September has arrived, the dark evenings are rolling in and the leaves are already starting to turn, which can only mean one thing, winter is on the way. With Autumn and Winter filled with a number of exciting events such as Halloween, Cyber Monday and Christmas, there’s a lot to look forward to and prepare for during the winter months.
It’s not just sales events your business needs to be prepared for however, from winter weather causing disruptions to keeping your staff content, here’s a run down of how you can prepare for the biggest challenges business owners face this winter.
Sales & Marketing
With winter coming quickly you might want to start your marketing efforts now. Audiences are now just beginning their Christmas shopping, as well as looking for bargains as the summer ends, which is why it’s a good idea to hit the ground running and launch your campaigns early. By creating or increasing your ad budget in Google Ads you can kickstart your efforts in time to reach new audiences, as well as encourage previous customers to check out your products.
You can also use this time to create email marketing and social media campaigns that encourage sales, bookings or enquiries over the winter months. From campaigns that promote your offers or deals, through to campaigns that simply wish your audience the best, don’t miss an opportunity to reach out this winter.
Before everyone finds themselves caught up in the usual hysteria snow and ice can cause it’s a good idea to figure out how the weather can impact your business and how this impact can be lessened. From remote desktop tools that allow staff to work from home and connect with their files from there through to Skype and FaceTime which allow employees to call one another and share documents, there are a number of ways you can keep things running even when the weather is bringing things to a standstill.
If you’re running a business that gets customers or audiences coming to your location often then you also need to be prepared to let people know if your location will be closed due to weather, as well as laying things such as salt and checking your heating is sufficient, in order to create a great experience for customers and your staff.
If your company is lucky enough to have downtime over the Christmas period why not use that time productively? Obviously, your entire Christmas doesn’t have to be spent thinking about work, but why not use this time to reflect on what’s worked well the previous year and how you’ve benefitted from your efforts. This also allows you to consider what the plan is for the new year and how you can do even better in the upcoming year.
You can use this downtime to plan for Q1 and Q2, which allows you to plan your goals and start strategy building, as well as plan meetings, clear out completed projects and streamline your business process, even more, allowing for even more success into the new year.
A contingency plan doesn’t have to be too complicated, but it’s something that you do need to have, especially during winter when there’s so much going on, with the possibility of so much going wrong. Your contingency plan should include details about what you should do if your site goes down, your staff can’t make it in or even if any issues come up with stock or distribution. A contingency plan is necessary if you’re wanting to avoid stress if, or when, disaster strikes.
There’s nothing worse, for your business or your customers than not being prepared for things going wrong. By creating a contingency plan you can limit the impact and do some serious damage control on the off chance something does cause your business to struggle through the winter.
If it’s not obvious by now, your main approach for the winter should be plan, plan, plan, make sure you know how you’re going to deal with the ups and downs that Autumn and Winter can bring. From optimising your marketing techniques to help encourage sales, through to providing a comfortable working atmosphere for your staff, it’s time to get organised, with only a few weeks until the British summertime officially ends, there’s no time to mess around.