Lessons, musings and advice from the author of ‘The Life I Won’
It’s January and this is the month that businesses everywhere go back to basics. If you haven’t planned to do this or don’t know what I am talking about, stay with me.
When I worked in supermarkets as a manager selling products to the public, January was our time to align with how our customers were feeling. The same applied when I was a manager in B & Q and IKEA, there is a distinct strategy for January in most retailers that also applies to the online world.
Let’s explore the how people are feeling this month:
Over-consumption – many of us will have overspent, using credit cards and credit accounts to buy presents. We will also have over consumed food and drink.
Brassic – most of the population will be waiting for payday which won’t even touch the credit payments.
Hope – many people will look upon the new year as a new start, will have made resolutions or set goals.
If you have a look around your local food retailer, they will be promoting their value ranges, basic products such as beans, sausages, pizza’s, fruit and veg and pasta. They know that you will be cutting back due to over consumption and financial constraints, so they market their products to your pocket, your new improved healthy diet, and your need to start anew.
The same happens with the big non-food retailers, they all start their January sales, usually on Boxing Day, to entice you to spend money with them because it can be the hardest month of the year otherwise. They are clearing out old ranges, Christmas stock and making way for new whilst offering the consumer a bargain.
Then there is the health, well-being and coaching market who KNOW that you have made new year’s resolutions and want to tap into your determination to change.
Because of this knowledge, January can be the best month of the year and a great kick start for your business.
Whatever your business is and wherever you are right now, going back to basics is the same whether you are selling beans or beds!
Here are my top tops for your back-to-basics review:
If you don’t know them, you should because they are your bread and butter. Even the big retailers know exactly who their ideal customers are. Make sure that you have a clear picture of them and more importantly how they are feeling right now. Have they come out of the season filled with hope and ready for change? Are they ready to throw in the towel in their business? Are they scared and need your help to move past the fear? There is never a more important time to relate to your ICA and adapt your marketing strategy to speak directly to them.
No use trying to sell them caviar if they are shopping for beans.
You need crystal clear goals, a hefty dose of self-belief and a solid plan for this new year which is filled with opportunity for your business. Most people give up on their resolutions and goals by February, so how are you going to make sure that this is not you? Have you set a financial goal for January, and do you have a plan to back it up? Which products or services are you selling that can help your customers the best? Have you planned time for yourself, for self-care, self-investment and for nurturing your mindset? What if you have a shaky start and it knocks your confidence, how will you adapt and re-energise yourself? Go into the new year with an invincible attitude and work hard to maintain it every day.
In retail there were constant range reviews, introducing new products to keep customers happy. When was the last time you looked at your products and services and introduced new lines to excite your customers? January is a great time to do a business overhaul and improve on what you have. Even if you spend a couple of days tidying up your tech sites, reading your copy to see if it is still relevant and if you have courses looking over them to see if you need to remove or add training. If you sell products and you want a clear-out, use the January sales, and make space for new items. Bring in new potential customers with offers and get them on your mailing list. If you don’t have an e-mail provider yet, get started, it’s a new year!
Spend some time this month doing some market research. Has your customer changed their habits? Are they hanging out with some new version of you and if they are how do you win them back? Are there new customers you can bring in from new places? What are people buying in the sales? Notice people’s changes in their habits based on how they have come out of the previous year, it is often a time for big change.
January is a great time to think about creating a new freebie or lead magnet. Something fresh to bring new customers into your business. Maybe you could set yourself a big goal to do more livestreams in new groups talking about your product or service? Create some excitement with an event selling knowledge or products. Create a new item and tease people with behind-the-scenes snippets of the process.
Going back to basics in business is a valuable way to keep yourself on your toes. You can do it anytime, but the start of a new year is a motivational time for us all to delve deep and be objective. Resistance is less prevalent, and we are naturally more open to trying new things.
Good luck in overhauling your business, leave no stone unturned and start as you mean to go on.