Winter presents a variety of different challenges for businesses, especially those that rely on brick-and-mortar stores as their main source of profit. Not only does the cold weather make it so that people are less willing to go outside, which means a smaller amount of people that will be coming to your store, but it can also cause a variety of other problems. Here is a quick look at 5 different strategies that can keep the cold weather from freezing your business.
1. Make a good first impression
When customers enter your business for the first time, they begin gathering information subconsciously as soon as they leave their cars. For this reason, it is important to keep up the property. Leaves that are leftover from fall should be removed from the area and all signs should be properly maintained. It is also important to conduct some maintenance on the front of your store, since snow and ice can damage essential structures and create dangers for potential customers.
2. Keep a comfortable atmosphere
Once your customers enter your business, they will not want to stay if the temperature is not comfortable. Invest in a quality heating service maintained by professionals. Having the proper heating systems in place can also save your business money. If you have an older furnace or heat pump, you may be operating below 65% efficiency. To maximize your profits, make sure all heating equipment is up to date and that your store is at a comfortable temperature.
3. Little things make a big difference
Just as customers subconsciously gather information from the moment they leave their cars, they pay attention to small things within your place of business. During the colder months, it can be a nice gesture to offer hot drinks to customers as they browse within your store. You could even offer holiday treats that fit with the various holidays that take place during the winter months. These simple gestures are a small expense and they can go a long way in establishing a relationship with potential customers.
4. Strengthen your online presence
Establishing an online presence is imperative for success in today’s business world, especially during the cold winter months when many people are staying home. By having a website, you will still be able to sell your products and services, even if people aren’t coming into your store. You can even offer pick-up services and other things that integrate your site with your store, making it easier for people to get the things that they need from your place of business.
5. Develop a plan for inclement weather
Sidewalks and parking lots should be kept clear of snow. If the surfaces are icy, this can be a safety issue as well as a deterrent to potential customers. If you are unable to keep up with the demands of inclement weather, hire a professional to make sure the parking lot is plowed and walking surfaces are salted. You can set up a contract for them to do this automatically throughout the winter, removing the hassle of constantly trying to find someone whenever there is bad weather. You should also have a mop and rugs in place within your store so that snow and water brought into your business can quickly be removed.
Winter weather does not need to cool down your business. By following these tips, you will be able to survive until the spring thaw, and it is very likely that you might even be able to turn winter into the most profitable time of the year for business.