Prepare for Winter
Winter Preparations For Businesses!
Thankfully, over the summer of 2013 we have heard more positive forecasts for the economy so now is the time for business owners to take advantage of the possible upturn. If you own a business you should seriously be considering having a spring clean in time for the darker months.
Solidify client relationships
The summer is now over and autumn has set in so it is now time to focus on getting client relationships back on track. The summer months are, in some ways, difficult months in terms of making contact with clients because of annual vacations and the holiday feeling that most get before their break from the workplace.
When you return to work after the summer season is over it is important to have a plan in place of how you will touch base with your existing key clients and nurture your relationship with them – don’t forget the Christmas season is not all that far away which is a difficult time financially for certain industry sectors.
Don’t let the months slip away – before you know it will be New Year soon and your clients may well start to believe you have lost interest in their account.
Overhaul your sales channel
Spend some time evaluating and analysing the various channels you use to produce sales. Which ones bring you the best return but have the lowest cost of sale?
Refocus your efforts towards reducing expenditure and making the most of your sales channels. If you have identified any underperforming channels, you should evaluate these carefully to determine whether or not it still has commercial potential within your target market.
Make sure your investments are delivering a return, especially if you made a large investment in, for example, something like a website or advert online. Is it really working? Are you getting the results you expected? It may be worth changing your approach so that you are not wasting your marketing budget.
Review your price
Some businesses do notice a decline in their sales/profits over the summer – or maybe they have a prosperous summer but feel the pinch in the winter months. To counter this you have to review how the price of your product or service compares to your competitors. In today’s world you can trawl the internet for products or services at unbelievably low prices – how do you fair in today’s world?
Obviously you will be offering much higher quality goods than some of the items that can be found in the darker corners of the internet so be sensible when reviewing your prices. Research only your closest competitors.
Check your competitor’s prices – don’t get caught out by a competitor charging significantly lower prices for a similar offering. Strengthen your position by approaching your clients and ask them how they feel about your products, services or prices. A bit of customer service goes along way! Armed with the information you gain from a customer satisfaction survey, you will be able to safeguard your position and focus on delivering your service.
Make some noise
Ok, so most of your clients have been away for the summer so now is the time to make sure they are aware of your presence. You also need to start looking for new customers. Marketing and advertising via various media channels does intensify in the autumn.
Marketing and media strategies have become more sophisticated and unique which means that people will become more tuned in to screening out sales calls.
Consider introducing some innovation to your direct marketing in order to get the attention of your desired audience!
It really is important to build a competitive advantage for autumn and it’s never too late to get started. Don’t hibernate over winter – take action and invest some time in fine tuning your business.