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Batten Down the Hatches – Working on your Business over Winter

Batten Down the Hatches – Working on your Business over Winter

If you run (or work in) the type of business that tends to get a little quieter over the winter months, is there anything you can do about increasing that business? Or is there a worthwhile way you can be using your time when you have a little room to breathe, read and think about your direction.

We recommend taking this time to do some business housework – make sure you have caught up with best practice, got any necessary technology updates in place, worked out if there are any gaps in your marketing activity and so on.

We’ve included some suggestions below, along with links to some of our blogs that give you more information on each suggestion.

1. Strategy – have you got a plan in place?

If you don’t, this is a good time to start working on one. If you do, this is the perfect time of year to pick it up and review your progress. How are you doing across your marketing channels? When was the last time you touched base with your customers to see what is happening in their worlds?

We can provide you with an external perspective on your business and marketing strategy – and that can be as simple as a paid consultation session (1-2 hours) where you take the notes and go away to get stuck in, or a full 2 hour workshop followed up with either a detailed set of notes, or a full digital strategy document if that’s within your budget.

2. Google Shopping – Are you onto it yet?

If you are not a retailer, you can ignore this one, but if you are, start by reading our blog post on Google Shopping and think about how it could benefit your business. Call us for a chat or a meeting to get things underway if you decide you want to jump onboard.

3. Internationalising Your Content – Start planning

If you export goods and services, or you bring customers into New Zealand as tourists, time to work out which parts of your website to optimise for specific languages and locations. We have a handy blog right here to get you started on that process as well.

Again, if you would like some support, we are here to help.

4. Website upgrades – SSL (to start showing https in your domain) and more

Had a message suggesting you need to upgrade? Been hacked a little too often recently for comfort in your business? Upgrading your website to the latest version of whichever platform it is built on, making sure it is responsive, and investing in an SSL certificate are all great housekeeping tips that will ensure your web presence is in the best possible shape for the season ahead.

Don’t wait until things get busier to get this work underway! Start the ball rolling now and ensure that come August/September, everything is shipshape.

Not putting these upgrade steps in place makes you vulnerable to hacks, and may also affect your search ranking as Google is now ranking non-responsive websites and websites without https below those that have these elements in place.

5. Competitor Analysis and Benchmarking

Not to obsess, but the winter months are a great time to browse your competition and see what they are up to. Is there any development in your sector that you have missed? Are there opportunities you can pick up on?

Sometimes you can’t see all the information on your competitors you would like. We offer a Competitor Analysis service that can provide you with more data and give you some useful insights. Just let us know and we can give you a quote.

6. Improving Your Systems

We are continually reviewing new technologies and applications – not only for functionality that our clients are looking for on their websites, but also to ensure our internal systems are working well.

Reviewing your outgoing costs for software, SAAS applications and more can end up saving you significant overhead, as many of the newer options run on a cheaper monthly price. You might end up saving yourself thousands by changing a few of your processes, or automating some processes that are currently manual.

If you want any advice on that front, we are happy to chat.

7. Refreshing Your Content

All too often, your website content goes up on the site and isn’t touched again for all eternity! Google loves fresh content however, so taking the time to read through all the content pages on your site, working out where updates are needed for out of date info, and maybe even whipping up a batch of fresh blog posts while you have the time (you can schedule them to post across the next month or two) is a great use of your time.

While you are reviewing the site, if you find anything that could do with a brush up and is outside your skillset, feel free to give us a call – perhaps the site needs to be restructured a little, or could do with a design refresh as well.

If you are really sick of your current design, you might be surprised at how little it could cost to migrate to a brand new template – don’t be afraid to ask! We can happily quote on implementing some of the other steps above at the same time, to give you the best bang for your bucks.

Remember, if your site could do with a boost, you don’t necessarily have to start the whole process from scratch again. Incremental changes can freshen things up, improve your search rankings and reduce the cost in terms of time and money, making your site last a few more years before you need the full treatment.

About Karen Foreman-Brown

Karen Foreman-Brown is a digital strategist and online marketer with a particular interest in social media, content marketing and delivering spectacular outcomes for client organisations.
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