Strategy meeting

Themes traditionally associated with Easter include hope, resurrection and new beginnings. From a secular standpoint, it’s basically just about chocolate. In the weeks leading up to Easter last year, not even the European discounters Aldi and Lidl slowed the bumper performance of the UK’s big four supermarkets. Easter this year happens to coincide with Q1 fading into Q2 - quite appropriate given the duality of the holiday. As one door closes, another opens.

Like any seasonal holiday, consumer spend across a variety of industries and sectors is set to peak. In the UK last year, electronic retail sales over Easter outstripped those made over Christmas. By the time Q2 rolls around, quarterly and annual budgets will have been determined by businesses - there is less confusion and hesitation surrounding spending. At this time of the year, therefore, companies enjoy an excess of customer interest and are not afraid to spend. For the shrewd operator there is ample opportunity to hatch new deals and successful partnerships.

As one quarter crosses into another, I impress upon my staff the value of asking themselves a few key questions. Do I have the time to close any business in the pipeline? Often, it may be internal wrangling that is easily overcome. However, if the impediment is external, it may be tempting to cut corners. Don’t compromise on price or level of service purely for the sake of contributing to your existing quarterly figures. Scrambling for leads and revenue in the final weeks of a quarter will convey a frayed image to your clients, one that smacks of desperation. If you instead pursue a composed, measured approach, you will reap more than you expect in the following quarter.

The close of Q1 is a good time to reflect on lost opportunities in order to change the attitude you employ throughout the rest of the year. Were your prospects poached by competitors - and if so, why? Was the cause of a loss in business a deviation in following process in any way? Sometimes it is not about the sheer volume of your activity, but rather how intelligently you channelled that activity.

This year, Easter is a convenient juncture at which to reflect on your methods for the next quarter. Take the long weekend to properly consider your future strategy and limit the chance of a Q2 disaster.