During the winter months, especially here in Pennsylvania as we approach some of the coldest and darkest days, it’s natural to want to batten the hatches, pull the shades and slow everything down for hibernation.
This is the time of year when depression skyrockets and motivation plummets. It’s a dangerous combination for businesses who need to keep the fires burning to ensure these months are just as successful as the rest of the year.
When both profit and progress seem to be flowing about as fast a molasses in the winter, businesses tend to tighten their budgets and limit cash flow to only the most essential areas in order to survive the (hopefully short-lived) famine. In many instances, this is a smart and strategic reaction. But there is one deadly mistake businesses commonly make when slashing line items – and it often costs them far more in the long-run than what they stand to save.
In an effort to save money, completely halting your public relations or marketing efforts is as dangerous and counterproductive as shutting off your furnace in the dead of winter.
I’ve spoken with several businesses who have learned firsthand from this mistake. The impact is what one might compare to “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” Once you’ve shut down your public relations and marketing efforts, turning things back on again is not as easy as flipping and switch – and you most certainly won’t warm right back to room temperature without dishing out some major bucks to regain this energy.
As you consider whether or not your business needs to winterize its budget now or in the future, first consider these points. The most successful businesses know to keep their public relations and marketing efforts burning, even on a low temp, to ensure their pipes don’t freeze before they are ready to turn things back on full force.
You will risk being “out of sight and out of mind” of your customers.
If you pull all of your public relations, marketing and advertising efforts, you will quite literally go “radio silent” to your customers. Relying on them to remember your brand without any prompting (and while your competitors are surely taking this opportunity to encroach on your market share) is both dangerous and foolish.
You will forfeit any pricing or packages you may be locked into.
If you are working with a consultant or outside firm, you are likely signed into a contact that will honor its pricing until you decide to change something. If you choose to take even just a few months off, many contractors will warn you that their pricing may increase should you ever wish to re-up. And, I’ll let you in a little secret, it most always does!
It takes much more effort to start from zero than to speed things up.
Think of all the energy that is lost when a large and heavy train comes to a complete stop. Now think of all the energy it requires to get that same machine up and moving again. Even if you need to slow things down for a little but, this is a far more sensible option that putting the brakes on completely.
You may not be able to rehire the same talent/team you once had.
Finally, when you tell your team of communication experts that you no longer need their services for an undetermined amount of time, they are rightfully going to find work elsewhere to make up for this void. When you’re ready to start things up again, you cannot be sure that you will be able to have the same exact team (or any of them) available for your work. Worse yet, your competition may have scooped them up!
Are you pulling in the reigns on your business’s budget right now and struggling with whether or not to put a halt on your public relations and marketing efforts? Share how you are planning to overcome this obstacle without “freezing your pipes!”