The time between having your first drink during the Melbourne Cup and your last beer on Australia Day, can be a slow period for Australian business and hard to maintain your business bottom-line.

For many B2B business owners, business development managers, sales teams and even the beanies in the finance team, we may be entering a slow growth period where it is harder to maintain your business bottom-line. This isn’t helped by the uncertainty of the upcoming State Election, with so many industries governed by state law, this puts a freeze on hiring and investment decisions until after the election.

If you are not in retail, real estate or finishing a building project before Christmas, the almost three-month period can seem endless, with overhead costs still the same, whilst revenue slips. Every business owner needs a rest period, but none of us wants this time to eat up too much of the first quarter profits as this will affect the likelihood of a healthy bottom-line come to the end of financial year.

Seasonality affects all businesses, so it’s important to be prepared to ensure your business can maintain a healthy bottom line during that time. Here are a few things you can start implementing to prepare your business:

1.    Retain existing clients

It’s no secret that retaining existing clients is far more profitable and cost-effective than looking for new ones, particularly when your business is about to go through a slow period. According to a study by Bain & Company, “60 – 80% of customers who describe themselves as ‘satisfied’ do not go back to do more business with the company that initially satisfied them.” It is imperative that businesses stay in touch with personalised content that is relevant to the particular client and continues to build on the existing relationship and stay front of mind for when the next purchase decision is made.

I’m sure that every one of your clients has more than just a few Christmas functions that they need to attend. So do something different to thank your clients for their business, and send them a small personalised gift instead.

2.    Focus on the future

It is not uncommon for business owners to only think about what is happening at the present, however, to get you through a quieter period, it’s important to focus on the next 12 months and fill your pipeline with new potential opportunities. Harbak is able to help in this instance and can provide business matchmaking services that can include identifying opportunities for hidden revenue and discovering new potential client contacts to start talking to.

The top reason for business insolvency is poor management of cash, so monitoring cash inflow against outflow is imperative especially after Melbourne Cup day. Harbak can help you identify any shortfall in predicted sales income, and work to predict when this may happen, thus enabling you to put plans in place to fill the gaps and insulate the business from slower periods.

3.    Business Development

Whether it is occasionally or on an ongoing basis, business development requires plans and techniques to generate the additional work that will be required to either maintain or expand current workloads. To maximise a business development campaign’s chances of success, you need to consider a few fundamental questions:

  • Are you looking to attract new clients or get more work from existing ones?
  • Where do you get the most business from now?
  • Where is the low hanging fruit, potential customers ready to buy now?
  • Where are the new markets we can approach?

Harbak has recently worked with professional services clients creating a business development plan that helped the company to ensure consistent work through the quieter periods and maintain their business bottom-line.

Keiran Travers is the Founder and Director of Harbak. The company provides Business Management, Business Match Making (Business Development) and Advisory Services. Harbak offers business matchmaking services for small to medium-sized businesses who are wanting to consolidate their existing clientele and grow their business connections and opportunities. Harbak can facilitate low-risk introductions with key industry stakeholders and find hidden revenue opportunities to drive business growth. Contact