When October rolls around, many small business owners are in a panic about their Christmas or New Year’s bookings, thinking that they’re not going to get any at all, or that they won’t make as much money as last year. While this may be true for some people, it doesn’t have to be true for you! There are plenty of things you can do right now to be ready when the next peak booking season comes around so that you don’t suffer from annual no-bookings panic anymore.
Get inspired by restaurants that are beating the slump
Bars and restaurants are always suffering from a long, slow lull in business this time of year. The best way to beat it is to find creative ways to draw people into your establishment, by hosting events or specials they won’t find anywhere else. Offer wine tastings during lunch, offer brunch every day, and as soon as you get more traditional dinners available (during normal business hours), offer discounted meals that are higher quality than what’s typical on the menu.
Put yourself in their shoes
Most small business owners are excited about their new enterprises, so it’s tough to keep a no-bookings panic away. But one of the best ways to keep you from freaking out is to take a step back and identify what you can do. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and look at your business from their perspective. Ask yourself what they would want, then implement these changes into your business! The most important thing is to stay positive and show that there’s always hope.
Identify what’s right with your restaurant
Think about what’s going well, and look into why. Perhaps you’re getting a lot of customer feedback on certain menu items, or maybe you’ve increased your advertising budget. Or maybe there’s a problem that you need to address–say, customer complaints that drinks taste watered down? Once you identify the positives and negatives, ask yourself how you can improve on those items to increase your sales.
Do research on how other businesses manage it
Do your research. Why do you think no one is booking? Is it a price issue? Competition in your niche? Location of your business? Is there any way to differentiate yourself from others in your industry so that people will choose you over them? Is there anything wrong with your service or product that customers need to know about before booking with you?
Focus on ways you can increase engagement
The best way to increase engagement is by encouraging your customers to give feedback on their experience with your company. This can be done through a survey at the end of their visit, or you could even set up a form on your website that asks them questions about their visit. In return, you could offer some sort of deal as an incentive. Another way to increase engagement is by setting up promotional deals and discounts. You can do this through social media, email or even in person if possible.
Work with local influencers to drive awareness
If you’re running a small business, getting exposure to your customers is one of the most important pieces of any marketing plan. This can be a tall order. If you don’t have as much money to spend on marketing as larger businesses, how do you get in front of your target audience? You might want to look into leveraging people who already have connections with your target audience and see if they will help out or offer advice on best practices.
Stay calm through these changes
Don’t let the lack of bookings deter you from your main goal. Remember, you’re in this for the long haul. One year is a small percentage of how long it takes to build a business and make money as an entrepreneur, so don’t be too worried about one bad year in which you barely make any sales at all.
Partner with United Funding Group
In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever to have a reliable partner you can count on for funding, especially with a Startup business. United Funding Group has a long history of helping small businesses weather tough times. We offer a variety of funding options that can be tailored to your specific needs. So if you’re worried about how inflation will impact your business, give us a call. We’re here to help.
Contact UFG, Today!
United Funding Group provides funding for all types of businesses, regardless of industry. We provide merchant cash advances for many industries, including retail, service, restaurant, and real estate investment. Whether expanding your business or opening a new one, we can get you funded quickly and easily. Contact us today to learn more about merchant cash advances from United Funding Group, ufgfunding.com.