Can you predict the weather of your business?
Most of us have busy seasons and dry seasons. We wonder how we can gain better control of our cash flow. The answer is right in front of you—if you look a little closer—forecasting your business.
Identify trends in your business
When is your busiest time of the year? Holiday season? Springtime? Back to school? The key is to look at your books and spot consecutive months of high gross revenue. Once you identify that, take a look closer at top selling products or services. Identify other contributing factors such as community, ethnic groups and referrals. Gather all the details and contributing factors. Now prepare to maximize your busy season. Forecasting is your strategic advantage.
Reverse engineer it. Set revenue goals significantly higher. Don’t set the bar too low here because you want to see how far you can really push yourself, your amazingly creative mind and your team. Let’s take a dentist for instance.
Step 2: Multiple revenue drivers
Maximize how many different ways you can reach your goal. If the key service, people bought during the busy season, were cleanings—then up-sell for teeth whitening. Have a referral bonus drive. Run a discounted special only available during your busy season (very important because fear of losing out is a powerful driver). Presell future cleanings (after all money now is better than money later).
Don’t stop there. Think about what other businesses do and adapt their policies. For instance, you’re at the dealership getting an oil change and the tech spots an issue. The rep says what he found, gives you quotes and asks if you want to take care of it now. Most people say yes, if it’s under a certain amount and it won’t take too much extra time. Why can’t you do the same and run a free tooth exam or something like that? In your expertise, you’ll spot problems, give valuable advice, and create a future client.
Step 3: Create the marketing plan & collateral materials
You have your game plan. What will you need to make it work? Fliers? Mailers? Email campaigns? Social media ads? Content marketing or something else? Most likely all of them since you want to implement all your marketing at one time to maximize awareness and saturation.
The key to making it work is to plan everything 3-6 months before your busy season hits. Send out collateral material two weeks before your start date. Track everything! Evaluate what works and what doesn’t. Change your plan for next year based upon your results.
Plans more predictable than the weather
When you forecast trends in your business, you’ll have revenue more predictable than the weather. Until next time I wish you much success leveraging your business to realize your goals.
George Paul III is a branding expert and award-winning designer. He’s the Founder of Seize the Brand, an education platform designed to empower business owners by leveraging the power of branding to realize business and life goals.