5 ways to improve your business during slow seasons

Whether your business is bustling year-round or experiences high- and low-sales seasons, there will be times during the year when you have a predictable drop in both your number of customers and revenue.

These slow periods can be discouraging, but on the other side, they can also be the perfect time for resourceful, creative, and efficient brainstorming, as well as planning for the future of your business.

business

These seasons of lull are hidden opportunities for growth if you maximize the time to assess and improve on your current business model or processes. Use the strategies below to head into the off-season with purpose and move into your busy sales season with a better and more profitable business.

Partner with established organizations in the community

If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, and want to increase the volume of foot traffic to your business, this is the perfect time to head outside and connect with the community. An estimated 82% of Americans take a brand’s social responsibility into account when choosing whether to make a purchase, according to the Forbes Human Resources Council.

During slow seasons, use this time to partner with a local organization that’s doing good in your local community. Not only does this give you marketing and social media fodder, but it helps you show potential customers that you’re here to do more than sell products. You care about the community you live in and you’re willing to give a helping hand where you can.

According to a 2017 survey from Cone Communications, 87% of consumers will purchase a product because a company advocated for a cause they cared about.

Use this opportunity to attract new clients and customers. Some options to look for include sponsoring an event, seminar, workshop or fundraiser or hosting your own community clean-up day. Better yet, create your own events or workshops that allow you to show your expertise while getting involved with the community.

Bowler Hat, a digital marketing agency, offers digital marketing workshops to local small businesses. Marcus Miller, SEO and digital marketing strategist for Bowler Hat tells Business News Daily:

“Sometimes this turns into business for us when there is someone we can help. Our entire focus is helping small businesses with their marketing, so we find if we do what we can to help, then the work we need comes to us.”

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Revamp your marketing and experiment

Now’s the time to experiment with bold, innovative marketing tactics that spark renewed interest, attention, and excitement around your brand. First, start with your current marketing plan. Ask yourself: what is working and what isn’t? Use this as a jumping off point to decide what you’ll test out during your slow season.

For example, if your testimonial videos typically get plenty of likes on Facebook, it may be time to test Facebook Live or Instagram Live—put yourself and your brand front and center.

You could also use this time to test new print marketing strategies. Whether your business focuses on a local market or nationwide, direct mail marketing, for example, is ta great way to reach your audience directly without fighting through the clutter that comes with online marketing.

If you’ve never sent direct mail before, check out this guide from MyCreativeShop to get started. You’ll find design and strategy ideas that ensure your direct mail test is as effective as it can be.

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Optimize your website for SEO

Nearly 80% of consumers use search engines to find the products or services they need, according to the Local Search Association. If your digital footprint is non-existent, meaning your website can’t be found, you’re losing opportunities for revenue.

The best way to get your website in front of customers online is to use search engine optimization (SEO), which ensures that Google both sees and ranks your website for the terms that your customers are searching for.

Use your slow-season downtime to make some of the following updates:

  • Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see what changes you need to make.
  • Update your title tags and meta description for all the pages on your website and use the right keywords.
  • Update your business’ blog regularly with fresh content, images, and links to new blog posts.
  • Check that your business information (name, address, phone) are all consistent and correct on your own site, your Google My Business listing, and any other listing sites.

How to Advertise on Google & Boost Your Small Business

Google

Google ads or Google AdWords is a great way to reach new customers and establish a web-based revenue stream. This category alone leads to 97% of Google’s revenue, which means millions of businesses are already using Google ads its various other services. Running an effective Google ads campaign can be difficult, but it’s very important to target specific audiences, build SEO friendly web pages and ads, constantly adjust and analyze the campaigns.

Without even realizing, you likely come into contact with Google advertising dozens of times per day. The top listing on the SERPs when you enter a query, the video ads you see on YouTube, display ads across every page include advertising from Google’s network.  The combination of a massive reach and tailored access to the right audience makes advertising on Google easier for any business owner to see their sales grow in better investments.

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For you to make use of all the available Google services, this blog will walk you through everything you need to know and grow your small business, including links to account setup pages, tutorials, and other valuable resources.

Start with Google My Business

One quick, easy and basic step with Google: Google My Business. It’s easy to advertise and it immediately improves how your business performs throughout the Google Search Network. Using Google My Business, you can update your business’s location, hours of operation, contact info, website, social media links, add up logo and photos too. And this service is absolutely free! If you already own one, you better check if every information is updated and see if you’ve got customer reviews too.

Know Google Adwords Platforms

Get to know what Google Adwords platform looks like. Through the Adwords management system, advertisers bid on certain keywords to have their clickable ads appear in relevant Google search results, as well as YouTube videos, display ads within Google network. If you really want your small business to grow quickly, the Search engine optimization result page is the obvious place to start.

What’s Adwords express?

Google’s simpler, user-friendly advertising platform designed to be “advertising easy”. Managing Adwords takes at least an hour per week, but you can make Adwords Express work for your small business in just 10 minutes per week. Having said that, AdWord Express does have some limitations, but if you find them, you would like more options down the line.

How to Advertise on Google with AdWords Express

  • Go to the AdWords Express homepage and log in.
  • Choose “Create a New Business”
  • Create your first ad. You’ll be immediately asked to provide a headline, brief description, and webpage link for your first Google ad. ( use your Google My Business page instead.)
  • Choose your geographic location. To make sure your ad appears only in the places that your business actually serves, target your audience’s location either by distance from your business or by city, state, or country for companies with a wider reach.
  • Select the specific product or service that your ad is promoting to help Google match it to relevant search phrases.
  • Set your monthly budget. AdWords Express will recommend a monthly budget based on the average number of clicks. From there, you can start with a more conservative budget or make your ad more competitive.
  • Complete your billing profile. You can issue payments either through direct debit from your bank account or by inputting a credit or debit card number from Visa or MasterCard
  • You can have your first ad up and running within minutes, then go back as often as you want to track your results, make changes to improve the performance of your ad, or create additional ads.

Advertise on Google With a Customized AdWords Strategy

Select the type of your campaign: This selection denotes where and in what form your ads will be displayed across Google’s advertising network.

Organize Your Audience With the help of Ad Groups: Match the search terms your audience is using to the ads and products they most want to see will make or break the success of your Google advertising campaign.

Find the Perfect Terms with AdWords Keyword Planner: Experiment the AdWords Keyword Planner and learn how keywords work and then choose the right keywords for your ads.

Craft an Effective Ad on Google: The text of your ad is your golden opportunity to tell your customers a little bit about your business. Write copy that’s engaging and relevant to your potential customers and attract more clicks. The most effective text ads on Google are ones that show off the business’s most unique value to customers, and give customers specific action steps for how to interact with the business. The specific sale or discount language area unit different nice tools to create your ad stand out.

Set Your Google Advertising Bids and Budget: your overall AdWords budget dictates the maximum total amount you’re willing to spend on marketing through Google in a given billing period. Your bidding strategy determines however that overall budget gets distributed to individual campaign ads.

Target Specific Locations: If you’re a location-based tiny business, make absolutely sure that you’re only advertising in the location where it matters.

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Location targeting helps your ads seem higher on the results page at a lower price and saves you from paying for clicks from faraway customers.

Armed with all this info, you are more than ready to start reaching new and highly qualified leads through the Google AdWords network. Now, it’s time to learn by doing. Go ahead and established those ad teams, write some unbelievable beginning ads, test, review your results, and repeat. With practice, you’ll figure out how to advertise on Google and grow your small business in a way that’s effective for both you and your new customers. Good luck!