Island year-round business owners, canny survivors of the Ides of March (not to mention January and February), offer these practical tips about Vineyard winter business:
• Start a winter savings account in the summer. If you’re serious about staying open, put money away.
• Be consistent. Let people know your winter hours and be open when you say you will.
• Look for energy and labor savings
• Be disciplined about inventory. Use just-in-time ordering.
• Give customers a reason to come in. For example, Mocha Mott’s serves hot soup in winter.
• Wintering Islanders are your best emissaries to refer summer visitors to you if you’re on the Islanders’ radar.
• Collaborate with your colleagues. If you sell peanut butter and they sell jelly, tell the customer to visit them.
• Be clear on your objectives and what they are worth to you.