Fall is in full-swing, fourth quarter is here and Ice Cream Shops are entering the slow season; businesses have reported as much as a 30% decrease in daily sales. Pushing hard these last few months will directly impact your Q1 of next year. Utilize this time to get a jump on the competition.
Five actions to take NOW, end the year strong, and Super Charge Q1 of next year:
Analyze and Improve
Study your books! By targeting your busiest months you can evaluate what systems worked and improve upon those practices. Zone in on what is working or not working for your business and plan on maximizing the following year. Work with property management and other area businesses. Plan events or advertise together. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Talk To Your Employees
Understanding your business is more than reading the tea leaves of your balance sheet. Having insight from employees that are on the front lines of customer engagement is crucial. Do your frozen yogurt customers come to YOUR shop because of the color changing spoons kids love or the best variety of flavors swirling? Guess what…your employees can tell you. Alternatively you can ask employees for feedback about aspects of their job they like the most and maintain high employee retention rates. Create contests for employees to celebrate end of the year successes.
Catch up on tasks
Routine maintenance and repairs can often get pushed to the side when stores are busy. Use the added downtime to restore all equipment to optimum performance. Where necessary, bring in industry professionals to perform detailed tune-ups and annual maintenance duties. Fix that leaking faucet, replace the stained ceiling tiles. Get a jump on “spring cleaning”; this allows customers to see the care you take in maintaining your facilities.
Check out the competition
We are always analyzing our own business but take some time to checkout what your competitors are doing. Did they add a new revenue program that has stolen customers from you? Are they pushing new flavors or products that seem to have the locals excited? Did they try a program or product that you were thinking about that didn’t pan out and maybe you might want to reconsider investing in? Keeping your ear close to the ground can make sure that new trends and industry preferences don’t shift away from your business model. Always be ready to adapt to the marketplace.
Fourth quarter is full of family fun and gathering with friends! Get online and engage with your community. Offer incentives for people to visit and stay awhile like game night, karaoke or live performances. Not on social? Start a Facebook or Instagram and start sharing your favorite ice cream creations.
Wishing you the greatest success in Q4!