We all remember that glorious feeling of excitement from our childhood brought on anytime the weatherman called for snow. The possibility that school would be canceled sent us over the moon and had us planning just how many snowmen we’d build and hills we’d sled down. Now, however, this inclement weather is no longer cause for celebration. From late openings to forced closures to canceled meetings, snow days can wreak havoc on your business.
This past Friday we got a taste of how snow can impact business when Winter Storm Hercules blew through town. Fortunately, as a web based firm, we were able telecommute, even maintaining our regular team meeting. Still, we understand that snow can derail many small businesses. Below we’ve outlined some tips and tricks to help stay connected to your customers – and dare we say even be MORE productive – during these blustery days.
Stay Connected to Social Media:
Though you may prefer to stay home by the fire during the storm, there are some customers who don’t mind braving the roads for a cup of coffee or to see a little shopping. The last thing you want to do is to believe that everyone will assume you’ll be closed. Be sure to post your hours and any closings on all of your social platforms, as well as when you plan on opening again. Don’t plan on closing during the storm? Post that too! You might be surprised how many customers stop in or leave a comment saying how happy they are that you’re open.
You may not be able to physically be at the office, store, or restaurant, but today’s technology allows you to achieve some semblance of business as usual, even during very unusual circumstances. Using applications like Skype and Go To Meeting you can stay connected with clients and coworkers, even when no one can make it to the office.
Turn Snow into Snow Cones:
You know the saying when life hands you lemons, make lemonade? Well so to can unfavorable weather conditions turn into opportunities for your business. Take pictures as you shovel out your parking lot and share them on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Build a snowman and have him wear a company tee shirt or merchandise from your store, again sharing pictures on social media. Share a family recipe for hot chocolate to help your customers stay warm. These types of content will connect with your customers as they look for a silver lining in the snow.
Use the Time Wisely:
Finally, don’t give into temptation and consider this a day off. Use this time away from the office to brainstorm new ideas for your business or approach dilemmas you’ve been encountering from a new perspective. Tuck yourself into a cozy arm chair with your laptop or an old fashioned legal pad and pen while the kids are outside playing and just start jotting down your thoughts – whether they include ideas for a new menu item or product line, the beginnings of a blog for your website, potential events for the months to come, or ways that you can improve efficiency, you’ll be surprised just how much you can accomplish with a clear mind in a different environment.
It can be tough to stay motivated when you’re snowed in, but when you see these snow days as opportunities rather than road blocks you’ll truly be able to make the best out of an undesirable situation. Do you have any tips for maintaining your productivity during winter weather? Share them in the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!