Winter Is Coming
Too soon? As a business owner, you’ll know that time flies by. If you recognised any of the symptoms or advice in my earlier Summer Doldrums post, then you may be looking at a window of maybe 2 or 3 months before the next seasonal milestone lands. Winter is coming.
So, while the sun is shining, it’s important to pick things up, especially rebuilding any momentum you may have lost during the summer holiday season, so you can fully and readily make the most of the back-to-work autumn term.
(And if you followed the guidance in my earlier post, you will already have a head start on your plans.)
A strong strategy of attack will have several cross-supportive stages. Like an avalanche, each stage should build on the previous one, layer upon layer so it eventually triggers a powerful rolling momentum. If executed well, not only will your business end the year on a high, but you will have created enough power and momentum to give you a running start on the new year too.
Good strategies are unique, bespoke and reflect the specific goals you are aiming to achieve in your business. However, common themes should include:
- Customer Insight – How well do you really get what your customers want (vs. what they need). How might these needs change?
- Product Relevance – Based on your customer insight, how well does your offering speak to those customer needs? How well do your customers understand the full range of what you can do for them?
- Customer Outreach – All of this counts for nothing if you fail to be proactive, visible and accessible to your existing and future clients. I’ve said it before, “build, and they will come” just doesn’t cut it in the real world. How are you going to find your targets, how will you start the conversation with them, how will you ask for the business and close the sale?
- Checking Your Processes – Don’t leave it to the last minute to check your own efficiencies, supply routes, staff resources and scalability. I’ve seen too many people caught out by taking the “that’ll be a nice problem to have” approach, who later find they indeed have that issue and ultimately let a bunch of ready customers down.
- Working Smarter – Differentiate, collaborate, partner up. What can you seize and leverage to pack a bigger punch than your rivals?
Ultimately, and this is simultaneously the best and worst thing about running your own business, you have to own your strategy, and make yourself accountable. Announce your key dates and targets to your team, use a countdown clock; think of it as a launch plan. And launch. Make it happen and make it work.