Surviving the Canadian Winter: A Business Owner’s Guide
The Canadian winter, you may love it, or you may have just learnt to put up with it. Either way, we all have to deal with the unique set of challenges and opportunities it brings. It’s possible your business thrives in the Winter, but most of Canadian business, especially restaurants and retail stores, see a dip in sales. If you’re going through your slow period of the year, these tips should help you see the light at the end of the season.
1. Keep Employees in the Loop
Your employees are the backbones of your business – winter is just as tough on them as it is on you. What’s most important is that you keep them up to date on your plans. If you foresee changing opening hours or cutting shifts, make sure they know as soon as you do. For extremely seasonal businesses, hiring seasonal employees is also a great idea. For example, by recruiting students in the summer you’re able to keep you core team on staff year-round. In turn, turnover (and your bottom line) will have less of a negative impact.
2. Focus on Big Picture Items
You can take advantage of slower day-to-day operations by diving deep into some of the aspects of your business you may rush through when you’re swamped. A great place to start would be revisit your business plan. We touched in this in our last blog, 4 New Years Resolutions for the Small Business Owner if you need some tips. Another area that not might get the attention it deserves is your books. Take the time to try and optimize areas of the business you otherwise wouldn’t have the time to.
3. Invest in the Online Portion of Your Business
Your customers are opting to stay bundled up at home, what better way to reach them than on the devices they are constantly staring it? Did you know that 4 out of 5 consumers search for local business information on their smartphones and 50% of them visit the store within a day of their search. Ensure that your online presence is up to par, that you’re on the social media networks you need to be on and your website is informative and professional. For more ideas, check out our How A Poor Online Presence Can Hurt Your Small Business blog.
4. Spend More Time Building Customer Relationships
Building relationships with loyal customers is the only way to keep them coming back. Your most loyal customers are the ones who are more likely to tread through 30cm of snow, help promote your business online and tell their friends how great you are. Find ways to reach out to them, show them how much you appreciate them. For some creative ways to create customer loyalty, check out Bplans.com.
5. Explore Financing Options
At Evolocity we deal with a lot of businesses that are seasonal. A Merchant Cash Advance works great for them for a few reasons. The repayment on an MCA is based around how your business is doing on a day to day basis. Without getting overly technical, repayment is made daily as a percentage of your credit and debit card receivables. This means if you process $0 your repayment is $0, so rough patches become much easier to deal with.
For more insight into ways you can support your growing business or obtain an online small business loan or merchant cash advance today, visit our website for more information.