Ramadan as good a time as any to boost your business

There is a perception that Ramadan brings about a slower pace of business. That our customers are not ready to take on new business opportunities because of the reduced working hours and long fasting periods. I am here to tell you that this is a complete fallacy. While many people use Ramadan as an excuse not to push themselves to generate new business and, in a way, take the month off, that is just a waste of a month.

As of this writing I am having the best month I have had all year – I have submitted more proposals for high-value work during Ramadan than any in the past 12 months. One reason for this is that my prospects are getting ready to start their activities straight after the holy month, and therefore want to get their house in order by choosing the right companies to partner with. Whatever the logic, there is business to be done during Ramadan.

If you are like me and looking to grow your revenue, then Ramadan is as good a time as any. It just takes a positive mindset and action. There are plenty of things to do to increase sales during the holy month – here are four things you can do today:

. Even better, send them a handwritten note. This is a great way to connect with people, whether they are fasting or not. Some people are a lot more accessible during Ramadan than at other times of the year. It is also a good time to ask them how business is, book a meeting with them, and tell them about new products and services they may not know about. For most businesses, a large chunk of the opportunity for growth resides with existing customers.

Host a Ramadan event like an iftar (the breaking the fast after the Maghrib prayer) or suhoor (usually consumed early morning but sometimes consumed at dinner following iftar later that evening). Getting customers and prospects together to relax and enjoy themselves after a long day of fasting is key, and it's a great way to build trust. Think through what you want to achieve through the event – having a call to action like offering customers some form of added value is a good way to get the right conversations going about new business. Having happy customers explain to prospects how you have helped them to improve their businesses and their lives is another marketing tactic that works extremely well. Most hotels are easy to book tables or banquet halls at.

Meet your client at a time that suits them. Meeting a prospect or client to close an important deal? Not only is it critical to be considerate if they are fasting, but we must be conscious of when they will have most concentration. Ramadan is now in the middle of the summer, so not only is the weather really hot, but the fasting period is more than 17 hours a day. Therefore most people who are fasting will be tired and dehydrated closer to iftar. Furthermore, not everyone has the same type of body clock and peak concentration times, on even a typical day outside of Ramadan. One way to manage this is to ask your customer what time is the best time for them. If they have no preference, opt for late morning: when it comes to cognitive work, for example, most adults perform best around then.

Use any spare time you have in Ramadan to work on your marketing assets. As employees tend to leave earlier during the day, you'll have "quiet time" in the office to work on a powerful post-Ramadan implementation plan. Many of my clients use this time to create amazing content – recording videos and writing blogs, all of which will be ready to be posted after Eid. If you have an hour a day to yourself, write one article each day. If there are 22 working days during Ramadan, that is 22 articles, an incredible asset that you can share with newspapers and magazines and post on your blog.

Ramadan is a great time for growing your business. Do away with the mindset that it is a slow time and fire up your revenue.

Ahmed Al Akber is the managing director of ACK Solutions, a firm that helps companies improve their marketing and sales ­results


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