September is upon us, and we enter a more challenging season for businesses – Autumn. As summer usually is the busiest time for many businesses, it is easy to enter a state of worry due to sales beginning to slow in preparation for winter. However, instead of worrying what the months ahead will bring, see this quiet period as an opportunity to prepare your business to ensure it remains successful for the rest of the year.
1. Reassess your energy bills
We are sure that many of you are sick of hearing about the rising energy costs (we are too), however you should take this quieter period as an opportunity to address the matter of your energy bills. Our first tip would be to evaluate the ways in which your business can save on your energy bills this upcoming Autumn and Winter, whether this be through switching to energy efficient appliances or bulbs, encouraging employees to work from home or making a conscious effort to switch off energy consuming devices that you are not using.
So you are not impacted by any unexpected bills as we enter the colder months, we also recommend that you take this time to reassess your energy costs, enquire if there will be any price increases and research if there are any cheaper provider options available for your business. Taking the time to determine what your bills will be this winter can provide an understanding of how much extra cash will be required to cover the costs.
2. Evaluate your offering
In order to remain relevant to your consumers, it is important to regularly evaluate your offering. You could do this by asking yourself these simple questions:
- What unique service or product do we offer? What value does it provide to customers?
- How do we differentiate from competitors?
- Who is our target customer?
- What do they want from us?
If you are struggling to answer any of these questions, then it may be time to adapt your business plan in order to ensure that you remain competitive and attractive to consumers. The most successful businesses are those who offer a unique selling point (USP) that their target customers are seeking, which can be determined through researching these consumers’ wants, needs and changing trends. These quieter months provide the perfect opportunity to conduct some market research into your competitors’ offerings and your target market. Through this updated research, you can adjust your business plan accordingly.
3. Meet with potential business partners
If you have a lot more time on your hands then usual, why not use this as an opportunity to connect with your potential vendors or business partners that you have been hoping to pursue. Why not arrange a meeting to update them on your capabilities, services and the opportunities they could attain by partnering with you – this could potentially lead to a new source of revenue or greater profit opportunities for your business.
4. Conserve as much cash as possible
In order to prepare for the winter months, try to conserve as much cash as possible that was generated from the busier seasons of summer. This cash will be useful to ensure your bills can be met and your business can stay afloat in these quieter periods.
5. Prepare for holiday sales
Now is a good time to decide if your business will be opening for Black Friday or over the Christmas holidays. These periods will require extra inventory and employees to cover the potential increase in sales, so arrangements should be made in advance. To ensure that your business is not overwhelmed by these holidays, make sure you complete a detailed plan outlining how your business will operate in this period
As you can see, Autumn shouldn’t be a time of standstill and dread for your business, in reality this season provides the perfect opportunity to prepare, reorganize or even restructure before the end of the year. We have provided five tasks which could keep you busy, however if you would like any further information, help or guidance with any of these, please get in touch with one of our team today.