Large parts of the western world shake their heads in wonder at all our holidays, half-days, long holidays etc.
And on top of this, we run Christmas parties throughout December and from mid-June to mid-August most of the country is closed.
Anyone who is employed by a company and wants to be even more vacant places the holiday during the first two weeks in June and the last two in August, and thus in principle get the whole summer off.
On Fridays, the sellers do not call anyone after lunch “because you can’t get a hold of anyone”. Mondays are typical meeting days and it doesn’t matter if the participants benefit from the information or not – a meeting should be held and everyone should be present.
All this is great for you if you use it correctly.
This article gives you tips on what you can plan to do when it is summer, Christmas holidays and other things that make your staff think they can take it a little quieter.
Here are your tips for off-season activities:
- Plan to fix and improve the site. Make the plans concrete. It is when others cannot get hold of that you can work on improvements.
- Hunting new customers. When no one else is chasing them, it is easier for you to do so.
- Train your staff in the summer. There are plenty of consultants who have nothing to do during the summers. Hire them cheaper and teach the staff new things that can take you all forward. It can be sales consultants, internet consultants or success coaches – what you simply need.
- Have concrete idea meetings where you plan for the future.
- Tell the site that you are working the whole Christmas weekend/summer or whatever it may be for leave, so no one doubts about it.
- Produce at least one product or service that can be sold as a Christmas present.
- Tell the media something during the summer. It is news dry and you will make it much easier to get your news published.
- Offer discounts during the times of the year when it is most difficult to sell. Even better is to give a little more with each purchase, but at the same time keep the prices.
- Meet your customers and hear about their fall plans in the summer. Invite them to lunch and take your relationship a step further. Follow up on your meeting with a concrete plan.
- Make it a competition among the staff to review your costs and see what you can cut without losing quality. This applies to everything from products and services you buy to what it costs to manufacture what you already produce. Nothing is sacred. Whoever comes up with the best solution wins a prize.
- Have the staff learn something new themselves. What capacity do you lack today? Are there tutorials like books or software that can teach them something you need to learn?
- Have staff learn things from each other. The more people who know more, the less vulnerable your company becomes.
- Look deeper into your idea box. What is something you have long wanted to test? Now its time.
- What have the customers been missing that you have not been able to develop? Plan to produce it.
- Review your marketing material. What should be improved when you print new?
- Have a newsletter – start writing this fall newsletter now. Write all the newsletters already if you can, then you only need to press a few buttons to get the letters out when it’s time and when you really have something else to do.
- Check your competitors’ websites. Check out their marketing materials. What do they do well that you can do even better?
- Clear out to create space for new ideas. Businesses get messy after a while. What can you throw and improve?
- Learn new things about marketing and sales. Buy books and read.
- Create a blog or page on Facebook for your business if you have thought about it. Now is the time to experiment and test things.
- Send your best old newsletter to customers you want this fall.
- Review your marketing plan and your business plan. Are you holding the right course?
- Do – or prepare – a customer survey. Don’t play exploration companies. Just ask questions that you really want answers to and give everyone who answers a reward.
- Hold concrete meetings with staff on how to find new customers.
- Hold concrete meetings with staff on how to retain old customers.
- Think about everything that people complain about not having time when everything rolls on as usual – make a list and give them the list during the off-season.
- Call all customers and thank them for being customers. Ask if they are happy with what you do for them. Ask if there is anything you can improve or do differently. Don’t do everything at once. It is enough that you take the time to call five customers a day with enough energy to show that you really mean what you say.
- Set up a system for treating different customers in different ways. Your best customers are likely to give your business more business. Take care of them. Let them know you appreciate them. Customers like this. Don’t you?
- Think about how you can improve your ability to deliver value to customers. Add more resources you can offer customers – expert help, financing, ways to contact you, on-site service or whatever suits your industry.
- Grow your pipeline. Build a larger and better reservoir with future customers. Get customers next year already. Identify more qualified buyers, simply.
