The last quarter of the year is tough for all B2B companies. Departmental budgets are waning thin, and most businesses are preparing to close out their fiscal year. Current client spending goes down as they prepare to be with their families over the holidays.
The end of year rush that makes it difficult for retailers to keep their heads above water is a direct contrast to business service providers who have a hard time getting enough business to make ends meet. B2B sales almost come to a halt during this time of year. But there is something you can do about it…
Why B2B Sales Dwindle in the Holiday Season
Your business success depends on understanding your clients’ budgets. If you know that they don’t have much money at the end of the year, then you probably shouldn’t try to market new products or services to them. Your sales will be abysmal if you try.
Money tends to get tight at the end of the year because your clients are either reaching the end of their budgets or have already spent too much.
B2B sales also tend to dwindle because many of the relevant team members are out on vacation trying to spend time with their families. Many prospects also have better things to do than read your emails.
Because of these slumps, this is one of the best times to invest in your content marketing. It’s easier to keep your leads warm for when they’re ready for your services instead of trying to rekindle it from a cold lead.
Budgeting to Get Your Small Business Through Sales Slumps
Keeping a small business budget will help you prepare for the holiday sales slump. Without one, you could suffer from a massive dent in your income.
You might have to implement a few measures to get through this leaner time. Try to avoid investing in new equipment or applying a new initiative during this time. If that’s not enough, you may also need to cut down on employee hours to save company funds.
Knowing what you have on hand at any given time can be difficult for small businesses, especially when each person has to fill multiple jobs. The right approach to managing your assets and inventory can help you understand the best way to prioritize your resources both during and after a sales slump.
Have a good plan: Leave wiggle room in your budget for the end of the year
The next time you work on your company’s annual budget, find a way to set money aside for leaner times. This could take the effect of setting aside a portion of the money you make during busy times or just a budget category designed only to be used at the end of the year. Doing this will help your company stay stable and prevent you from having to downsize too much at the end of the year.
Use asset management software to scale down efficiently
Asset management software helps you see what you have and how it’s being used. With this information, you can decide how and when to scale back your business efforts. If you lease equipment for your business projects, the end of the year is a great time to reduce what you spend with leasing companies. Keep careful track of your leased equipment so you’ll be armed with the intel you need to do this strategically.
Schedule maintenance and inventory checks
The end of the year is one of the best times to perform equipment and tool maintenance. You won’t have to interfere with workflow because there isn’t a lot of work happening.
Only doing your maintenance at the end of the year can be problematic. You’ll need to make sure your equipment stays maintained all year long. But you can still take this time to perform significant work that would typically interfere with production efforts. Using the right software program to track equipment maintenance history and needs will help you make the most well-informed decision possible.
Keep Morale High During Business Slumps
It’s easy to feel like clients don’t want to spend any more of their revenue on the services you over. Try to remember that almost every other B2B company is going through a similar phase.
Take this time to sit back and breath. You and your employees have earned a break. Looking at this as the natural cycle of business spending can help you see that all you need to do is be patient and wait for the beginning of the next year.
Remember that every industry has their busy times and their downtimes. Shortly after the holidays are over, B2C companies have a sharp sales decrease that can lead to lost revenue.
But for you, the start of the year can often be one of the busiest times of the year. Don’t be discouraged by the lack of sales right now — it will all pan out in the end with the right preparation and persistence!
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