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Surviving the low season

It's the middle of July in the Middle East. Your customer base has quite literally left town for the Summer and here you are battling on to build your business.

It's a fact that the retail industry is influenced by seasonality, irrespective of whether you focus on physical points of sale or e-commerce, but the Gulf Summer can feel like the lowest of the lows for your small business.. Don't be disheartened by a drop in sales. There's plenty of tasks to add to your to-do list that will keep pushing your business forward. Be positive and keep busy. Make the most of the low season and the extra time you're likely to have on your hands and prepare for the busy season that inevitably follows.

Get organised

Do a full inventory count. It may sound obvious, but understanding what you have in stock will allow you to work out what you need to order and/or make to be well stocked through the busy season ahead. The low season is also a perfect opportunity to Spring clean your workspace. Clear your space and clear your mind!

Be social

Your social media quest is to gain followers and then keep them interested. To succeed, good content is key. It can be easy to overlook social media when you're flat out processing orders at busier times of the year. Although your customer base may not be in the mood for shopping, they're likely to be connected so ensure your social media accounts are active throughout the low season. Encourage your followers to subscribe to your newsletter.

Prepare a social media plan. Work out what type of posts to make and how often. This will spare you hours of angst in the months ahead when you're knee deep in processing orders.

Get creative

This is the fun part - set some time aside and get your teeth in to some product development. Introducing new products or variations to your current product range keeps your collection fresh and new things give your repeat customers a reason to return.

Being creative is a great motivator and will help you get in the right frame of mind to ace the busy season to come.

Update your shop front

Add updates to your About page. Could your shop banner do with a makeover? Re-shoot product photos to refresh your shop front and if you're introducing new products, photograph them and edit the images for your product listings. Work on your product descriptions and get your new products online.