The Law Offices of Justin Stivers March 2019

Justin B.Stivers T H E L AW O F F I C E S O F A P R O B AT E F I R M


March 2019

The Downside to the Changing of the Seasons

Year-Round Practices to Combat Seasonal Slumps

If you’re involved in business, chances are good that you've hit a lull before. Whether you’re trying to mow lawns in the winter or trying to sell a home at the end of the summer, there are certain times of the year when your customers will be less open to doing business. Commerce has peaks and valleys. The good news is that nobody is immune. Even in businesses that deal with the year-round certainties in life — plumbing, gasoline, clothing, etc. — there are going to be off-seasons when your sales decrease. Although you might not think it, probate law is no exception. By carefully planning for our influx of clients, we’re able to combat these fluctuations. We implement quick-thinking marketing techniques that effectively stipend our income so it lasts throughout any downtime. When you’re just getting started with your business, it can be easy to panic when you realize you’re about to hit — or already have hit — a serious dry spell. It’s important to look to the future and prepare for the tough times while things are going well. If you don’t have the luxury of forethought and unexpectedly find yourself in a lurch without any preparation, it’s still okay. Panic should be the last thing on your mind. Take time to incentivize your programs. Put marketing techniques into place that will ensure better cash flow in both the short- and long-term future. Your marketing techniques can take many forms. In the short term, look into launching campaigns that help your customers appreciate the value of the deal you’re offering them. A half-priced snowblower looks pretty good around

the time tax refunds start coming in. Deals never go out of season; it’s just about planning them strategically. At our firm, we experience a drop in business around the winter holidays. While, unfortunately, people pass away all year, families and potential beneficiaries tend to shy away from retaining a probate lawyer when there are more pressing issues at hand during their time of grief. After they try to go through the probate process by themselves or they are faced with a sudden financial impact, they typically realize they need a professional. In order to combat that, we plan specific marketing strategies months in advance of the anticipated “slow season” so we don't see a drastic dip in new clients and revenue. On average, our probates last about 5–6 months and we are generally paid in two intervals: at the beginning and at the end. With that in mind, we try and ramp up marketing around May and June so that we will have a steady stream of income when those cases end around November or

December. We know that January and February tend to be busier, so while we may not take as many new cases in November or December, the marketing we did in May and June will pay off just in time for the holidays, with business picking back up at the first of the year. It is all about planning. A typical “season” can be a long time, and as business owners, we frankly can’t afford to sit around and accept very much loss. By marketing with the future in mind, and keeping transactions on the back burner to get us through the lulls, we not only remain afloat but also thrive year-round. Protecting your business against downtimes means laying it on heavy at other points in the year, and this is all made possible by dispersing your resources accordingly to fit that need.

_Justin B. Stivers


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