As you know, we’re in our busiest season now. We officially have one deadline under our belt (the March 15th partnership deadline), and now look to the individual return deadline in April. One month to go!
A few weeks ago, I considered and wrote about ways we keep our team motivated during this crazy time. That’s important work, because we care deeply about the people working here and desire to see them well cared for during periods of high stress. But tackling the big workload and keeping employees motivated isn’t our only concern right now. Even during the busy season, we keep up with our business development activities. It’s essential to our growth. Tempting as it is to focus solely on the tax work that’s piled on the desks, ignoring the need to generate new business will only hurt us later. The same goes for you and your business.
Over the years, I’ve discovered that small business owners tend to make the same 5 marketing mistakes over and over again when they’re bogged down. Does this sound like your busy season?
- not posting new content or blogs on the business website during the busy season
- neglecting to check the client portal and essential links on the website
- neglecting communication with clients you aren’t working with during the busy season
- delaying all marketing efforts, including social media posting, until the busy season is over
- ignoring leads until after the busy season is over
Firms that operate in this manner are really good at “putting out the fires” of their busy seasons and meeting deadlines for their current clients. Problem is, in a few months time, they’re all staring down at a budget that shows little to no growth. And it happens every single year.
Preparing your marketing efforts in advance is the first step to remedying the above marketing fails. To that end:
- Prepare website content ahead of your busy season, or consider ways to repurpose the content you already have. A “Best Of” or “How To” list, or a white paper or other downloadable item can be created with text you already have. Short on text? This is a great time to bring in a guest blogger or two, or turn your blog over to a ghostwriter who can write it for you on a regular basis. At the very least, add in some new photos to quickly but dramatically change the feel of your site.
- Have a team member check the major links on the website—especially the client portal—to make sure they’re working.
- Email or call your “other” clients, those whose workload falls outside your regular busy season. Do not let them feel neglected or ignored simply because you’re working on other clients’ issues right now. Encourage these “other” clients to begin preparing for when you’ll meet again.
- Maintain your marketing campaigns to keep your brand on the radar of clients — current and potential — and search engines. This could be as simple as a postcard mailer to clients reminding them of upcoming deadlines and items to prepare, or something online, such as digital ads on LinkedIn or Google, focusing on your firm’s other services.
- Continue to consult potential clients. Train up another team member in your company to do this if you currently can’t delegate the task.
I get how tough busy season is. Believe me, I do. But don’t waste the opportunity to grow simply because it seems too challenging to do so. With a little prep work, busy season can be one of your best opportunities to advance your business.