There is something special and symbolic about the date 1 September. It is the beginning of Spring. The days suddenly start to feel warmer and longer, the air smells crisper and fresher, and the vegetation starts showing signs of new shoots and buds. In South Africa particularly, this is when everyone starts to come out from their Winter hibernation, the dust is cleaned off from the braais, the swimming pools are restored to bright blue again, and people generally seem to be in better moods.
You were most likely also stuck in that Winter hibernation mindset, and there is a good chance that the colder weather affected your business, but 1 September can also symbolise a new season. Think of it as a time to Spring clean your business, out with the old and in with the new.
Your customers are excited to spend more time outdoors and enjoy their time with friends and family as the festive season countdown begins. How are you going show your customers that your business is relevant and up to speed with the latest trends and changes in season?
Here are 5 things to consider this Spring that will ensure your business is ready to flourish and thrive:
1. Revitalise and refresh your brand
Take this time to do some spring cleaning, both literally and figuratively. Ensure that your business is ready for the enthusiastic customer base that is ready to shop and grasp the fresh new ideas and products that your business has to offer. This doesn’t only benefit your customers but also the business itself. By taking a comprehensive look at your day-to-day activities and re-assessing your customers’ needs will help reveal where improvements can be made.
This is the season to try and test new things, so set aside some budget to get out of your comfort zone.
Thought-starter: It might be time to consider a brand refresh; this doesn’t have to be over the top. It could mean changing the font in your logo, adding a coat of paint to your physical premises or simply getting a new uniform for Spring. Sometimes the smallest of changes can have the greatest impact. Ask your existing customers how you can improve and offer an enhanced experience. Many of our merchants renovate over this period or run Spring specific campaigns.
2. Introduce the start of the Spring season
This is the perfect opportunity to capitalise on the fresh changes that are to come with the transition in season. It may be worthwhile to create a relatable theme that can be carried across different customer touch-points (website, in-store etc.) Consider marketing campaigns, events or promotions that give customers a reason to use your services. Remember your loyal and frequent customers and use this time to reward them and show that they are important to you.
Thought-starter: Start thinking about taking advantage of the warmer weather; this may be in the form of outdoor events, or perhaps if you own a restaurant, you might want to consider creating a nice area to sit outdoors
3. Update your digital presence:
This is a simple but very effective way to create a great first impression with your customers and influence their perception of your brand. People are looking for new things to do in the Spring season; they are looking online and on social media. You need to make sure that you are number one on that list. Your website should have a friendly landing page with easy navigation and highlight any new Spring specials or events. This should be reflected on listing websites as well, for example, Google Places, Dining-Out and Trip Advisor, so make sure everything is up to date.
Thought-starter: Update your website with relevant Spring creative and messaging. You can also create a Facebook campaign that encourages engagement from your customers and creates awareness about any specials you might be having.
4. New season, same team
Although major energy needs to be invested into your customers, don’t let your employees slip your mind. They are vital to the running of your business, so take some time to find out if they are happy and motivated, especially with the start of a new busy season. Challenge them and yourself to answer the question: “Why do you get up and come to work every morning?”. This talk by Simon Sinek will provide context to this question; he challenges listeners to identify what their “why” is and determine what sets them apart from the competition out there. There is a reason why this was the 7th most-watched Ted Talk in history; if you haven’t already, watch the video and see how great leaders inspire action.
Thought-starter: You can launch a staff incentive programme that runs for the Spring season; the mechanics should drive the desired behaviour that you expect from your team all year round. It is also a great time to have a team building day, somewhere outdoors and inspiring, and get everyone to think about what your business “why” should be.
5. Turn a new leaf on business operations
When last did you look at all your business operations from start to finish? Are there any areas where you could either cut costs or improve efficiencies? This might be the right time to try that new software or change your customer management system. These are often the things that we sweep under the rug and say we will get to it later in the year. Later in the year is already here.
Thought-starter: Get your management team around a table and spend at least a full day analysing the businesses, every process, and every system and see where improvements can be made. You can also create the necessary communication channels to get input and ideas from all levels of staff; at the end of the day, they are the actual individuals running your business on a day-to-day basis.
When preparing for spring, it is all about communication, from your staff to your customers. During this lively season, keep in mind that it is all about remaining focused and being attentive to the business elements that require it the most.
If you need business finance to help with your Spring activities, then chat with us today. The application process is really quick, and your repayments fluctuate monthly based on your revenues. Find out more: https://www.merchantcapital.co.za/#getstartednow