- Ask yourself: What more can benefit from what we do? Expand your search for new customers and new markets.
- Think about how you can let your employees take on their own responsibility. This is easily done if you educate them properly and create an environment where you can also make mistakes. Taking your own responsibility makes your employees more involved and motivated for the journey you are about to make now.
- Look for the weakest link. It is important to help everyone do their best during this journey. Many companies that get higher speed suffer from problems in some areas that stop everyone else. Always concentrate your thoughts on reinforcing what is weakest.
- Create a marketing plan that extends week by week throughout the year, so that you always get new leads.
- Create checklists. There are reasons why hotel cleaners have a checklist of what to do in each room. You can also use this. All the processes that are often done in your company benefit from having checklists. It sharpens everyone and no one is allowed to forget anything. It can be about making checklists for what every customer who meets you should get for a kind of journey – everything from how you greet to how you follow up the contacts you have made yourself and to the contacts that your customers have initiated. This helps everyone.
- Clean up your customer register – you will surely send lots of letters and other mailings to the same list as always. A great deal – sometimes up to 50% of the names on your list – no longer applies. They may have only bought once and neither intended to buy anymore or they have changed jobs and the letters that come to the company where they once worked are thrown in the trash. Update the list against your bookkeeping – which has purchased over the past year – send your A-material to them. Who bought 1-2 years ago – send a cheaper variant of mailings and brochures to them and see what results it gets. Delete the rest of the names from your list.
- Review your internal structure. When did you last do it? It’s about how you do it when you do it, why you do it and who does it. If it was more than a year ago, it has been far too long. Things are changing and more effective methods are constantly emerging. Some people do the same things without being aware of it and others do things that are completely unnecessary or that logically should be done by someone else. In some cases, some are so fond of what they do that they don’t even think that time should be spent on more important things.
- What are your best sales channels right now? Identify them and spend more money on them and less money where it doesn’t work as well (unless you see a potential in it that doesn’t work and expand there instead). In any case, you have to decide where you put the energy right now – and what to put on a low-energy fire until further notice.
- Write a sales letter to your best friend about what you sell. The exercise will help you erase all bullshit and just include what your friend appreciates and respects. Then send it to a letter to your customers, for your customers are your company’s best friends.
- Post more of your information online. That way you don’t have to send things in time and time. If you publish all the information that is normally available to your customers in a paper form online, you will also get the benefit of faster decisions from the customers. Just make sure it is also idiotic to contact you for more information or for a meeting.
- If you sell something through an online store – seriously consider starting to receive card payments for those customers who want to pay that way, but also keep your other system. Quite a few are afraid to pay by card and do not know what a safe site is or how to recognize one. Those who pay with cards make sure your cash flow is kept up to date in a good way because you receive money directly from purchases. Many of your smaller customers may also need to pay by card if they themselves have cash flow problems. Many people use credit cards as a way to deal with downturns in the economy. Make sure they can also become your customers.
- Write an article about what you know best. You write about something that you think might interest your target audience and send the article to a newspaper, site or blog that you think has your target audience as a reader.
- Write press releases about things that you think are of interest to others but yourself and what is happening to your business. Stick out. Try to be sensational and don’t be afraid to create headlines about your business. The basic rule is that you should tell something that is interesting to the users of the newspaper, radio program, website or TV program. What you tell in a so-called press release should have what is called News Value. A good news value is something that gets a journalist to say “Is this really true?” And here you have to be a little strict to yourself. Of course, opening a new store or coming up with a new product is exciting for you, your family and some more, but what you have to ask yourself is: How is it going to be exciting for a journalist and for a newspaper reader? What is it that you have, or can create, that raises the eyebrows of a journalist? What do you have that can tickle their curiosity?
- Who are your 5 main competitors and what do they do to promote their businesses? If you don’t know, you know nothing. You do not know which target groups they are focusing on and which ones they are not focusing on. You do not know how they want their products to be perceived and you do not know what way they tell it. Find out about this as soon as you can and look for gaps in their way of working. You should fill the gaps now.