4 minutes reading time (799 words)

What to do about business peaks and valleys.

I am always glad when we get into August. It means that I will hear clients talk less about business being slow. After working in the cosmetic dental and medical fields for a few years, I know that about the beginning of July, I will start to hear some nervous voices. I see the pattern each year and I try to remind my more long-term clients...I...
I am always glad when we get into August. It means that I will hear clients talk less about business being slow. After working in the cosmetic dental and medical fields for a few years, I know that about the beginning of July, I will start to hear some nervous voices. I see the pattern each year and I try to remind my more long-term clients...I am always glad when we get into August. It means that I will hear clients talk less about business being slow. After working in the cosmetic dental and medical fields for a few years, I know that about the beginning of July, I will start to hear some nervous voices. I see the pattern each year and I try to remind my more long-term clients that we have similar conversations each year in early July through mid-August, despite good progress during the preceding year.Peaks and valleys are common for all types of business. Although these fields are not seasonal, doctors and dentists are affected by Macro-economic trends and current conditions in their markets. In the past, Dog Star Media has worked with all sorts of small business fields including accounting, architecture and arts/entertainment. All along, we have said for years that the first companies to feel economic trends are small businesses. Unfortunately, small businesses are also the last ones to feel the recovery.Take it from me. Dog Star Media has survived the Internet Bubble Bust and the 9/11 recession. I personally have analyzed our sales patterns over the years, so I know when and how the peaks and valleys occur. I recommend doing this to prepare yourself and your business. However, I get regular indications that most are not following that advice.So, here are a few tips if you want to prepare yourself from next year. Your slow time is about to end, so I would begin planning now.You could approach it like a former Dog Star Media accounting client.This accounting client was so successful the practice was sold long ago. However, when they put in their marketing and web site strategies with us prior to the sale, they established a budget and saved the budgeted amount each month until they had a year saved up. Then, they bought the marketing program from us. The marketing venture did not cut into immediate cash flow.Translated for this program: Look at the shortfalls you experience in your valleys. Divide that total shortfall from the mid-summer swoon across the 10 normal months of the year. Build up some savings each month to cover the shortfall in July and August. Build your shortfall into your budget and try to enjoy the time off in the summer. P.S. This worked for me this year.#2) Recognize the cycles.Do it yourself but ask your bookkeeper to chart your accounts receivable by month over the last few years. Look for the trends. Look for the recoveries. A lot of the nervous calls I get during the mid-summer swoon are rooted in the fact that most of the clients are projecting the shortfall to continue. You have to realize that a bad month or so, especially ones that you can forecast, are not the new level of production for your practice. I had a very successful client tell me once that, despite 15 years in practice with multiple locations, he sometimes woke up wondering if the phone would ring that day. Part of being a small business owner is having to bear those feelings. What works for me is remembering the time Amy told me I have to have faith in the business.#3) Don’t knee-jerk with jump-start marketing during the swoon and don’t drop anything.I tell clients all the time that marketing and media programs should be consistent over time. As a small business owner, you cannot finance a big enough marketing push to be worth it over a short time. This is especially so during a time that is usually slow anyway.Hopefully, you are aware of all of this and you cope well with the annual peaks and valleys. If not, possibly you could use our coaching package from Dog Star Media. It is inexpensive and it tends to calm some routine fears. If you want to talk about it and cope better with the mid-summer swoon, email me at donald@dogstarmedia.com

Read more http://dogstarmediablog.blogspot.com/2007/08/what-to-do-about-business-peaks-and.html

Read more http://dogstarmedia.com/blog/entry/what-to-do-about-business-peaks-and-valleys.html

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