Guest Contributor

How to Recover from a Decline in Sales this Holiday Season

By | John Packham

It’s that time of year again when everyone is talking about spending money, buying more and picking up the things they’ve been waiting all year to spend money on. The holiday season used to be about family and friends, good food and fun and now it’s become a commercial scene where everyone with a computer and an internet connection is fighting for your attention.            

As a business owner, this is the time of year that you most look forward to because it means more sales and more revenue. What was lacking all year is virtually promised to every business owner in spades over the holiday season, but what happens if your business doesn’t become flush with cash this year? Or next?

What do business owners do when Black Friday doesn’t actually push then into the black? Here’s how you can recover from a decline in your holiday sales this year. It won’t happen overnight, but it is possible.

Go Back to the Drawing Board

When January rolls around and you are shocked at the lack of sales you brought in this holiday season, you need to take a long, hard look in the mirror and ask yourself what your plan was for bringing in those sales. Ask yourself how you presented and promote your brand, products and services and then consider if you really did all you could.

Sure, it seems easy to point the finger at your now that it’s all said and done and say it’s your fault that your business didn’t grow this holiday season, but that’s not the intention of this exercise.

The intention is to dig into what happened and figure out where you went wrong. You might find that there were many external circumstances that prevented you from actually getting the word out, or you might find that maybe you didn’t do what you planned to do when the time came. It’s all good.

The point is to just figure out what went wrong. It’s not an exercise in blame.

Create a New Drawing Board

Once you’ve done a debrief on where you think you went wrong, consider what went right and focus on doing more of that in the next round.

Consider new ways for you and your business to show up when it matters most and think about how you can offer new versions of your products and services to your existing clients.

Afterall, it costs less money to keep a client than it does to find a new one. Can you repackage or repurpose your content, products, services or even your sales and offer them in a new and different way? You don’t have to start over, but come up with a new path forward.

Get Some Feedback

While you are busy driving yourself crazy wondering where the hell you went wrong, take your questions to your customers and find out what happened. Send our emails to your network, get social online and talk to customers, new or old, and find out where they spent money this year and why.

Be frank about your situation and don’t try to hide it under the rug. Customers love an authentic business story and if your story is that your broke because you messed up your holiday orders, then own it.

Creating a feedback system for your customers and even your employees can be a great way to find out where you went wrong, while always getting some positive feedback about what went right.

Along the way, if you have found that the problems are internal, some work will need to be done to set the record straight and ensure that the issues don’t arise again in the future.

But for the most part, recovering from a lack of sales during the holiday season has everything to do with the attitude you have and the speed with which you act on this information.

The sooner you start the recovery process, the better off you’ll be. You might be inclined to curl up and hide from the world after a shoddy holiday season, but the best course of action is to take more action and keep taking action until you find out what works.


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