“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.” ~ Paul Theroux, author
Seasonal depression is real. Harvard Business Review even offers ideas for companies to help employees experiencing seasonal depression. But business owners can do more. With several weeks remaining to winter, don’t just hibernate—use this wintertime to not only support employees, but also give your business a lift.
The weather may keep people indoors, but doesn’t unduly limit the activities you can pursue to help your staff:
- Team building. Fewer daylight hours, colder weather, and post-holiday blues can negatively impact employees. But this time of year may be ideal for focusing on team building and boosting morale. Here are 19 team building activities to consider. Look for activities that can include remote/hybrid workers.
- Health assistance. Many people experience seasonal affective disaster (SAD) due to reduced daylight hours and gray days. Consider buying SAD therapy lamps for desks. Look for ways that staff can get exercise, even if it’s only standing up and walking around. Here are some more indoor exercise tips. And remember to support healthy eating.
What can you do at this time of the year to attract new customers or increase sales with existing customers? Mid-winter marketing actions can increase your business:
- Sales. Coming off year-end sales may have depleted inventory as businesses get ready for the spring. Still, now is a good time to get customers in the door—physically or online—by conducting sales.
- Marketing. Create buzz by holding events. Consider, for example, a Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, or St. Patrick’s Day event, that can offer curated foods and beverages at your location for customers to enjoy while shopping.
- Social media. Continue marketing activities through your social media platforms with useful information or even giveaways. The goal is to connect with customers and display your brand.
Your future plans
Planning for your business is a year-round endeavor, with regular review of financial statements and projections for upcoming quarters. Still, to paraphrase Michael Gerber, author of E-Myth Revisited, mid-winter may be an ideal time to work on your business and not just in it.
Re-examine your short-term (defined as months or a few years) and long-term goals (perhaps 10 years). You may also want to fix plans with more concrete time frames: weekly, monthly, quarterly, and then in the next one year, three years, or five years.
In revising your business plan, factor in changes in technology (e.g., AI), the economy (e.g., changing interest rates), and customer tastes. Look over your mission statement, assuming you have one; it may need to be revised. For example, in 2023, Starbucks revised its mission statement to recognize that connection is a fundamental human need. When Facebook rebranded as Meta, its mission statement changed to add a metaverse shift.
Poet Percy Bysshe Shelly said: “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”
Don’t let the weather or lack of daylight hours dampen your mood and depress your activities. Use this time productively! And mark your calendars for the return to Daylight Savings Time and off of Standard Time: March 10 the clocks “spring forward” in most locations.