Maximise your time to plan for the year ahead
Most businesses are seasonal and have periods during the year where things tail off or simply slow down.
With the remainder of the year being busy-busy, it could be so easy as a small/medium business owner to use the time to take a breath but as we all know there’s always something that needs doing. Here’s some of the best ways to use the quieter time during your year that still benefit your business…
Review your marketing!
Take a step back and really look at your website, social channels and printed literature with a critical pair of eyes. You could even ask a group of friends to give their opinions. Is your full marketing mix cohesive? Are they clear in their message? Is your website easy to navigate? Do your social channels talk to people in the same tone as the copy in your printed adverts, brochures or leaflets?
Make sure everything speaks to you in the same voice and gives the same impression of your business. Plan your advertising for the next 12 months so you can get the prime spots before your competitors.
Social channels such as Facebook and/or Instagram are hugely important for today’s businesses. In 2021, the public is more likely to visit your Facebook page first than check out your website and they’re free to sign up! They’re a primary marketing tool not to be ignored for any business and video is favoured over writing. But articles (like this one) are still not to be ignored and will help your site’s SEO.
There’s free apps such as Canva for producing written content in digestible chunks instead in lengthy documents.
If you’re not sure about how to use Facebook and/or Instagram there’s TONS of free videos available on YouTube. There’ll even be content inspiration on what to post and there’s always so much more than you first think!
Whether it’s a guide to how your company started, a video of how your product is made, how its packaged or even a meet the team video. Start small and check out what other businesses are doing.
If you’re confident producing videos sign up to YouTube and create a channel and really bring your brand to life to your potential customers or reels on Instagram are a brilliant and very popular way to bring your brand to the forefront of the public.
Have A Declutter
Whether it’s in the office or digital files, use the time to organise your spaces so when things get busy again, all your files, products and admin are in order.
You can also use the time to do the admin that otherwise gets pushed to the side. Sort those receipts, invoices and purchase orders. Do a stock check on any products, stationary, packaging or merchandise and reorder anything in low supply ready for the busy times.
Revisit Your Strategy
Naturally in any business things can evolve and it’s worth going back to your original business strategy to address if you’re achieving what you set out to do. Don’t be afraid to tweak your strategy as things change. You can also use the time to project the next 12 month plan alongside your marketing aims.
Check Out Your Competitors
It’s likely that since your business started that your competitors have changed, so it’s a good time to look at what they’re doing. Are there any new businesses that weren’t around when you first checked out the competition? Visit their website, check out their USPs to ensure you still stand out from the crowd.
Take a look at their Facebook and Instagram for any offers or promotions they’re running that might entice your customers so spend their money with them instead of you.
Stay In Touch With Your Existing Customers
Although they may not be spending money with you, it’s never pointless to remind your customers that you’re there and ready for when they need you or your services next. You can also use a communication to them to appeal for testimonials that you can use on your website or marketing literature. If you have a Facebook business page, ask them to leave a review for you. Or even pick up the phone, have a chat and let them know you’re there for the next time!