Now we are just past the forth of July I am getting a lot of calls from customers about sales going way down this month. It does not make them feel much better, but I have tried to explain buying cycles.
Most businesses with years of sales data can refer to their financials to know in advance when to expect sales to go down, thus scale back on staff and marketing. Conversely, they also know when to expect good sales months, to do the opposite.
If you do not do this already, make sure you keep good and current books. There are great software programs that can help with not only accounting, but inventory, payroll, etc. This is your best tool to make good decisions about when to spend more and when to scale back.
During a down cycle you can discount old inventory, keep a lighter back stock of COG ( Cost of Goods) items. Work a lighter staff and take on more daily operations. This is a great opportunity to analyze current policies and procedures as you will be doing more of the mundane hands on activities. With a quiet Office, you can research new products, equipment and clean up that big "pile of old papers". If you commit to working harder in the down times, you can have a more efficient business, with new and exciting products and services and the updated knowledge of all the newest industry trends.
Your vendors also know this fact, so they discount at high levels during the slow seasons. If you can get big discounts on your best current sellers, now is the time. But expanding your line is probably not a good idea.
The big mistake is to get nervous and use marketing dollars to increase sales during slow sales cycles. This not only yields poor results and kills the margins of your ROI (Return on Investment). But takes away from the same marketing dollars that can be used in peak times that will produce far better results.
Most industries see consumer spending Peak and valley in 2 easy cycles. Jan-April is normally a great sales cycle May starts a down slide through July with a Big boom at September- November and almost all industries ( Not x mas related) absolutely die in December. Especially if you sell to businesses. Retail Stores are trying to eliminate all inventory to save on taxes and they are far to busy in their peak season to handle any sales calls.
So have a great 2 week business tune up During the beginning of July and the end of the year. Then come back firing next month. I hope this helps.
Thanks as always to the hundreds of people who email/call me about my blog. I appreciate your kind words and nice emails.
Retail Promotions of AZ