Does your course know you're closed for the season?
Many seasonal businesses are in the midst of closing down for the 2019 season. Not an easy job! Even if you'll be on a beach, there are things you must do (or continue to do) if you want to come home to a base of still-loyal customers.
Below you'll find our checklist of things to remember (and do) to winterize your business before heading off on holiday.
Update your hours of operation.
When someone wants to know your hours, the first thing they'll do is an online search for your business name. If your business listing has not been updated, chances are your hours aren't up to date.
A good way to find out what your customers will be seeing for your hours of operation is to just google your business, yourself. As long as you've updated the Google Business Listing for your business, your hours will show up on the right side of your search results. (Haven't done that yet? Learn how HERE.)
In Google, you can elect to edit your business information from right here.
Once you're editing your information, simply add in "Exceptions or holidays" for any variations on your normal hours.
Make sure you check all your business listings; Google, Yelp, Bing, and social media platforms are all on this list.
Don't forget social media.
Especially for businesses that are focused on something people love, maintaining a solidly active social presence is of critical importance—especially when they won't be seeing you for a few months. Why? Well, just because they can't golf doesn't mean they can't read about golf!
In fact, social media rates usually skyrocket during cold months, making it a great time to prioritize building a social presence. Engage with your followers and other business pages in your community to keep buzz going and get earlier traction a few months from now.
Update your website.
Updating your hours of operation is mandatory, but it's also a good idea to put a note on your website and social accounts with more clarifying language. If you know when you'll be opening for 2020, let your online visitors know when they can check back.
Schedule some emails.
Email marketing is still one of the most powerful, successful marketing tools for businesses. If you're utilizing it during on-season months, great! The trick, now, is not going dark during the dark months.
Just like with social media, winter months are some of the best time to engage with guests. If you'll be offsite during this time, try using a marketing tool like foreUP that allows you to create and schedule emails to go out to all or some of your customers.
Your customers will think you're hard at work all winter long!
Turn off online booking.
Using online reservations? So many of our customers head off for the holiday without turning off the ability for their customers to book a tee time from the course website.
Whether you're using foreUP online booking or another reservations tool, be sure to toggle the switch to "off" until you're ready to open your 2020 tee sheet.
Update your technology.
It's not rocket science; it's easier to change business software when you're not as busy. Whether you choose to move to a more robust course management system or you just need to upgrade your receipt printers, now is the time to start.
New systems can have a bit of a learning curve, but even the easiest tools to use will benefit from a bit of a runway before you're off and swinging in a few months.
foreUP is often implemented with customers mid-season because of our hands-on team, but it's always nice to do it at your own pace.
Take a break.
2020 will come soon enough, so be sure to take a break to breathe, reset, and remind yourself why you love this amazing industry.
Make your life easier by choosing the right partner to provide you with not just the software tools but the support you need to be more efficient & profitable next season.
Wishing you all the best for the coming year!