According to the Proflower.com website, an estimated 198 million roses were produced for Valentine’s Day in 2010. On the day of and the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, roses practically sell themselves. Around Christmas, home improvement stores cannot keep enough pre-lit trees in stock. In spring, landscaping services are busier than ever, getting customers lawns ready for summer.
Most small business owners understand the importance of timing, when it comes to moving product and offering services. However, very few small businesses have a “busy season” that lasts year round. That is why it is important to learn how you can sell off-season too. That way you can earn some form of income throughout the year, to help maintain your business until you get to your business season. These five tips will help you on your quest to sell that plastic reindeer—in August.
Extend the Season
Have you noticed that the large retail stores start putting out their Christmas items earlier and earlier? They are taking advantage of the fact that many people want to start prepping for the holiday earlier—because of how busy many people are today. You can do the same thing with nearly any type of busy season. Start encouraging your customers to prep their lawns for summer in late winter, recommend that floral customers pre-order flowers for weddings or holidays and remind customers that it is important to find just the right plastic reindeer before everyone starts buying them. Any of these ideas can help that busy window open much wider.
Add Complementary Products/Services
While you may not be able to sell a plastic reindeer in the middle of summer, perhaps you could sell flamingos! Think about the products or services that are popular in your busy season and see if there are similar things you can sell in other seasons. A landscaping firm may want to get into shoveling snow while a floral shop could start selling collectibles too.
This is more applicable to product-based businesses; however, if you are willing to sell your product online you may have better luck selling during your off-season. So, hire a copywriter, build a webpage and get started in the world of online sales. When you sell online, you are selling around the world, not just in your backyard. Who knows, maybe in Madagascar, plastic reindeers may be all the rage for year round décor.
Market to the Niches
While you may generally try to sell your products to as large an audience as possible, selling off-season requires some creativity. Spend some time researching the niche markets out there and see if you can reach a new audience that way. While you may not be able to sell plastic reindeers for Christmas décor in summer, there is likely a small group of reindeer collectors out there that are always looking for the newest and best in reindeer décor.
Offer a Deal
Finally, remember that many of your customers cannot resist a deal. If you can find a way to mark the price down low enough (and still make a profit), customers will buy your product or service even in the off-season. If you and your landscaping crew are sitting around twiddling your thumbs, you may consider offering a low-price winter special to introduce customers to your service. As for last year’s plastic reindeer? A clearance sale can earn you a bit of income and may encourage customers to purchase some complementary items while they are shopping your stock. When all else fails, a sale will provide a temporary boost.
Tracy S is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.