We turned another page on the calendar this week, put on sweaters and turned on the heat. It’s definitely autumn out and feeling like we’re nearing the end of another year. But what does that mean for businesses? Obviously, everyone doesn’t fit into the same box there are some things everyone needs to do to take advantage of the last quarter of the year and to plan for the new one.
Need a Plan
Whatever you do, you need a plan. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but if you don’t have an idea what you want to do, to whom, and when, you’ll just be tossing money into the wind. Ask yourself these questions:
What do I want to concentrate on this fall?
Who do I most want as my customer?
How much over my existing marketing budget will I spend?
Armed with those answers think about these questions:
What will make those customers come here instead of my competitor?
How can I convince them to come here or take my product home?
What do I need to add to my offerings to be successful?
What is the lead time to make that happen?
This week begins the playoff season for baseball, leading to the World Series and crowning of a new champion. For restaurants, bars, and really anyone preparing food, it means there are promotions around each team vying for the title, fans filling locations with large screen televisions and cheering for their favorites. Playoff baseball in addition to the regular season football schedule. So, it’s a very busy time for businesses catering to sports activities.
That means operators are often busy with last minute promotions to take advantage of local teams. The biggest advice to offer would be to keep things simple and cost effective:
Waitstaff in jerseys or caps supporting their favorite teams.
Rename drinks and promote them IF you have already done the point of sale.
Use social media channels to remind your audience you have the television screens to watch the games. Or, use social media to talk about what take-home options you have for game day.
Encourage customers to meet their friends at your place.
As it gets close to game time, promote any delivery options you have so customers can still enjoy your food and drink from their own home.
The Holidays Approach
If it’s October baseball, the winter holidays can’t be far behind. In fact, someone mentioned there are only 12 more Saturdays before Christmas. It catches me off guard every year. There’s still time to take advantage of the holidays though and bring customers into your business. The ideas included in our Happy Holidays post last month still apply but it’s time to make plans today. Take a look at the post to learn about ways to give back during the holidays, shopper specials, decoration themes and more.
Plan your menus now so you can promote them on social media channels. More and more people are buying heat and serve meals they can proudly serve at home on these special days. They either don’t have time or the know-how to cook but want the comfort of home for their family.
Think Ahead for 2019
We all realize, the beginning of the fourth quarter, means the new year is just around the corner. It’s a chance to take a look at what you’ve done and where you want to go in 2019. We do this work for clients regularly and would be happy to help you out. Consider:
What are you most proud of in 2018?
What would your customers say makes you stand out from the crowd?
What do you wish didn’t happen?
Once you think through the past, consider what you want to do in the new year.
What do you want to repeat next year?
What do you want to do that’s new?
Who or what is standing in your way you can move aside?
At the end of 2019, what do you hope is your proudest moment?
These are just some starting points to help you focus energy on 2019. We have a process in place to help clients figure out where they want to go and how to get there. We want to help you succeed.