“I write probably 80 percent of my stuff over the winter.” -Bob Seger
Using the metaphor of seasons, every business – no matter what type – goes through a winter season.
Spring is fresh and new.
Summer is vibrant and steady.
Fall is transition and change.
Winter… oh winter… winter is stillness.
In winter, the leaves aren’t flourishing on the trees. The ground is covered with snow. The wind is cold.The lakes are frozen over. The land is sleeping.
Business is similar. One of the important reality checks for any business is preparing and planning for winter seasons.
Before winter, pioneers would prepare for the barren months. They’d store up food, stack up firewood and winterize their homes. They prepared for winter.
Why would business be any different?
Don’t fret the winter season. Rather, prepare for it. Add it to your projections. Calculate it into your budgets. The ‘what if’ of business. Some call it Risk Management.
After all, the winter of business isn’t so bad.
Ok, sales are down. Profits are waning. Payroll just got a little tougher. Spending is lean. And it’s part of running a business.
I’ve always believed that when times get tough, it’s our chance to re-create, re-think, re-strategize and re-maximize our opportunities.
Winter is the preparation for new growth and your business is like a tree. It’s in those times when you strengthen your roots to handle more, not less.
What can you do to strengthen your roots? What new thinking can you activate? What areas have you not yet explored? Look for the new.
There’s always room for improvement. Here are a few examples:
- Is the company running smoothly? Are there any areas internally that need adjusted?
- Have you done an outstanding job expressing value, recognition and reward for your staff’s contribution and do you have plans to improve your already impressive customer service?
- Are employees being re-trained to empower them to be a great winning team? Is your leadership unified and building the same vision, together?
- Is your message relevant and attracting new customers? Is your marketing campaign looking tired and ineffective?
- Is your product of superior standards? Are your procedures consistent across the boards?
- Are you setting and implementing new goals to keep you moving forward? Are you maximizing your resources and opportunities?
See what I mean? Winter isn’t so bad. Strengthen your roots. You need strong roots to grow strong trees and produce a fruitful grove.
Embrace your winter.
– Karen Thrall
*also published on www.karenthrall.com