Whether you own a small, local bakery, or a small franchise, you’ve no doubt felt the frustrations of the off-season.
When you’re in season, you get a steady stream of customers to your website and your store… but as that tapers off, you worry about how to keep the lights on… or how to make sure your customers remember you next year.
So instead of worrying, here’s a few ways you can be more pro-active and speed up your slow season.
#1 Don’t Wait Until It’s Slow
A lot of people wait until it’s slow to start worrying about getting customers in the door. But doing that just means that you’ve have to work a lot harder to get in front of people.
Instead, take advantage of the busy times to grow your database of customers… you know, while they’re right in front of you.
- Start a customer loyalty program…
- Have people sign up to your company email newsletter…
- Have them subscribe to your blog…
- Or follow you on Facebook…
- Hold a contest where they can enter to win a free treat by signing up with their email…
However you want to do it – if you can get their email address so you have permission to send them a marketing email, then that will help you get their attention in the off-season.
#2 Get Your Customers Involved With Reviews
Yummy treats usually come with their own memories… whether they are a heartbreak cure, a celebration centerpiece, or just a guilty pleasure… those sweet goodies make us emotional.
Use that emotion in your marketing to grow your business. Ask your customers for reviews of your products and business. That gets them more invested in your company.
Then when you use those reviews on your website, in your blog posts, and in other aspects of your marketing – future customers will read and react to those emotions your customers shared and be likely to buy from you.
#3 Do Off-Season With Flair
Don’t be afraid to be different. Easter cupcakes with a Halloween twist in October. Summer flavors in winter. Or any other off-the-wall combination you can think of.
This sets you apart from your competitors and helps get people talking about you and spreading the word.
#4 Reach Out To New Markets
When things are slow, look at what niche markets you could be leveraging for additional sales.
Can you make an awesome gluten or sugar-free treat? Do you specialize in super-fun or super-creepy, or super-unique designs? What can you do that sets you apart?
Then start thinking of what the market would be for that and how you could reach them. Then market to them using your blog, your social media accounts, or email newsletters.
#5 Market to the Locals
If you run a business somewhere that gets seasonal travelers – like Florida’s snow birds in the winter – then focus on the locals when they leave.
By offering discounts to your local customers, you can keep yourself busy after the crowds leave. This also helps you build good relationships with the people that will be there to support you throughout the entire year.
So use our free ebook to find out how…