I’m not soothsayer, and, therefore, I tend not to be much in the way of a gambler. Owning a business is about taking risks, but being calculating about them, and then planning for them.
While there are always exceptions to the rules, the vast majority of businesses have sales cycles. I’m not talking about the cycle of the sales process, mind you. These are times of the year where sales are extraordinarily good and full of windfalls such as the “accounting season” between the first of the year and the middle of April and the holiday season which, of course, features Black Friday and Christmas shopping.
However, there are also times in the year where, when gathered from historical data, you can determine when your “slow season” tends to be. In construction (especially in concrete) business tends to be “dead” in the colder winter months, for instance. If you properly systematize your business, you may feel this period much less because A) you have residual income coming in and B) you have reserves from the “busy season”. However, I believe that, for the majority of small businesses out there, the main problem is lack of the latter; we don’t budget for those historically slow times.
I want to share with you that, from personal experience, it is incredibly important to have a plan for these slow times. When I owned my last company, the data across the board, even with some of my most seasoned peers indicated that during the period between Christmas and mid-to-end February, business would only trickle in. However, I found myself spending more and more to attempt to get more business through conventional marketing than spending my time fostering relationships and keeping my reserves.
What is your sales cycle? Are you planning for it?
Keep Moving Forward.