The seasons of business

by Jennifer Chamberlin

May 2019

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We all have our favourite seasons of the year, the fresh new rebirth in springtime, the long hot days of summer, the beautiful colours of autumn and the crisp coldness of winter. Just like these natural seasons we can also think of our businesses as having seasons too. There are times when everything is flourishing and times when things are hard.
Recognising which season of business, you are in can help you to adjust, so you can experience more times of abundance, symbolised by summer and fewer times of the hardships, symbolised by winter.
No matter the season you are currently experiencing, the business seasons are necessary if you are to learn and grow and build your business to its full potential.

Winter

This is the time when everything is hard. Your customers are few and far between and it can be difficult to keep afloat. Rather than seeing this in a negative light and giving up, winter can be the perfect time to take a long hard look at what you are doing. Use this season to figure out why things are not going so well, as it is only then that you can fix it.

If you have a business plan, review it, and see where changes can be made to help you improve your circumstances. Revisit your marketing strategies, your customer base, your products and services and your prices. Look at how to funnel more clients to your door and see what you can do to convert them and make them buy from you. By checking everything carefully you will soon see where the problems lie and be able to correct them.

Think about training too during this season, as it’s the ideal time. Believe me it’s much more difficult to find the time when you have all your clients and your days are full from morning to night.

Spring

After the hardships of winter spring comes along, bringing with it new hope and new energy. All the work you did in winter now starts paying off and you begin to see interest in your business as it starts turning a corner.

During this season it is particularly important to pay attention to customer service and ensure that everything you do is exceptional. It is the time not only to continue with your marketing strategies, but to build on them further so you can find new customers and build a loyal customer base. It is these loyal customers who come back to you again and again that keep you from returning to winter.  Remember that receiving positive reviews and having new clients referred to you through recommendation is one of the best ways to grow your business for the long term.

Summer

Moving from a comfortable spring and into a flourishing summer is when you have a constant steady stream of customers, old and new. Times are good and now is when you should be thinking about building your business by adding new products or services that complement your existing ones. It is important to ensure that what you do now enhances the other products or services you offer. Your loyal customer base will enjoy seeing new things appear and it helps keep your business fresh and interesting.

Workload management is an important consideration during summer, as it is easy to become overwhelmed. Ensure you implement coping strategies that keep you in control, as making yourself spread too thing can cause problems with quality and service which negatively impact your business.

Autumn

Sometimes summer can start slipping away and turn instead to autumn. This is a natural occurrence and rather than letting things continue to deteriorate, now is the time for action.

Review your marketing strategies and try a few new ones to ramp things up. Revisit methods that have proved successful in the past and use them again with a fresh redesign. Offer promotional incentives to encourage new and old customers to try your goods or services, (we all love a bargain). Start to sow seeds for the future, investing your time and money wisely, you can do this by seeing what is working for other businesses and follow their lead. Try giving your website a good shake-up too and ensure it is correctly SEO optimised. Also check that your social media posts and adverts are being kept fresh and in line with market trends.

Sometimes the seasons of business aren’t sequential, and you can even miss one or two out entirely. Ensuring that your business stays elastic and can grow and change to keep up with the times is vital for success. It is true that people like familiarity, because they learn to trust something they are used to. However, if your business isn’t kept current you will become outdated and lose custom to others who stay in touch with current trends. Build a brand people can trust but keep reinventing what you offer within that brand.

When you are enjoying a long period of summer, you can become complacent and feel untouchable, beware! Keep in mind that nothing can last forever and sooner or later that glorious summer bubble will burst. To help avoid this stay current, stay in touch and maintain your business elasticity and you should never have to endure long hard winters again.

So if you’re in the summer of your business right now, why not book a call with My Bilingual VA today, to see what I can help you with and work together to ensure that your summer lasts for as long as possible!

Thanks to Chris Lawton for the photo :1115819-unsplash