Whether it’s the holiday season or an unexpected slow period, it’s easy to get stressed out when sales stop coming in for an extended length of time. However, it’s not always a reason to panic. There are a handful of things you can do to maximize your productivity and prepare for future success when sales are down.
Analyze the Numbers
If the slow period is something new – in other words, it’s not a seasonal shift that you expect each year – then the first thing you need to do is roll up your sleeves and conduct some investigative work. You need to find out why sales numbers are shrinking and determine the root cause.
The best way to measure retail performance is to look at metrics like inventory turnover, sales per square foot, and employee productivity. This will allow you to objectively identify weaknesses and shortcomings that are affecting sales figures.
Prepare for Tax Season
One of the best ways to use downtime, especially right now, is to prepare for tax season. Even if you have an accountant handle your taxes, there are still documents that need to be gathered, organized, and labeled. Your time will be well spent consolidating this tax information. This will take a lot of weight off your shoulders once sales pick back up and you no longer have time to do these things.
Brainstorm New Marketing Campaigns
Sometimes marketing ideas just come to you. Other times, you need dedicated brainstorming sessions to get creative and throw ideas around. If you have employees who have extra time to take on additional responsibilities, ask them to come up with some fresh ideas for marketing campaigns. These out of the box ideas may point you down a new path.
Encourage Staff to Take Vacation
While you can’t necessarily force people to take vacation days when they don’t want to, now would be an excellent time to encourage your employees to take advantage of any unused days. Your employees will love the fact that they can take time off without feeling judged, and you benefit in the sense that their absence won’t have a negative impact on the day-to-day operations of the organization.
Take Care of Smaller Tasks
When you’re super busy and sales are soaring, you often feel like it’s a waste of your time to handle small, seemingly inconsequential tasks and responsibilities. However, these tasks are sometimes vital to the success of the organization. During slow periods, you may find it easier to knock these tasks out. This includes things like taking inventory, cleaning facilities, training new employees, and more.
Negotiate Better Deals
When you have more time on your hands, you should work on
striking better deals
. In other words, contact your suppliers and try to negotiate better prices. Because things are slow, you have some leverage. You can gently threaten to place smaller orders unless they give you more generous terms. If they refuse, you have some time to renegotiate. If they accept, you get a better deal. It’s a win-win situation.
Take a Deep Breath
Don’t be afraid to take a deep breath and relax. You can’t go full-force, 24/7/365. Everyone needs some downtime every now and then. Kick your feet up and enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet. By recharging, you’ll be prepared for the stress that will eventually come with an uptick in sales.
Maximize Slow Periods
sales are slowing down,
doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. Every successful business experiences periods of time that are slower than others. It’s how they leverage these periods that make them successful. Use the tips mentioned in this article and find other ways to maximize your time.