By Steve Upham : altspace Coworking Office

It’s over, let it go.  Following the best spell of Summer weather that this writer can recall we’re there in the midst of Winter.  Coworkers have ditched the salads for hot chilli soups, water proofs have replaced lycra for cyclists and there are some amazing woolly hats on display.  Now that we have benefited from the extra hour last weekend we’re officially on ‘daylight saving ‘ hours.  The question is how has your business transitioned into this season?

It’s healthy to evaluate where you are and re-focus before the end of the year.  For a small trader like many of us I’m checking the sales and making sure we are in a good position to meet our objectives over the next year.  Whilst it can be hard to forecast the bottom line it’s a priority to make sure we have enough to see us through some of the seasonality over the Christmas holidays.  Offering promotions and discounted offers over this quieter period can help to increase visitors and work as a sales lead for the next year.

Marketing and social media are simpler to analyse and I’d recommend that you closely check analytics across any paid for media.  How is the return on your investment and are you optimising your messaging and timings?  By checking some of the free research and insight tools you can quickly establish how you can save and re-direct money to the most effective channels.

The early part of 2018 was dominated by chat and paranoia about the GDPR changes but I wonder if many of us have taken this too far?  Are we effectively recording who buys our products and are we following up on sales in an efficient manner?  It’s not a problem to collect data about customers if there’s direct acceptance and many like to be asked for feedback.  Small surveys or casual e-mails can offer invaluable insight into what your clients need and what will keep them returning to you.  After 6 months of GDPR compliance we need to re-build our customer lists and be more confident in contacting our customer base.

One final tip surrounds hours of work.  Do you struggle when the dark creeps in to retain focus?  By mixing up your work environment you could get more from your work day and meet possible new contacts.  Another approach could be working for longer in your optimum periods.  This could require starting an hour earlier in the morning or moving established gym sessions to make way for an extra spell on your computer.  By being versatile you can optimise your workday.