As an entrepreneur and manager of a business in the hospitality industry, there’s no question you don’t shy away from work. But as with any industry, there are slower periods. For some it’s the winter months, while for others, it’s the hottest parts of the year, or the periods without snow and the skiers and snowboarders who follow the season. No matter when it happens, though, what you do during these slower periods in preparation for peak season is just as important as the peak season itself. In fact, you can only do some important tasks in your slower periods to ensure the best busy season your business can enjoy. Curious what those tasks are? Read on.
With some more free time and hopefully some relative peace and quiet, the slow season is the perfect time to review the previous year. You can then focus on what worked and what didn’t. By studying as many different aspects of your entire business’s functioning while you have some time to catch your breath, you can start planning your strategy for the next round. We regularly review our marketing procedures on behalf of our Q4Launch customers, determine what worked and what did not, and make adjustments. But any company should do the same. It’s also much easier to plan when the phones aren’t ringing as often than when you’re working as hard as you can to ensure happy customers.
The 7 P’s
As any marketing company worth its salt will tell you, the best marketing in the world cannot sell a poor product. When property owners think of their product, they usually think of the property. Slow seasons are usually spent making repairs, revamps, or general improvements. But every aspect of your business that customers interact with is your product! And the slow season is your chance to review all aspects of that product. From reservation procedures to keeping customers happy and keeping in touch with them afterwards, be sure to look over everything.
But just as important (if not more, in some cases) than the actual product is the perception of your product. A slow period in your business is an ideal time to make plans to revamp your website and hire a professional photographer to take amazing photos of your property in the best light possible. These steps are extremely important for making your product appear as inviting as possible to visitors on the web, what is likely your largest source of new potential customers.
What About Marketing?
Keep in mind that improving all aspects of your product won’t help if you’re not also attracting new customers. One of the most important things to focus on in the slow season is making decisions on how to brand and market your property in the coming year.
Your business’s brand, or the story it tells potential and current customers, is important to your long-term success. If you haven’t found your niche yet, now is the time to look at the types of people who stayed with you over the year. Try to draw similarities among your guests–maybe a sizable majority were from a particular region, or interested in a particular activity in your area. This may be the group to focus on, and brand your business as their ideal destination. Click here for more help finding your customer profile.
Find Your Marketing Strategy
Once you have your brand strategy, it’s time to make one of the harder decisions–choosing your marketing strategy. There are plenty of resources on our site to help you plan your email marketing, blogging, social media, and SEO strategies.
But perhaps this season will be the one in which you decide your time is better spent focusing on improving the aspects of your product you can best control. Customer service and quality control are important, and best handled by you. While every business has a different style and brand, it’s important to choose a marketing partner that will understand your particular brand and market it to the demographic you’re looking to draw.
Only you and your business can make your ideal customers happy and want to come back. You can still use your slower period to research and find a marketing partner that will do the work you don’t have time to do. Attracting new customers and staying top of mind through such avenues as SEO, blogging, social media, and email marketing are Q4Launch’s strengths. We’re just not so good at making beds!
Get in Touch!
If you need help strategizing, feel free to get in touch with us here at Q4Launch to plan your most effective marketing strategy for this coming busy season. However you plan to approach it, be sure to use your slow season effectively to make your plans for the best season yet!