Three ways to use the winter to increase profit


The encouraging thing about the business calendar is that all times of year offer some kind of potential to generate profit. In such sectors as retail, catering and anything that involves outdoor labour, the temptation is to think that summer is the optimum time to cash in on the improved weather, increased daylight hours and generally feel-good factor, but what about the winter? Do the colder days offer alternative opportunities that your business could be exploiting?

Aside from the obvious money-making potential of Christmas, the meteorological facts of winter in Britain create a surprising number of opportunities for businesses to flourish. Here are three ways to avoid a bleak business midwinter:

Make the most of your staff

With more staff holidays being taken in the summer, most companies can rely on a stronger nucleus of employees during the winter, so be sure to get the most out of them. Keeping the workplace warm and comfortable, as well as rewarding good attendance and timekeeping in the face of weather challenges, can keep your employees happy and increase their productivity.

The downside is that sickness rates tend to be higher due to winter illnesses, so for services like IT and accounting, outsourcing could be the solution.

Increase your online presence

An Ofcom study from earlier this year found that Brits are now spending more time immersed in media than they are sleeping. Radio and TV remain popular, but it’s the on-the-go nature of mobile internet, plus the fact that almost everyone has web access within the home, that makes us a fully wired-up generation.

With people naturally spending more time indoors in the winter, it makes sense to knock your online efforts up a notch. Use social media sites to reach out to customers and clients, and perhaps offer special discounts on online transactions to take advantage of the public’s increased use of technology from the comfort of their home.

Identify winter trends

The best way to analyse when your peak seasons are is to look through your records from one year to the next. It might be that one of your products or services has a history of selling poorly from November to February, or that tighter deadlines at certain times of year impose tough demands on your staff. In any case, businesses often sell themselves short by not varying their strategies from one month to the next.

Identifying trends and establishing a business direction based on them can often be a role better served by outsourced accountants, who can free up more time within the business to work on day-to-day operations.