Often business owners enter into a new year with strong hopes of this being their best year yet. They anticipate more new clients, resulting in an increase in sales. Then the end-of-month financial report is reviewed and they find a drop in sales and revenue, compared to last year at this time.
If this happened to you, there is a short list of things to consider as possibly being the cause. As you read through these, answer truthfully to yourself. It might shine a light on the situation early enough to recoup quickly. It’s never too late to correct any situation, but the earlier, the better.
As the owner of a home inventory business some of these have happened to me. I have also heard from other home inventory business owners when mentoring our Licensees who work with us as they start and grow their business. Other insights for this blog post have come from friends who are also business owners and home-based business owners in a variety of industries. By speaking with them, I have discovered some common reasons for a business to have a slow month in January. Below are the 7 most frequent causes for this drop in business.
What might have caused a slow start
- After the holidays, people are tired and it might take while to get their energy back.
- Another cause that can be blamed on the holiday is a loss of routine. It can take a while to get your routine back, now that normal business hours have begun, and less “partying” or “relaxed atmosphere” is in the office. It can take awhile to get the sales calls and meeting schedules back on track.
- You might have stopped doing something that needs to be done. This can be a monthly review of work processes, failure to measure results, maintaining continued contact with current clients, regular postings and conversations on social media – the list of small things that make a difference is endless. If you stop doing them, it can easily show up in the bottom line.
- You might have lost interest in what you’re doing. This is huge – so if this is what you think might be happening, it’s time to look at alternatives such as selling the business, hiring a general manager, or taking a few months off to see if you really have lost interest, or if there is another deeper issue.
- If you made a lot of changes at once, you and your employees could have lost focus, or are just unable to focus on everything at one time. Pull the reigns in, set priorities, and get back to basics.
- The many changes could also result in failed or a lack of communication. Make sure everyone on your team understands what your goals – and theirs – are and how they can each help make it happen.
- Your company might have had some bad press. This can be strongly reflected in a loss of sales. Fix it.
If any of these are happening in your company, an honest review will discover them. Maybe more than one is happening at the same time. That’s OK. You have plenty of time to correct it. One month into the year gives you 11 months of great results to enable you to finish the year as you had planned … as your best year yet.