We all know that spring is the traditional time to clean out your home and garage after being tucked snugly inside and restricted primarily to our homes over the winter months. And summer is a busy time for both work and family. But autumn is the season to fortify, batten down the hatches and prepare for the cold winter months ahead. As it is for our homes, our businesses have similar seasonal duties that must be attended to ensure smooth operations.
For most of us, October signals the start of our fourth quarter of business for the year, and it is important to allot as much of our time during this quarter to ensuring that we have a successful and profitable new year right from the start. In many cases, business may slow during the winter, but even if it doesn't, we have to work as if it is our busiest season. The best way to handle the fourth quarter is to set aside tasks that should be completed each week or each month.
Many of the tasks we must perform at this time of year are planning related. This is the time to set goals and identify potential obstacles. The first of the goals that come to my mind is a sales or revenue goal. The trick in setting this goal is to aim high while maintaining a sense of realism. You don't want to sell you and your staff short, but you also don't want to make it impossible to hit the target.
One way to increase sales and revenue is to advertise effectively and implement sound marketing strategies, but in order to accomplish this, we must first analyze how our marketing has worked for us for this year. Has it worked as well as you had expected? Is your advertising budget being spent effectively? What are some of the alternatives available?
A proven method for analyzing your marketing strategies is known as the SWOT method, which stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. This usually refers to your own business, but it can also be applied to specific approaches to marketing. When applied to your company, SWOT helps you develop your strategy for the coming year. When you apply SWOT to specific marketing techniques or providers, the method helps you determine a true value, and the key word here is opportunity.
The fourth quarter is the perfect time to identify new opportunities that will help you achieve your goals for the coming year. If we can be of any service to you, don't hesitate to let us know. I look forward to hearing from you, and good luck in carrying out your fall maintenance at home and on the job.