I’ll let you in on a little secret: I hate January. After the rush of December, trying to get everything done and fit jobs in, the lull of January drives me crazy. About this time every year, I become antsy, even though I know business will pick up and we will crave the days we weren’t running around.
There are things we should be doing during any lull in business, and the beginning of the year is a great time to take a step back and get your ducks all lined up in a row.
Update your Profile: You should update your online profile both personally and professionally. Jump onto LinkedIn and make sure both your company and personal pages are up to date. When you do this on LinkedIn an alert will go out driving focus and reminding your community you exist. Check on your Facebook reviews (make sure you’re still posting consistently). The beginning of the year is also a good time revisit your website. Make sure all your brands are up to date, as is the content on the site. A revamp may be just the thing your company needs to bring it up higher in searches. Reading your content with fresh eyes, make sure your site is sending out the right message about who your company is and what separates you from the pack.
In addition, check out your online information on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Manta, and others. The more information about your company out there the better!
Purge and Restock: Now is a great time to clean out your vans/trucks and your warehouse. Who knows what expensive part may be lurking under something else? Go over your stocking list and make sure you are carrying the right parts. Do not forget to get your team involved in this, as they may have some valuable information about what they need on the job site.
Stocking up may seem counterintuitive at a time when business is slow, but investing in the right tools and parts today may save time lost on a job tomorrow.
Go on Vacation: For some reason in America, it seems like the word “vacation” is a dirty word. Get over it! Even your brain needs a break, and you deserve it. Take this time to run away from the craziness of life to recuperate. The best ideas can be hatched while taking it easy and taking some time off. Plus, you won’t be needed as significantly during the off-season.
Check in with Reps: Now that you have a moment to breath, it is a good time to touch base with your representatives. They may have added brands/products that can help your business or new pricing structures. Since they may also be slow meaning your purchasing power may be stronger at this time of year.
Feed you Brain (and Your Team's Brains): If you find your install team without a job, get them training on new technology. Many of our networking companies offer free webinars and on-demand training. Our industry needs to understand networking, as well as all new technologies. Now is the time to make sure you have the most up-to-date staff in your region.
Market Yourself: Celebrating a big job or an anniversary? Now is a great time to write up those press releases and have them ready to send out. There is no marketing like free marketing! Establishing yourself, and your company as the local expert can only help to propel you forward.
Instead of watching the clock tick away to warmer busier days, take this time to ensure a successful year ahead by making the most of today.
Heather L. Sidorowicz is the president of Southtown Audio Video in Hamburg, NY.