We’re heading towards the finish line of 2023 — and it’s been a roller-coaster ride for some! The last quarter of the year can be a bit of a mess for businesses. With kids going back to school, families planning vacation, and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year all looming on the horizon, it can be easy to lose momentum in your business. But there are plenty of things you can do to prevent stalling. So, if you’re wondering how to get the most out of what’s left of the year, read on for Click & Repeat’s top 5 ‘last quarter’ tips.
Last Quarter Strategy 1: Evaluate your business income goals
Before you do anything else, make sure you know how much you need to make to hit your income targets for the year. (If you didn’t set any, start planning for next year!) Do you know what your financial targets are? How far away are you from hitting them?
At the same time, make sure you’ve blocked out your own vacation time. PUT IT IN YOUR CALENDAR! It’s far too easy to accidentally schedule a client when you’re supposed to be out of the office if you haven’t documented it.
And don’t forget to update your booking software if you use it. You don’t want clients self-scheduling a session the same day you’re flying across the country for a well-earned break.
Once you know how many clients you need, and how much time you have, it’s easier to schedule your time to avoid burnout while still reaching your financial goals for the year.
Last Quarter Strategy 2: Plan ahead for content creation
Marketing can’t be avoided so why not plan for it? In November, Click & Repeat runs NaNoWriMo for Dog Trainers. Based (loosely) on National Novel Writing Month, Dog Trainer NaNoWriMo is a competition that encourages you to really get stuck into your content creation. Participants commit to producing a piece of business marketing content every day for the entire month of November. We’re flexible about what counts. Here are some content examples:
- 30 blog posts (you don’t need to publish them, just get the writing done.)
- A daily Instagram post
- A daily TikTok video
At the end of every week someone who has completed the challenge to that point will be randomly selected to win a prize.
The idea is that you create a backlog of marketing content that you can use over the following months. You can find out more by signing up to the Click and Repeat newsletter (below) or joining Dog Trainer’s Umbrella community on Facebook.
Last Quarter Strategy 3: Make the most of Black Friday
If you want to offer a Black Friday sale, don’t discount your prices. Rather than having clients undervalue what you offer (because they’ve got it cheaper than it’s really worth) include a free upsell of some sort when they buy a full package. This might be something like adding a bonus private lesson, or free enrollment to an online course you have. Whatever it is, make sure it doesn’t cut into your billable hours too much if you’re already struggling for time.
Last Quarter Strategy 4: Reconnect with previous clients
One of the easiest ways to boost your active client numbers is to email those you’ve worked with in the last 6 months. Not surprisingly, it’s far easier to sell to someone who’s already bought from you than to sell to someone new. Your previous clients already know, like, and trust you — so you’re halfway there!
Check-in emails allow you to remind previous clients that you still exist and are there to help them if they’ve not resolved their dog’s issues, or if something new has popped up since you saw them last. This email can be unique to them (“Hi Sally! How are things going with Jax’s leash walking skills?…”) or semi-personal (“Hi Sally! Just thought I’d touch base to let you know what we have planned for the next few months…”). Either way, the goal is to bring you and your services to the forefront of their mind and remind them how great it was to work with you.
A second way of reconnecting with people is to send a “blast” or mass email campaign to your entire list. This would be a more general “…here’s what we’re offering over the next 3 months…we’d love to see you and your dog again, so why not come and join us for…”
Email is about as low cost and easy as effective marketing gets, so if you need billable hours filled, this is a great place to start.
Last Quarter Strategy 5: Offer a referral “buy X, get Y” deal
To encourage clients to refer you to friends and family, offer gift cards for packages (or classes) that include a free lesson for the purchaser. For example, if Mary buys a gift card for her daughter-in-law, Suzy, to take their new puppy to your 6 week SuperPup course, Mary gets a free/discounted lesson for herself and her own dog.
Again, any time you’re offering your time for free, make sure you can actually afford to lose the income from that time. If you’re booked solid, giving away your time is not the way to go! If you have more empty slots in your schedule than you want, offering some of them for free can be a good way to fill the rest.
Want to get ahead for 2024? We offer a FREE 30 minute consultation for anyone who’s interested. Just click here to send us a message!