If you’re feeling overwhelmed right now, it’s normal – there’s a lot happening.
Home schooling kids, partner working from home, you working from home, running your household, running your business, leading your team and trying to get in a bit of “me-time”… no wonder you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Many business owners are feeling the emotional effects of the world at the moment. The most important thing is to release it as soon as possible.
What to do if you are overwhelmed:
- Self-care is important: Be sure to do the things that relax you and make you happy. Make sure you get that walk or exercise time in, have a bath if you need it and lock yourself in your room away from distractions at home if that’s what you’ve got to do to get even 15 minutes of mind-quietening time.
- Get a plan together for your next 3-6 months: This might mean reworking your plan or working with us to get a strategic plan in place so you keep your business afloat and making money.
- Get a cashflow forecast together: We can help with this, but essentially you need to know where your money is coming from, especially if things have changed drastically in your business. One of the best things you can do for your business right now is to understand your numbers and know what’s coming in in the next few months.
- Set your priorities: What’s important to you, what do you need to get done daily and weekly, and what can you do to get more hours in the day. Do you need to outsource, delegate more, automate or organise. Can you get any extra help in your business at the moment, even if just for a little while. There are many people who have lost work and jobs, and businesses who need support right now.
- Ramp up your strategic marketing: If you have had a dip in sales, you need to make sure it doesn’t keep dipping! I’ve got some tips below on what to do when you have “seasonal” dips in your income. I’d call the effects coronavirus has had on the economy and small business a “seasonal dip” – wouldn’t you? So let’s fix that for you.
Planning for seasonal dips in income
“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” – Stephen Hawking
Any dips in your income can be highly challenging when you’re a small business. But there are proactive ways to predict, plan for and overcome seasonal or unexpected dips in revenue.
Every business should have a back-up plan in the case of an unexpected event. Now, the thing with an unexpected event is that it’s “unexpected” – and sometimes the contingency plan might be to get a job or to have time off. Whatever your plan, you must plan your income, so putting some money away for a rainy day will be one thing you can do to help get yourself through it.
The key to dealing with seasonal dips is to know when they’re most likely to occur, and to have measures in place to spread your income and revenue pipeline over the course of the year.
Now, at this very point in time, you might not have it in your calendar as a “seasonal” time, but having that extra income is certainly going to benefit you, wouldn’t you agree?
Understanding dips in your business and industry
If your business is seasonal such as pool supplies, or a ski gear specialist, you’ll be used to the peaks and troughs, but many ‘non-seasonal’ businesses experience times during the financial year where sales and revenue peak – and, on the flipside, where sales and revenue experience a pronounced dip.
So, what are the key ways to plan for dips?
- Forecast your dips – it’s vital to know WHEN you’re most likely to experience any dips. Looking at benchmarking reports for your industry is one way to predict the seasonality in your niche or sector. But you can also use your own accounting data to great effect. Look back through your profit and loss reports and spot where the peaks and troughs have occurred over preceding years.
- Charge a premium in peak time – one straightforward approach is to apply premium pricing for your products and services during the busy season. Right now, some businesses are booming and some are even putting their prices up. By increasing your pricing, you boost your overall revenue, giving you more working capital to see you through the leaner months when sales and income are at their lowest. This might not help you right now, but now is the perfect time to get your plan in place.
- Offer additional peak-time services – offering added extras and other additional service lines during peak time is another way to maximise the season. In the months where customers are most engaged, look to upsell these premium services and offer more value. Satisfied clients will be more inclined to pay for added extras, giving you an increased revenue stream from the same number of customers.
- Target other markets – exploring other related markets is another useful tactic. When you’re experiencing downtime, look for other ways to monetise your existing assets, products or services. For example, if you’re a hotel where sales peak in summertime, offer discounted conference space in the winter months to boost revenue.
- Diversify your products/services – if one product/service has a known seasonal dip, look at adding an additional product or service to offset this downtime. For example, a ski resort could promote bike-riding or hiking breaks during the warmer summer months to keep revenue constant. Likewise a pool-maintenance business could establish an outdoor fireplace business for the colder months.
- Have a regional e-commerce strategy – if you’re dependent on a small local market, broadening your marketing and e-commerce strategies can help to attract a wider customer base – and bolster sales. Paid advertising through Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter can easily target new geographical markets, bringing in new customers and giving your revenue a much-needed uplift during seasonal troughs.
Talk to us about planning and get rid of overwhelm
If your business is struggling with dips, and the resulting impact on cashflow, come and talk to us. We’ll help you identify the timing of your seasonal downtime, and come up with a clear strategy for stabilising your income across the year.