Does it feel too soon to be talking about your plans for Christmas?
It might do, but it shouldn’t. I’m not talking about where you’re spending Christmas itself, or who you’re spending it with. It might be a challenge to plan ahead for that in the current climate.
But what you can do, assuming that we don’t go into another full lockdown, is plan for creating a flow of work through December and January.
What we tend to see happen in a lot of businesses in December and even more so in January, is that it can be a quiet period. In a normal year, it’s natural for us to assume that in December people are too busy shopping, socialising and winding down for the Christmas break to think about planning new building projects.
And we may be busy ourselves – trying to wrap up our work before the 25th December – so we ease off our usual lead generation activities.
And then in January we might be forgiven for thinking that everyone is feeling the pinch after the lavish spending that can go on in December. And this year, we might believe that even more people and businesses are low on cash reserves.
As a result of believing this period to be quiet, we don’t carry out the lead generation activities we might normally – and therefore we don’t bring in the same amount of business that we would at other times of year.
But the reality is that if you plan now, you can make sure that you don’t experience a drop-off in work levels in December or January. Because even though there are people who have been badly hit by the pandemic, there are also plenty of people and businesses who are still spending.
Of course, you may want to take one or two weeks away from work – and I’m in favour of taking a break at this time of year. But be careful that you don’t create a situation where you don’t have enough work coming in at the start of the year. It’s important to get your lead generation ducks in a row.
Your goal should be to remain busy for at least 2 weeks out of the 4-week period at the end of December and start of January.
Here are some activities I recommend, to make sure you keep the client work rolling in:
Keep doing whatever you usually do to generate leads. Book time into the diary for it, even when you’re busy. Make it non-negotiable.
Stay in touch with your best referral partners – the people who send the most clients your way. Call, email or take them for a coffee if they’re open to it. Make sure you stay front of mind.
Beef up your client processes, so that when you check in with a client at the end of a project, you always ask if they know anyone who might need your services. Some of the best clients can come via people you’ve already worked with.
Always ask for testimonials. After a focused effort to increase the number of Google reviews that Super Structures Associates has, we now have 21, and these have had a positive impact on the number of enquiries we get.
Get in touch with any recent leads that have fallen by the wayside. Remind them that Christmas is coming, and that they might want to start work before the silly season is upon us.
Keep networking, even if some or all of it has to be online. Posting on LinkedIn and attending online networking groups can be a good source of clients, especially if you attend groups regularly and build trusting relationships. You do have to be selective about the groups you attend though, as spending every minute of the day networking doesn’t pay the bills!
Post about the work you’re doing on social media. It’s great if you can carve out the time to create full case studies, but even if you can’t, you can still post a picture with two or three paragraphs about your most recent projects. Even if it appears to get a small number of likes and comments, people will still be seeing your posts and will be reminded of what you do – possibly at the moment that they need your services.
There’s always more we could be doing, and it’s a challenge to juggle work alongside promoting your business. But it’s the best way to make sure we don’t create a quiet December or January for ourselves.
If you need any more ideas to help you with keeping leads flowing into your business, let me know. There’s always more to say on this topic.
And if you need assistance with the structural elements of an upcoming project, please do get in touch.