We are working overtime to secure new business at this time of year since we know that things will slow down over the holidays. As December approaches, some of us become consumed with activities such as parties and shopping and our focus shifts away from growing our businesses. As people begin long vacations, others find it increasingly difficult to make contact.
Then there are the holidays. We stepped up our marketing and networking efforts, attending multiple meetings per week in an attempt to get things moving again. The upshot is increased business and increased earnings. Have you ever noticed how things start to pick up in the early part of February, almost at a breakneck speed? When this happens, unless we are prepared for expansion, we begin to scale back on our promotions as we hurry to finish the work that our marketing efforts have created.
As a result, we cease to network. We lose touch with the people we’ve been referring and asking for referrals, and they begin to believe we’re no longer interested in them. When this occurs, they may look for someone else to recommend when the target prospect arrives.
We’re starting to crawl out from under the workload by early to mid-summer, and we’re looking for new opportunities. Unfortunately, when children are freed from school for the summer, vacations have begun once more. As a result, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to locate the contacts who existed shortly before our business resumed late last winter.
By mid-August, school is back in session and individuals are getting back out into the networking world again. Of course, we see some of the same faces as before, but there are also a lot of new ones. We were not there to greet the new faces as they started their new business since we had slacked up on our promotion efforts. As a result, those with a well-balanced networking and marketing strategy will be there to receive them.
These are the people who appear to have thriving enterprises. They have a year-round marketing and networking strategy in place. When many firms experience the springtime new business rush, they are prepared to absorb the increased business with new staff or temporary labour. They understand that to continue growing, they must be prepared for any economic boom that could catapult their company to the next level.
So, how do we go about doing it? First and foremost, create a growth strategy. Have a procedure in place for when you have more business than you can handle and need assistance. Building contacts with temp agencies, headhunters, and placement businesses helps with this. If necessary, hire individuals on a contract basis. When things are slow, this saves money on perks and salaries. It also decreases the quantity of documentation required for payroll and tax processing.
After that, devise a manageable networking strategy. Set a goal for how many meetings you’ll attend when things are going well and stick to it as things become better. Attend functions all year, not just around the holidays.
Plan vacations as needed, but don’t assume everyone will be on vacation just because it’s summer. Most people have to work around other people’s schedules, and companies rarely go on vacation at the same time. Larger businesses always have people on standby to do business while an employee is on vacation. Also, keep in mind that big businesses don’t stop promoting just because it’s July or December. They are consistent throughout the year.
The takeaway here is that if you want to grow into a major corporation, you should study what large corporations do. If they are successful, emulate them and you may be able to duplicate their success. To ensure consistent business throughout the year, you must be actively marketing, networking, and promoting. If you decide to take it easy now because business is excellent, I guarantee you’ll have to work twice as hard when autumn arrives to get things back on track. If, on the other hand, you continue to market in the same manner that you did throughout the recession, you should be able to see growth in both your company and your bank account throughout the year.