So you have a business based in Canada. But winter in Canada is a bit chilly (and treacherous) – to put it mildly. And, if you’re anything like me, you don’t want to go outside and be sociable. Nevermind going out to network with a bunch of people you don’t know.
I’m not going to lie – I’m an introvert and much prefer hanging out with people I already know. For me, winter is not the time to challenge that comfort zone!
But that doesn’t mean your business should stop.
Usually, we have clients and customers in the winter that keep us busy.
But there’s all that extra time that could be put to good use growing your business. It’s not like you’re throwing barbeques and going on long hikes.
I’m on my 9th Canadian winter and let me tell you, it’s taken that long to figure out that hibernation is my best option. But at the same time, I’ve kept track of the ideas I’ve tried in and what I’ve done to grow my small business in wintery Canada and I want to share a few with you.
1. Review Your Website
Take time to look through your website and make notes of what needs updating and changing. Pay attention to typos, price changes, dated images, stagnant opt-ins, and testimonials. Returning visitors like to see some change (even if it’s just a photograph). Now is the time to make it look like you care.
2. Review Your Previous Year
Hopefully, you’ve already reflected on what ideas worked in your small business last year and what didn’t. But this is a little different.
Look at who you worked best with during the previous year and consider whether they fit your ideal audience/client avatar.
Is there extra info you could add to your ideal client write up? Are you seeing different trends?
Due to nearly everything online coming from the US it can be really hard to research for specific information that will help your small business if you’re in Canada. So take some time and start looking into other Canadian businesses that are in your niche. Specifically look for trends.
This is a good time to take note of things that might need changing when it comes to connecting with your audience.
3. Check You Business Foundations
One of the most important business tasks you can do is to review your foundations and check to see if they’re still working for your business.
Look at your sales funnels, your automated emails, your welcome sequence, and your intake procedure (if you have one).
Check that the links work, the content still makes sense, and that it’s still aligned with the business voice you use. Business tasks like this can be really boring but they’re really worth it!
I mentioned it above but it’s also worth deep diving into your ideal audience and see whether your upcoming content makes sense for who they are and what they want.
Thank goodness that Canadian winters give you enough
4. Start Preparing Your Business For The Rest Of The Year
Many people do this on January 1st. No excuse.
But it’s never too early or too late to start planning ahead. Consider researching craft shows you want to apply for and mapping out applications and stock creation deadlines.
Think about any webinars, promotions, markets, or networking events you want to host or visit. Planning out some bigger goals for the year can make your business run smoother.
Having milestone markers doesn’t hurt either – it keeps you motivated.
Running a business in Canada also means being aware of the seasons that we have. Start planning content and products that match up with what your Canadian audience would want given the weather.
5. Look At Your Business Calendar + Start Creating Routine
All businesses come with tasks that need completing. Your small business is no different.
Start treating your business like it matters and develop a routine that works.
I love Google Calendar for creating a daily schedule that I can fit other tasks around. In fact, I’ve become such a Google Calendar addict that I’ve created multiple categories for my event so that whenever I open my calendar I see a rainbow of colour. It always cheers me up, especially on the gloomier Canadian winter days.
I’ll be sharing more on that in future posts but for right now I’ll say that it’s a good idea to look at where you’re spending your time and considering whether it’d be better to start batching your hours. It can make for a way more productive, efficient + streamlined business.
6. Get Online + Network With Other Canadian Business Owners
Yeah, I know I said it’s too cold to network and go
Try dedicating yourself to networking online for one month. Focus on heading into your groups and platforms daily and giving value, and search for groups with business owners from Canada (sometimes a shared culture can really help your connection).
It doesn’t matter if you only go on to respond to people’s question or to share awesome links and resources. Just make sure you follow the group rules.
Once you start connecting it’ll help you come up with even more ideas for your business content, marketing and creating efforts.
7. Start Creating
Whether you need to create more art or more content, a Canadian winter is
Perhaps there’s a course or DIY guide you’ve been itching to share or it’s simply time to add more socks to your art stall. Pull out the knitting needles or the notepad and start planning it.
Check out our free resources to get your idea juices flowing: Resource Page
8. Start Planning A Service
This especially applies if you’re a product based business. Because you don’t always know what your audience really need if they simply buy a premade product.
By offering a service, whether it’s customizations or consults, you start to learn more about who loves what you do and what Canadians really want when they come to your business.
Offering a service is one of the best ways to get to know your customers. It doesn’t have to be a big investment but it will be a worthy one.
9. Shake Off Stress
It’s time to identify what your daily operations look like. If, like most businesses, Canada’s winters are a slow season it’s the perfect time to start looking at how your business works and where your time goes. Identify whether you’re wasting your skills doing something you’re either overqualified or underqualified to do. What do you hate? What do you put off? What can you do differently?
Thinking about how you could outsource your business is important at any point in your journey. Start looking at how your business works and which parts you could hand off to someone else. Perhaps even start sourcing Canada based virtual assistant and office support businesses that can help you grow and take stress off your plate.
Perhaps you could learn a fun-for-you skill, or maybe it’s time to go on holiday.
Or, better yet, perhaps it’s time to start implementing all those strategies and ideas you kept putting off because you didn’t have enough time.
10. Start Using Google Analytics
Hopefully, your website already has Google Analytics set up. If not, what’s been happening in your life?!
Your business can only grow when you’ve got data to review. And because it can have a (short) learning curve it’s worth using that horrible Canada winter weather as an excuse to get on top of your business by understanding Google Analytics.
So hop on there and consider setting up goals that you can track to see who joins you where and what content is most popular.
In case you didn’t know, I’ve relaunched the website. It’s much easier to navigate + simpler to find the information you need.
One of the things we’ve just revitalized is our services section. So business support is easier and simpler to access. With just a few clicks we can join together and start to see growth for your business.