With the nights drawing in and the temperature dropping, many food businesses find winter a struggle. The customers that have been loyal all summer are now opting for cosy nights in with home-cooked food whilst spending their extra cash shopping online for gifts for the holidays. It’s an ideal time to revisit your strategy, so here are some top tips for making your food business season-proof.

  1. Plan ahead

Any smart business owner knows that market research is worth its weight in gold. So do your research, listen to your customers, do some more research and build a plan. Make sure that your business is resilient enough to deal with any setbacks by having a comprehensive plan, that way you will succeed where unprepared businesses will fail. Revisit your plan often – after all, winter success starts in the summer. 

  1. Join the social media elite

It has never been easier to interact with potential customers. If you are creating great content then your loyal customers will be sharing it and expanding your reach for free.  Mastering the art of insta-friendly photos and engaging posts will help put you on track for small business success. If you don’t feel confident with your social media skills then get learning or find someone who can do it for you!

  1. Offer your customers what they want 

Once you’ve got to know your customer-base you can start developing the products they want and the gifts they would give. Whether it’s a kitchen experience, wintery afternoon teas, snowman cupcakes or Christmas dinner burritos – it doesn’t matter. Offer something people want to buy and take advantage of the spending spirit!  

  1. Do your housekeeping

Now is a great time to make sure everything is in order behind the scenes. Ensure your paperwork is organised and your processes streamlined so you’re not wasting precious time. Does your branding give out the right message? Clean up your social media accounts, take another look at your advertising. Is your workspace still working for you? Be honest with yourself – admin may have taken a back seat during the summer rush but you need to get back on top of it.

  1. Call in the experts

To be a success this winter you need to keep making money, and accountants know money! Hand over the books and let them help you identify any potential issues. How much can you spend on winter packaging? Can you afford to take on an extra pair of hands? Is now a good time for you to invest in learning a new skill? Your accountant can help you answer these questions and check that your projections are realistic.

Like with most things, preparation is key for helping your business thrive during the winter months. Listen to your customers, listen to the experts, and follow these top tips to make this your most successful winter yet. If you need expert business advice for your small business then speak to your accountant. 

By Richard