This time of year is certainly one of my favourites with spring just around the corner. The birds are starting to sing, the nights are getting lighter and everyone seems to be in a better mood literally overnight!
To me Spring time is like the true start of the new year and a blank canvas to set out your stall for the rest of the seasons to come and work on lots of new ideas to get business booming. Some work, some don’t, although it’s true to say one of my best ideas was inspired by terrible weather and negative people….
I initially traded in retail Fruit and Veg for two days a week on Glossop Outdoor Market and the first year was still to this day one of the best summers I have ever had in my life. Outside every day, fresh air and plenty of cash in my back pocket to boot, time flew by as it has a habit of doing and before you know it we were in the midst of Winter and this brought with it about three foot of snow!
There I was aged 19 thinking I was unstoppable and then all of a sudden I went from hero to zero when the customers literally stopped coming over night. I will never forget frantically trying to clear snow from my stall when a couple of the other, shall we say more ‘negative traders’, came over and said:
“don’t bother lad, you might as well pack in till the Spring now, it’s the same every year.” As they walked away to get in their vans and drive home, having given up, I heard one of them say something which I will never forget…… “poor lad, it’s not like you can go out there and drag customers in off the street”
and that’s when I thought, why not?
Why the hell can’t I go out there and drag customers in off the street. If people weren’t coming to my business I was going to take my business to the people! So off I went knocking on the doors of every single Pub, Café, Restaurant, literally anywhere that sold Fruit and Veg in my local area, introducing myself as their local “Fruit and Veg Wholesaler” and you know what? The hard work paid off and before you know it I had built myself up a wholesale round of 65 customers.
I had turned my business from a 2 day a week retail outfit into a 6 day a week wholesaler firm all by making the most out of a load of Snow and some comments made by traders who dealt with the weather by going home to the “warmth” So here’s the thing, there aren’t many certainties in life as we all know, but one thing for sure is that Winter follows Autumn and Summer follows Spring.
I know that us Brits love to moan about the weather however, time will pass and the seasons will change whether we like it or not. So why not use this to our advantage? There has never been a better time than now to plan your marketing and sales campaign for the year, buy a diary and mark in it what you are going to try and when, working around the seasons and most importantly when Mother Nature throws you a curve ball, make sure that you smash it right back at her! Well? What are you waiting for?
Go out there and buy that Diary, oh and make sure you write a “do” list, not a “wish” list!