The Grapevine

Wine-Shop Business: Surviving the Slow Post-Holiday Period

January 6th, 2015

We all know the drill: you’re happy to have the chance to exhale after surviving the insanity that IS the holiday period for most retailers – for a day or two. Then the reality of very slow January sales begins to set in. We’ll talk tomorrow about marketing through slow periods like this, but today, let’s talk about other things you can do when the cash register isn’t ringing. [level-members]

Clean and Organize
Sounds mundane and not worth the time, but most of us are guilty of going blind to the details of the world around us after a while. Familiarity breeds … if not contempt, then at least unquestioning acceptance. And sometimes, some of the things we’re accepting are pretty questionable. So this is the time to paint, dust, replace worn fixtures, oil that creaky door hinge, and so on. Key idea here is to view your shop from your customers’ perspective.

Check Out the Competition
Next on the list has to be comparing your shop to your competitors’. Visit their shops and surf their websites and social media pages. Find any good ideas? Adapt them and make them your own.

Get Social
Spend some time on the social media channels popular in your industry and with your customers. You’ll probably find interesting conversations on Facebook or Twitter and inspiring images on Pinterest. Fold these ideas into your own marketing and business practices.

Plan for the Future
Now is the time to map out what you’re going to do for the rest of the year in terms of marketing and general business practices. If you’re diligent about using your downtime you’ll generate dozens of great ideas. If you try to implement them all at once, you’ll be burned out before you achieve any real results. Make a plan – and stick to it – for improving your marketing, your merchandising, your general business processes, etc.

We’re not suggesting you take the slow times laying down – generating revenue is still always job #1. But you should also be realistic about the post-holiday period typically being slower than the end-of-year rush. That slow period may not be a blessing, but if you use your time wisely, it doesn’t have to be a curse.