How to Boost Traffic During Your Slow Season

A familiar winter stupor has fallen over your business. The clinking of the doorbell is infrequent, the phone barely rings, and your queue of orders to process is laughably short. Sound familiar? Welcome to the off-season.

Before you despair, keep reading. We’ve shared some prime tips for boosting traffic at your small business during the off-season.

Launch New Initiatives Like a Loyalty Program

If you’re thinking about implementing a loyalty program, do it now. Better to test something on a day with five transactions instead of 500.

If you already have a loyalty program, consider emailing customers to update them on how they can get points to redeem. Many times, it’s all the incentive they’ll need to re-engage with your company. 

Loyalty programs aren’t just for coffee shops anymore. A recent study by Accenture found that 77% of consumers participate in one mor more loyalty programs – and the number is only rising.

But it’s true, upgrading systems and launching programs can be time consuming (depending on the system). That’s why it’s a good thing your slow-season gives you some extra time!

Have you seen your member savings dashboard lately?

Activate discounts from leading vendors in 20+ categories to put your member benefits to work on your bottom-line

Claim Your Member Benefits Today

Event season is here: take advantage

because knowledge is power (for you and your customers)

When you have ample time on your hands and business is predictably slow, it’s prime season for events. Whether this means attending an event or convention to expand your skillset and network with industry colleagues or throw an event that keeps your customers engaged, we leave up to you.  This could be anything from an open-house with coffee and donuts to a full-on party to say “Thanks” to your customers.

Get creative but make sure you stick to something that appeals to your core customer base.

Whether you’re hosting or attending an event in the off-season, it doesn’t have to be a three-ring circus. Keep it simple, focus on education or customer engagement

 Focus on ideas that can be executed at a fairly low-cost. Utilize the internet when possible, but make sure the event either drives people in your door or makes your company stronger, better, and more prepared to capitalize on your “busy” season.

Add new products or services to your offering

If you don’t have one already, have you considered adding a repair service to make-up for lost sales in the off-season? 

The off-season is a good time to introduce new products or services to your mix.

First of all, you have time to research and plan the launch. Secondly, the few customers that do come in the door can give you more thoughtful feedback. The slow season is the time for longer conversations with customers because it’s nearly impossible to meaningfully engage with the throngs of customers during the busy season.

People love FREE, consider a freebie

Customers are nuts about freebies. They love them! Figure out a good giveaway, like a low-cost product you currently sell, a free add-on to a flagship product (after purchase), or a marketing item like eyeglass cleaning microfiber cloths. Advertise through social media and email. Then hand out those freebies to every customer that comes into the store!

Find a cause to support, or partner with an organization

There are countless organizations that need funding. Pick one that’s relevant to your business or close to your heart and work out a partnership. Consider directing a percentage of your sales for the month to an organization you care about. Or, if you have a customer-facing or retail location, ask customers about rounding up at the register for the cause of the month. Make sure to post on social media about it and ask the organization to post as well.

Reward Your Local, Loyal Customer Base

In addition to planning events and giving your customers incentives to stay in touch, consider a special sale for your local accounts.

Whether you serve customers from a central location or meet them where they are – the closer they are, the lower the cost. Something like “Neighborhood Day” where local customers are given a special discount can be an easy way to support your core base of local customers.

If there’s a business nearby that you have a good relationship with, consider getting together and advertising it as a day or evening for customers to patronize their local businesses.

As you endure the slowness of the off-season at your small business, think creatively about ways to bring customers in the door. By hosting an event, launching a loyalty program, or partnering with businesses around you, you’ll see an uptick in customer traffic in no time.