Make the Most of Your Off-Season

Almost every business — no matter the industry or niche — has an off-season. Year after year, it takes people by surprise. You may plan to have fewer customers, but then when the time comes, your savings aren’t adequate or your budget isn’t tight enough. The reality is, some businesses don’t survive their off-season because they fail to properly prepare for it. Don’t be that kind of business!

Diversify Your Services
In the northern parts of the United States and Canada, landscaping businesses retool for the winter. They plow snow, clear ice, and haul and cut firewood when the weather won’t quite allow for their normal work. Meanwhile, golf courses let their patrons know the clubhouse is available to rent for corporate and family events during colder seasons, and when it comes to the green itself, courses often offer significantly reduced rates to players.

An alternative revenue stream keeps your business up and running no matter the season and it keeps your team employed. Just don’t try to overdiversify and enter a niche you’re not equipped to handle. Be smart about it. For instance, landscapers have trucks and trailers, both of which make it easier to plow snow and haul wood. What can you use or repurpose that you already have access to?

Build Stronger Customer Relationships
During the busy season, you don’t have time for every special client retention project that pops up. But, during the off-season, you more than likely have time to spare. Don’t wait for the next season to ramp up your referral campaigns or customer outreach. Get that marketing pitch off the ground and get people excited about your business. That way, when your busy season returns, your customers or clients will be ready.

Do everything you can to keep your business top of mind. Send them newsletters (like this one) or send them a card. If you don’t, you may end up with fewer customers than expected when things pick up again. Your existing customers and your prospects may have legitimately forgotten about you.

Audit Your Online Presence
Run a review campaign for your Google or Facebook profiles. Turn it into a contest and get people involved. When you keep customers or clients engaged, they will be more likely to be there for you when the off-season comes to a close.

Even better, take a holistic look at your web content. How is your search engine optimization working for you? While you may have an off-season, Google definitely doesn’t, and they constantly update their web standards. Check your blog and make sure your own web standards are up to par, and confirm that your business’s contact information is correct on Google Maps.