As we sit on the precipice of winter, there are many businesses that have either closed their doors for the cold months, or are preparing to do so. With many seasonal industries reliant on the summer months to reach their profit goals for the fiscal year, now could be more of a time for reflection and for brand strategy.
In order to gain a competitive advantage over competitors, the more savvy business owners will use ‘offseason’ months to assess their company’s performance. Managers will plan out the best business strategies to make the most of their next peak season, much like a sports team using their offseason to assess where they need to improve, and execute their plan accordingly.
The advantage of having a quiet season is it gives businesses the opportunity to lay out their plan and spend more time strategizing, something that’s more difficult to do when running at full speed.
Here are a few ways to optimize your business all year
Evaluate & Plan For Next Season
Did you meet the goals you had set out? Were you lacking in certain areas? This is a chance to analyze the factors that contributed to your success, or caused some challenges. Either way, this is where you can perfect successful strategies and change things up where needed.
Staffing: Some areas you can evaluate include staffing requirements, inventory and your customer profile. Your staff is the backbone of your business. Evaluate where additional staff may be needed for next year, and where certain employees can improve. If there are struggles, what can you do to ensure your employees execute your vision more effectively?
Inventory: What sold well and what didn’t? How’s your inventory different from previous years? What did your competition sell? This is the time to determine where you should stock up for next year.
Customer Profile: Who are your customers? Have you noticed a shift in what their expectations are? Have you noticed a change in the market? This is a great time to review what kind of customers you’re attracting and what you can do to reach a new clientele. Speaking of customers….
Stay Connected with your Customers
While you understandably may not want to ramp up marketing in your offseason, there are still some things you can do to keep your brand’s voice heard, at minimal cost. Social media may be one thing you find yourself too busy to look after when you’re in the thick of things, but your offseason is a great way to pick up good habits. Get to that website update you’ve been meaning to do. Start a blog. Most importantly, engage with your customers.
Starting digital campaigns are how you can stay engaged with your customers and maintain their interest and enthusiasm.
With the online tools now available, your offseason can also be a time to host virtual events, as many businesses have learned to do in 2020. This is also an excellent way to promote your brand or what you have planned for next peak season.
There are many other ways seasonal industries can optimize their businesses all year, but the key principle remains to connect and engage with customers. The effort you put into your slow season will set the tone for how you fare when things get hectic.
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