February 5, 2015

Winter isn’t About “Winter Blues”, it is About Opportunity

Submitted by Kelly Glass

Watching the snow fall nationwide with predictions of more to come can put some people in hibernation mode. Although winter in many parts of the U.S. has been fairly mild so far, with the transition to the New Year, some people sit and wait for snow to melt, pausing until things start happening again.

Thoughts of being snowed in, kids getting days off from school and working from home might sound cozy and heartwarming. But what does it mean for the business owner? It all depends on you.

Man Walking in Snow Reminds Us to Make the Most of Winter for Business

Early in the morning of December 26, 1776, George Washington commanded a brigade of his Continental Army in a small fleet of canoes to cross the icy Delaware River. In doing so, Washington surprised and defeated British troops quartered in Trenton, New Jersey; turning tides in the American Revolution.

It was hardly the stuff of “winter blues”. The fact that Christmas fell on a Wednesday that year didn’t halt the important business of our new nation. Nor should winter chills halt business in 2015. There is a lot to look forward to, as the U.S. economy is looking up.

In January 2015 alone, the U.S. automotive sector has seen a 13 % jump in sales compared to the same month last year. And according to Fortune, with energy costs low and sales in other sectors climbing, small business has plenty to be happy about in 2015.

So, before you get too mired by snow and complain with neighbors about the cold, it is important to remember that your customers never stop having needs. Unlike the sports world, business has no off-season.

The simple fact that business moves year-round should be enough to rid any company owner of winter blues. The year ahead is filled with opportunity that you will be amply prepared for if you do the right things now.

Keep Connected to Keep your Business Moving

“Slow months” are the perfect occasion to drop in on past customers to say hello or develop the relationship with new-found prospects. Sure, some will say that they don’t have needs right now. But by keeping closely connected on a personal level with the people in your market, you will keep business moving and be ready to serve customers as requirements arise.

You Can’t Control the Weather So Don’t Let it Control your Mindset

Inc. magazine recently pointed out “8 Ways to Beat Winter Blues” and, in the article, author Lolly Daskal underlined something pretty significant: you can’t change the weather.

That being said, you may not live in Colorado or any place in which snow equals fun activities like skiing, snowboarding or even scenic walks through the woods. It is important, however, to keep physically active and make sure to get as much sunlight as possible. Studies show that even a little physical exercise makes your brain more active and productive.

Plan Ahead for Opportunities

Planning ahead means different things to different businesses. Yet, as the person who knows your business best, it is critical to position yourself to be most successful throughout the year. Be sure to arm your business with the tools and personnel needed to be successful sooner.

For example, when SMBs that know they will need help later should start scouting and interviewing new employees now — sales people, admins and customer service —in the “slower” winter months. The economy may be better in 2015, but there are still good people looking for jobs and opportunities. February and March could be the best time to snatch them up to join your team.

Use the season to become more familiar with new products, your target market and customer buying habits, while also working to sharpen your presentation skills. Nail down that strategy to covert opportunities to closed business in 2015.

By keeping active in your business, you will shake off any pretense of “winter blues”. Better yet, you’ll come to view snow days and slow times as chances to tighten up your game and capitalize on opportunities that others would miss.


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