By Terry Corbell
You Can Turn Around Slow Q1 Sales after Strong Holidays
OK, so your sales have slowed in Q1 after you got a big sales boost in the holiday season. However, there are steps you can take to jump-start your business for the short and long-term.
It’s in your best interest to lay a foundation for growth and strategize now to increase sales.
1. Review your New Year’s resolutions
If you’re like most people, you decided on New Year’s resolutions. Take the time to review and implement them.
If you want suggestions for New Year resolutions, here’s a checklist.
2. Analyze your profitability
Look at your budget. You should always keep an eye on cash flow and how to improve your financials.
To lead your company to high profitability and to stay there, use best practices in due diligence for profitability.
3. Evaluate your branding
Analyze what’s been working and what hasn’t. Critically look at your messaging, slogan, logo and marketing plan.
If you haven’t completed a strong marketing plan to complement your business plan, you’re missing some salient benefits. An effective marketing plan generates revenue and alleviates uncertainty for your business.
There are marketing plan fundamentals for best results.
4. Analyze your operations
By all means, look at your business operations and customer service. Consider how you can improve operations for profits.
5. Consider New Year opportunities
Hopefully, you included New Year coupons in your holiday sales. If you didn’t, include coupons or discount codes in your social media or email campaigns.
Digital marketing opportunities keep growing and growing. For instance, 70 percent of consumers research product reviews while they shop in stores.
Ninety percent are relying on their mobile devices as they make in-store buying decisions. Take advantage of marketing opportunities in mobile devices, reviews and coupons.
6. Capitalize on returns
You might still be getting returns. You can do two things.
Firstly, make sure it’s a positive experience for your customers. Secondly, turn them into opportunities for growth by offering discounts on any new impulse purchases.
7. Connect with your holiday customers
Follow up with your holiday shoppers. Query them about their shopping experience.
Customer engagement and word-of-mouth advertising have taken on an increasing importance. Your customers are your best source for business advice.
Take action when feasible if they make recommendations.
Insert new promotions or coupons.
8. Display your gratitude
One of the biggest shortcomings of retailers is their failure to thank customers.
Assume you didn’t do your best to thank customers during the holidays. During a downturn, thank your customers.
You can offer deals in emails or hold special events for loyal customers.
9. Manage your online reviews
Internet-savvy shoppers read reviews to make buying decisions. You should always encourage happy customers to share their experiences in online reviews.
Next, be sure to profit from your online customer reviews.
If you are attacked in bad or bogus reviews, be certain to respond well.
Strategize on how to continue the approach in the New Year.
10. Design a campaign for holiday gift cards
Create a strategy for the recipients of holiday cards so you get extra mileage from those card purchases.
11. Stage fun contests
Engage your customers. Customers love to share pictures. Host a fun contest center them around the Super Bowl or Valentine’s Day.
12. Invest your profits
Hint: Your best buys in media advertising are available in the first quarter. Radio and TV stations have extra inventory to sell and they price it accordingly.
13. Try behavioral marketing or retargeting
Go after your customers in a retargeting campaign. That’s to reach prospective customers based on their Internet searches, if they leave your Web site and don’t buy from you.
Other firms use retargeting to purchase advertising. Basically, retargeting is accomplished by using a cookie or pixel, to show banner ads to Internet users.
But transparency is a significant problem for advertisers. There are eight ways to get transparency from your retargeting campaign.
14. Consider new launches in products or services
Now’s a great time to consider, implement and to market new products and services. Lack of money and financial planning are the biggest obstacles to success, so be sure your new product gets traction.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are tips to complement the above points:
For the Best Cash Flow, Manage Your Inventory Costs with 8 Tips — With proper inventory management, you can lower your expenses and increase your cash flow. For many businesses, it means taking a look at your inventory costs.
5 Bold Steps for Best Results from Your Marketing Plan — Why do seemingly great marketing plans fail to yield the desired results? Well, one reason: Such plans don’t turn the ideas into reality because they’re not action-oriented. What counts is the scheduled specific footwork, and then tracking the results. There’s a second reason, quality of execution.
Scholar: Get More Bang from Your Online Ad Investment — Advertisers can get the most return on their Internet advertising investments by using better metrics for sourcing, according to research by Wharton marketing Professor Ron Berman.
Insights: Making Your Google Search Ads Cost-Effective — Here’s how to get more bang for your buck in digital marketing. In search advertising on Google, less-known brands benefit from top positions a lot more than well-known companies. That’s just one conclusion on click-through rates from a Stanford research study released in 2015.
Digital Marketing Trends: Choose Your Best Tactics — True, marketing has evolved rapidly in the last quarter century. And yes, it’s important to be mindful of trends, especially in digital marketing — good and bad.
“Celebrate what you want to see more of.”
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is also a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.