As we pull up to the second half of November, 2017, many of us are entering a transition period that may be the slowest 6 weeks of our business year. And for small business owners especially, the release of high-season pressure offers both opportunities and risks. Are you prepared for what’s coming?
Near our Southwestern-Ohio headquarters, the 6 weeks between mid-November and the end of the year might be our least productive. The summer season is grinding to a stop, and the snow season here is usually more of a January-February thing.
Some companies are shutting down for the season and will wait for spring to get back to work. Others will continue to send out crews as long as the temperature allows. And everyone who does snow removal will be watching the weather, waiting for any sign of an early snow storm.
And this is universal across much of the country. The dates of this transition vary from region to region, but many of us experiences a similar period, sometime between September and January.
For some, this slowdown and the upcoming holiday season mean it’s time for an overdue break. We get it. It’s been a long season, and this may be your only chance for a well-deserved rest. Everyone needs a break. But we’ve seen far too many small business owners who let their legitimate need for a week or two off turn into 6 weeks (or more) of lost opportunity.
Taking advantage of a slower season to recover from a busy year, that’s fine, just don’t miss out on this chance to plan for your success in 2018.
The ‘off-season’ is your best possible time to address the strategic parts of your business that get pushed aside when you’re focused on production. This is the time to zero in on finding new customers, making sure your existing customers are satisfied, and implementing new tools, processes and technology to help yourself be more-efficient next year.
Simply put, companies that continue to push themselves to plan, prepare, and position themselves through the ‘offseason’ will start off the New Year a step ahead of their competition… and that’s where you want to be in 2018.
Don’t be “That Guy”:
Just because you can’t “do” your work, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be working. Let the other guy be the one that misses out on that unexpected new opportunity or even loses an existing customer because you were thinking, planning and engaging with customers while he was sitting by the fire.
The Burning Question:
So the question becomes… How will you respond to this change of the seasons?
The off-season isn’t the time to take your eyes off the ball… It’s your time to keep moving ahead, so you can come into 2018 ready to out-perform the guys who didn’t.