All businesses have their slower times, whether that's Christmas and the January holiday season, or July and August if you deal a lot with the Northern hemisphere, or even Ramadan if you have clients in the Middle East.
These slowdowns are the perfect time to review your business and plan your future strategy. Here are six key ways to have a brainwave in the heatwave:
1. Sit back and review. If it's not working, change it. New years are a great excuse to start fresh, both calendar and financial. Be honest, if something is a dud, let it go - initiatives, projects, people, banks, suppliers, agencies, whatever. Set up a winning team and a winning plan for the rest of the year.
2. Cut costs. During the slow summer period lower contractor costs, and allow staff to take extra leave without pay. You get the added bonus that everyone refreshes and comes back with renewed enthusiasm and new ideas!
3. Resourcing. Students are a valuable resource that bring you the freshest and latest thinking, very cheaply. Most would rather get vacation work experience in a real company than in some menial job. At Mozo we've discovered some really talented young people this way. Win-win for everyone.
4. Customer check up. When things seem subdued, always take time to analyse your existing customers and create a plan for them. Can you sell them something else? Are they happy with you? What's the biggest issue they are currently facing and can you help them solve it?
5. Break the silence. In quieter times when there's a lot less news around, use this to your advantage. Tell people how great you are, stop being shy about it. Talk to the media. Spend more time on social media. Write blogs and articles. The publicity from this is cheaper and better than spending marketing dollars.
6. Test new technology. While business is slower it's a great time to try out new software and hardware or revamp your website. Move accounting, documents, tracking solutions, analytics and data to the cloud. There's no need to own any physical hardware or software any more. The cloud is cheaper, more scalable, more reliable and more updatable.
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