How to Bring in Local Customers in Off Season
Whether you’re an ice cream shop, landscaping service, or restaurant, you’ve experienced the challenges of an off season.
After your industry and location’s peak season ends, both your website and storefront can feel like a ghost town. Don’t let the seasonal slump get you down! Instead of waiting for your peak season to start again, utilize this time to connect with more locals!
What is an Off Season?
Off Season is a period of time throughout the year when there is less activity in a business. Busy seasons or high seasons are typically followed by low seasons, also known as an off season. For most cities, this is typically when the weather isn’t ideal so not many people go on vacation. But, your off season can depend on cycles in your industry, not the weather.
How-to Maintain Revenue During Off Season
Small businesses experience a downturn in revenue during the off season. Here are a few ways to maintain revenue through the off season.
Attract Your Local Audience
No business can run without the support of the local audiences. With fewer visitors coming to your city, local customers are the key customers. For example, a restaurant can create a summer menu that has fewer options but includes new, different dishes that the locals can’t get normally. If you’re not sure what seasonal products or services to offer, conduct a customer survey and see what potential offerings your customers would enjoy.
You can also reach out to your loyal regular customers to refer you to someone who might want your product or service. You can offer them a discount coupon, freebie, or gift card for the referrals!
Get Involved with Local Events
Events are a great way to get your products or services in front of your customer based. Strategically position events during off season to increase traffic and revenue.
- Nothing sparks spending like a limited time offer. Hold an in-store one-day sale to attract locals to your storefront.
- You can utilize this time to preview next season’s offerings with a special in-store event for loyal, local customers.
- Partner with local non-profits and charities to have a giveback night online or in-store. This can double your promotional efforts because the charity will encourage its donor base to support your business.
- Locate local events such as restaurant weeks, festivals, marathons, or parades that fall during your offseason. You can partner with the event organizers and offer discounted rates for attendees and participants.
- Look for other partnerships with local businesses near you that make sense for your business and will increase profits. This can be an in-store pop-up shop, a class, or even promoting staycations!
Boost Sales with E-Commerce
If people aren’t likely to come to buy your products during your slow season, you can bring your products to them. Reach a wider audience by bringing the shopping experience online! E-commerce doesn’t just have to be for product-based businesses. Service-based industries like restaurants can sell gift cards and catering online whereas tour guides can sell trip planning ebooks online!
Get on the Map
According to Go Globe, 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their phones visited a store within a day. People are using their phones for local searches more. You can verify your business on Google My Business for free and appear in local searches on both Google’s map and search engine listings. If you’re not easily searchable, it’s hard for your customers to find you.
How to Reach Your Audience During Off Season
It’s essential to stay in touch with your current and old clients. Remind them that your business is still in existence by sending emails to stay in during the off-season. Your customers won’t know about your summer menu, referral program, or events unless you keep in contact with them. Promote your off-season specials and build anticipation for next season with email marketing!
Maintaining your online presence drives both customer loyalty and brand awareness! Use social media to provide quality, useful content and stay on your customer’s radar. Just because your customers aren’t visiting your site or at your storefront, they’re still scrolling through their social media feeds. Offer helpful content that speaks to your target audience all year long! Both social media and email marketing help to market your business at little to no cost.
Learn More About Retaining Customers in Off Season
Listen to our Marketing Manager, Allison, and Marketing Coordinator, Kristal, talk more about Off Season marketing strategies on our YouTube channel.
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