If you are reading this article in December and have not already made your business plans for 2018, then you are likely already too late. Your plans on how to keep your business alive during the slow months should already have been made.
Companies that typically have a three-month slow season need to try and at least break even during that time. If you do not, then it could take the next three months just to break even.
Taking deliberate steps in advance to ensure you can even it out is critical. Successful planning can enable you to have success to the tune of double-digit returns.
During this season you want to place a heavier emphasis on things like IAQ, whole house solutions, and maintenance agreements. Most likely, you will need to have a greater variety in your promotions just to be able to keep your staff busy during these "shoulder seasons."
Once a year, you want to take a close look at your overall expenses and carefully evaluate them. Eliminate the unnecessary ones. This step will help ensure that you keep your sales and admin costs in line. You only need to do it once annually because there will not be that much fluctuation.
You also need to take a good look at your personnel to make sure that you have the right number of people to keep your business going. If you have too many, it is costing you too much and breaking even will be even more difficult – maybe even impossible.
Not having enough people is also a problem. This places a cap on your business because you can only handle so much work. Ideally, you want to have enough to provide timely service to your customers.
During those slow times, it may be a good idea to lower your rates to 48 percent, or even as low as 38 percent – if it will mean keeping your business alive. By doing this, it can give you enough work to cover your overhead and get by. Offer promotions to ensure more business.
Remember that a retail business should aim to get 70% of your income from sales, and 30% should come from service.
Here are five essentials that you need to make your business successful:
1. Sales Expertise
2. Operational excellence
3. Finances under control
4. Omni-channel marketing strategy
5. Technical excellence.