As we reach the end of the year and the weather gets colder, it can be easy to lose motivation. But now’s not the time to lose momentum! Now’s the time to focus on new ways to stay productive and give your business a boost.

While working in the winter can be incredibly draining and difficult, it’s important to remember that there are highs and lows in every industry. The colder weather may put off customers, but it gives you the perfect time to refocus your energies on running your business, and keeping it operating at its optimum. If you do this, when the warmer weather rolls around again, you’ll be better equipped to operate at your full potential.

If you’re ready to banish the winter blues and focus on productivity, keep reading…

Take stock of the year

What better way for a business owner to see where they can improve operations and boost sales than to look at where they went wrong during the year? This may sound like an activity filled with negativity, but it’s not.

Study any available data, from sales reports, to financial statements, and customer feedback to pinpoint where issues lie, and work out a plan of action to fix them.

Streamline processes and procedures

When a business has been running for a while, certain systems seem to be set in stone. But these systems are not always the best – or most efficient – for the job. Break free of old habits and see if there’s any other way of doing things that may be more efficient.

A few areas you can assess are:

  • Employees
  • Stock
  • Accounting
  • Marketing
  • HR
  • Operational Costs

You may well find that your systems are costing you more money in the long run, and it’s time to shake up your processes and procedures. Sometimes, a small change can ramp up productivity and drive costs down considerably.

Set goals

Goals are incredibly important in any business. As an owner, you should have defined goals outlined, and a clear way forward to meet them. When it’s quieter and colder, it’s the perfect time to set new goals and determine how to make them attainable. Think of your business as your resume, and decide how you’d improve it if you had taken some time off and returned with a fresh, new outlook.

Once you’ve decided where you can improve, use the data you have available to decide where to next, and determine what your scope for growth is. Then, you can put plans in motion to achieve that growth trajectory over the next 12 months.

Focus on marketing

It may be cold, and business may be quiet, but it won’t stay that way. Use this time to focus on your marketing strategy and determine if there are any gaps that are costing you customers.

Assess your social media presence, your website, your ecommerce platform (if you have one – and you should) and your advertising reach. If there are any areas that need attention, take note, and then chat to the relevant parties to address them.

If you need to bring in revenue, you can run winter specials that will increase sales over the colder months. Even if you sell a service or product that can only be used again when it’s warmer, you’ll be connecting with customers and staying relevant. Alternatively, you could send out a newsletter, Christmas cards, or any other form of communication that would resonate with your target audience.

Improve employee engagement

It’s no secret that happy employees are more productive. However, when the winter months hit, they may be feeling demotivated and less driven to perform.

Use this time to boost engagement levels amongst staff and to keep them focused on the task ahead.

You can offer training programs that upskill them, thus making them even more valuable to your organization. Or, you can run incentive schemes such as bonuses for the top sellers or those who bring in the most new customers over a period of time.

Don’t let the winter blues affect your business. Focus on staying productive is the best way to get through the colder months, and it will certainly pay off when the weather warms up again.

Lee Anna Carrillo is a community manager at Resumoo. A resume writing service, and career resource database. Resumoo is owned by Ranq Digital LLC, a marketing and media company located in Charlotte, NC

Work at home winter stock photo by Yuganov Konstantin/Shutterstock