be able to give you perspective on what else they’re buying and why, or information on another market that has slumped, and that’s what’s now affecting you.

Dedicate More Time To Sales – As an entrepreneur or small business owner, it’s easy to get caught up in too many projects with too many details. Are you spending too much time on other tasks when you could be dedicating more hours of your day to sales? Delegate this other work to others if you are able, or set up a timeline so that you can tackle these other projects later. A little time management could go a long way, and right now you need to focus the precious time that you have.

It has been said that neither genius nor education can take the place of persistence. This is the time to be persistent, and analyze your current work habits until sales are on the up again. This post is short for a reason—get to it!

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Photo courtesy of: Forbes

Originally published on: Forbes

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