After a few years in business the natural highs and lows for your business will reveal themselves. Rather than a passive approach sitting back and waiting for those revelations, we want to help you take a more proactive stance. This is your business and while you may not be in control of all of the variables you can certainly anticipate and plan for your business!
In business it’s important to have a plan for the busy times and for the slower times. Even high volume businesses often slow down in the summer as customers move outdoors, take vacations, spending more on experiences than material purchases.
Brick-and-Mortar stores are well versed in the dreaded Summer Slump and have strategies to deal with these challenges. But what about those of us in the online world? How should we identify and prepare for slower times?
Anticipating slower times will help you prepare financially, and a big part of that is planning incentives for customers to make purchases during those slower times. Below are a few of our favorite ways to incentivize sales during these traditionally slower times to avoid the Summer Slump:
Consider smaller holidays as opportunities to talk about your work in new ways. Adjust your marketing angle to communicate with your customers about the things that are relevant to them this time of year. Example of smaller holidays: Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Graduation, and Christmas in July. Tip: Positioning your marketing for these smaller holidays can help keep you top of mind with your customers for year-round gift giving purchases.
For seasonal traditions consider how differently people eat, shop, and live during different times of year. Our preferences for different colors, textures, and sensations changes throughout the year. Reflecting on these preferences can position you to meet your customers exactly where they are. Tip: What colors are you gravitating toward this time of year in your wardrobe, home decor, and personal purchases? Are you bringing those influences into your artwork this season?
Consider opening additional custom orders or commissions to secure income while providing a meaningful custom experience for higher paying customers. Tip: Create a special offer for commissions during the slower times. Perhaps this is a free watercolor study for the client to go with their completed commission, or a small discount on shipping.
If you offer wholesale this can be a great time of year to start new wholesale relationships with new retailers and provide them with extra attention to start those relationships on a very strong foundation. Tip: Speak directly to the advantage of placing early wholesale orders for the upcoming holiday season. Communicate with potential wholesalers that your wholesale orders will be very limited in upcoming months and this is the ideal time to secure an order.