How to Make your Business Thrive, Not Just Survive, During that ‘Slow Season’

One issue that affects nearly every business is dealing with those times of the year when customer interaction slows down, demand for products and services diminishes, or Mother Nature has other plans for your bottom line.

Whether it’s retail, construction, recreation or entertainment, those slow periods can cause anxiety with business owners wondering what strategies might minimize expenses and still help retain the loyal people who’ve stuck with your company through its ups and downs.

In my line of work, the dining and hospitality business, we’ve developed some off-season strategies that keep guests coming back. While we enjoy our peak seasons in the summer and fall, we’ve been able to stay busy year-round.  Maybe some of our ideas can be adapted to fit your organization’s needs:

  • Develop a customer loyalty/rewards program, then tie it to your direct mail and online marketing efforts by offering last-minute deals and special packages to loyalty club members.
  • If your slow time of year is seasonal or weather-related, look for ways to keep customers coming in by sponsoring special events, such as guest speakers, product demonstrations, free product samples, prize drawings, etc. Here, at the Bavarian Inn Lodge, we plan special events all year long and provide a full range of amenities and activities so that guests don’t even need to leave the building. Even on the slowest evenings, “the show must go on,” so our nightly entertainment continues uninterrupted, year-round.
  • If your business takes customers outdoors, provide comfort and safety features that allow them to fully enjoy their surroundings. For example, we installed heated walkways around our property as well as at our nearby Frankenmuth River Place Shops complex so that guests can walk safely around our venues regardless of the weather with no snow or ice. We also provide free shuttle service to the shops and the nearby Bavarian Inn Restaurant if they prefer a ride.
  • Tailor your marketing efforts to potential customers who enjoy off-season experiences, like people who prefer to avoid crowds. Much like many home improvement companies, why not offer special off-season pricing if it makes sense for your business?

Finally, keep fishing new streams to find new customers. Become savvy with social media networks that attract potential customers, and never stop learning about the latest sales and marketing techniques that might work for your business.  Keep looking for new ideas that work for you and soon you’ll be enjoying better business during your traditional “slow season. “

Judy Zehnder Keller is president of the Bavarian Inn Lodge and Convention Center in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Nestled along the Cass River in one of Michigan’s top tourist locations – Frankenmuth – the Lodge has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, four indoor pools, three whirlpools, two water slides, a miniature golf course, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants — all under one roof. In addition to being president of the lodge, Judy is also president of the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus, Frankenmuth Gift Shop and Frankenmuth Motel. She is recognized statewide for her leadership in promoting tourism in Michigan.


Add Comment

No Preview
Entrepreneurs – Building Your Business – One Day at a Time
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Femi Otedola
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Social Capital
Four Administrative Apps Will Save Your Sanity: And Make Sure You Get Paid
Online Loan Aggregators
The Best Uses for a Personal Loan: 3 Times Personal Loan is Better Than the Alternative
The Top 10 Visa Credit Cards of 2017
There’s a Better Option Than Bankruptcy You Need To Know About
Getting Engaged: Why Engaged Couples Should Discuss Finances
How IoT and AI Can Create a New Era of Collaboration
The Top Ten SSPs in Digital Advertising Right Now
The Top Five Medical Breakthroughs in 2017
The Top 10 Selling Pieces of Wearable Tech on Amazon
Traveling to Cyprus? Here’s How to Get a Visa
Five Reasons to Go to the Greater Phoenix Area
The Top Ten Rated Hotels in San Diego in 2017
The Top Ten Tips to Get Free Flight Upgrades
Four Types of Used Car Dealer Frauds to Watch Out For
The Top Ten 2018 SUVs to Keep an Eye On
The Lexus GX 460: 10 Things You Need to Know
The Top 20 Fuel Economy Car Models of 2017
The Top Five Omega Speedmaster Models Out There Right Now
The Top Five Diving Watches For Under $500
The Top Five Vintage Rolex Models Money Can Buy
The Breitling Colt Racer: The Cheapest, Lightest and Most Precise