Home – New Forums Marketing mastery Riding the emotional business rollercoaster!

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  • #964094
    Lili
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    Hi Everyone

    Haven’t posted here before but have been a long time reader of flyingsolo.

    I have an online business, I import a specific product and sell through my online store. I am the sole distributor of my product in Australia and New Zealand.

    To date I have been extremely fortunate and managed to get editorial coverage in all the major city newspapers and all the major glossy magazines including Women’s Weekly, Gourmet Traveller, Super Food Ideas, Donna Hay and about 12 other magazines etc.

    Since launching my product in May 2008 the response has been brilliant but since Christmas the sales have completely dropped off to next to nothing and I’m starting to panic. I am currently riding the emotional rollercoaster and worrying myself into a bit of a state about the future – or is it just January in general?

    I do email my database but don’t overload them, I did one in December and have emailed this morning to see what response I get. I am looking at wholesale opportunities and other ways to boost sales but I must say it’s all quite scary!!

    My questions are:-

    Have you had a drop in sales? and if so, How do you deal with it in relation to cash flow and emotions?

    Thanks so much.

    #1003062
    ray_223
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    Yes, running a business can be very stressful, I think everyone has highs and lows (I know I do).

    Supply and demand is very industry specific. The only way I judge sales is by comparing monthly sales to the previous year.

    For me, things start to decline in December, January is very slow and they start to build in February. I’m sure this is very common, I’m also sure there are many other spikes and troughs by industry.

    #1003063
    LeelaCosgrove
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    It’s quite normal to experience a drop off in sales in December / January.

    Although, of course, this year is kind of different. People selling luxury items are genuinely concerned that sales won’t pick back up.

    It’s hard to say whether this may be your quandry or not, given that we don’t know what your product is … either way, now is the time to really hit the guerilla marketing side of things … you need to really consider hitting it hard – to ensure that there is less chance of having a huge drop off.

    Don’t panic – that doesn’t help you! Instead, focus on what you CAN do right now. You can’t control what people are doing right now … but you can control how you deal with it … start doing stuff and the panic will fade …

    #1003064
    MissieK
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    I usually have a quiet January because my clients are on school holidays!

    It may simply be that your target market is on holiday and that’s why sales have dropped. Maybe you can use this time to plan your marketing strategies for the rest of the year to keep things moving along so sales will pick up again :)

    Melissa

    #1003065
    BrightSpark
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    As you haven’t been in business a year yet you can not know what cycle the business is going to take at this stage. You will find that business does cycle and you will need to take advantage of this.

    Next year it most likely will also take a drop at this time of year so that is when you use it to take a holiday as well or you try to target the market so that sales don’t drop.

    Personally I prefer to have the quite time so that I can recharge, collect my thoughts, examine the past year and see where I can improve for this year, all without the pressure of the day to day running of the business as well.

    #1003066
    Anonymous
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    Hi Lili,

    I actually posted a similar question about a week ago so I’m glad I’m not alone! I only just started out in business on a full time basis in November last year so haven’t experienced a January season yet… note to self for next year!

    I have heard from quite a few people that things pick up again in February. I’ve actually taken on some great advice from members in the Forum and am spending my time planning ahead and working on some marketing strategies. I’m also going to do some cold calling and send out some emails this week to try and get the ball rolling that way. I read in a Sydney Morning Herald article that it’s not up to your clients to remember you, so I’m taking that on board too.

    Don’t stress too much! Just keep doing what you can do and keep moving forward.

    Cheers
    Bronwyn

    #1003067
    Lili
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    Thank you so so much everyone for your tips and advice, really appreciated. Somtimes I think its just great to know that I’m not all alone and to voice my ridiculous busy brain helps!!!

    I’m sure its just the slow time of year and yes being my first year in business is very hard to gauge how its all going to pan out….take the good with the bad…the ups with the downs :o)

    Thanks again!!

    #1003068
    gregpritchard.virtualcio
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    Hi Lili,

    Have faith in your product, and your client base. I wouldn’t change what you’re doing in terms of marketing, promotion too dramatically. Ride out the cycle.

    Something we do in the December/January period is to work on new product development. As we don’t seem to be able to relax and chill that well, we spend the quiet time madly working on a new product/service to market or sell to our existing (or new) clients. The upside of that is, when everyone comes back from their leave, we have a great reason to contact them and have a chat. Also, working on the product means that the quiet time is actually never long enough!

    Other things we do are to work out our strategic plans for the coming year, refine business plans and meet with our advisory board. All those things that we know needs to be done, but when we’re busy tending to our business or our clients; we never seem to get time to do.

    In a quiet time, the sound of our negative thoughts can start raising to an audible, and distracting pitch. Sometimes, and it works for me, its best to simply keep busy rather than focusing on what’s not happening. When it gets busy again, you’ll also be glad that you got all those other things done, rather than fretting about the how’s and why’s of it was quiet.

    Lastly, a lot of the clients/partners I’ve spoken to are expecting the January slowness to trickle into February this year.

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