When Black Friday hit UK stores back in 2015, nobody had really predicted the sheer level of demand. Shoppers poured through the doors in their hundreds of thousands up and down the country, fighting their way to the products they wanted in order to get the best deals. For many people watching on TV, it was a shock, and Black Friday sales went from something widely regarded as a positive to something which represented the consumerist decadence of our society.
But for retailers, it was an even more important event. They realised that if they were ever going to meet demand in another Black Friday, they’d have to think about how they respond to peaks in demand. If they failed to capitalise on high demand periods in the future, they might not make it through January and February – two months which are usually very quiet for retailers.
The lessons that retailers learnt from Black Friday are equally applicable to any business that is subject to seasonal demand. Take tutoring agencies, for instance. After the exams have finished in June, things are usually very quiet. Students are on their long summer break, and life returns to normal. But in the run up to exams, say March to May, things are hectic. The phone is ringing off the hook, and there’s almost no time for these businesses to think ahead and plan for the next stage in their development. So much is happening all at once.
So how can businesses deal with peak demand? Take a look at some of these tips.
Smooth Over Periods Of High Demand With More Staff
When demand is high, your existing workers are stretched to their limits. Often this means worsening quality of service for your customers and damage to your brand. This is why it’s so important to think about interim HR. You need to be able to get the people you need when demand is high and then return them to their regular activities once demand has fallen. Finding your own temporary staff is difficult which is why so many companies use outside agencies. Major retailers, like Asda, for instance, use outside agencies to find people who can work during peak periods in their stores.
Focus On Taking The Money, Even If That Means Going To The Bank
One of the big mistakes that businesses experiencing high levels of demand is that they turn customers away. While this might work for extreme high-end luxury sports car manufacturers, it’s a bad idea for the vast majority of businesses, especially if the success isn’t just the result of seasonality.
High demand means that you’re doing something right, so as soon as you start experiencing a large influx of customers, get on the phone to your bank. Ask them to extend a line of credit so that you can take on extra people: consultants, programmers, engineers – whatever you need to meet customers’ needs. Remember, when demand is high, it’s your time to break out. Always take the money and use it to lever up your business and make it bigger.