For many industries, winter can be the most nerve-wracking time of the year. Short days, cold weather, slippery roads…it all contributes to a general feeling of uncertainty. While the months leading up to the holidays might be grand, the mid-winter months that follow that can wreak havoc on a company’s bottom line.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
With a little planning, your business can boom even in the winter – maybe even more than in the warm weather months! Here are 5 secrets of winter business success:
One of the easiest things you can do for your business during the winter months is to keep yourself in front of your customers. Post regularly to your social media accounts, attend any local winter events that might be happening (either as a vendor or as an individual), and ALWAYS carry business cards when traveling. You never know where your next customer might be discovered, and having a business card ready will help them remember your name once you part ways.
If you are a restaurant owner who knows the beautiful cabin next door is a favorite spot for winter weddings, making your presence known as a potential catering service is a must. If you are a horse farm, opening up your trails to snow shoers, cross-country skiers, or even snowmobilers and creating a checkpoint can generate more awareness for your location and ultimately bring you more business. If you’re a photographer, consider attending events that might not typically have a photographer because of harsh conditions–fill a need when you find one!
In the aftermath of the holidays, most people are more budget-conscious than usual. Try offering discounts, coupons, buy-one-get-one deals, gift cards, or referral bonuses to draw in customers. Avoid the trap of offering too many discounts before the holidays–many people wait until afterwards to make larger purchases because they are able to get better deals.
Maybe you’re a landscaping company whose primary source of income is tending lawns, and you want to raise awareness for your snow-removal division. Hosting a snowman-building competition at your office for local families could help you make some much-needed connections and increase business.
Take advantage of slower times of the year and update your website or blog. While a complete redesign might not be in the budget, adding or replacing photos with ones of recent projects, writing new informative articles, or sending a few new email blasts can give potential customers a fresh new take on your company.