Last week, I wrote about the importance of hitting the ground running at the beginning of the season.
“Starting off the season with a bang (or a full set of grandstands) comes down to two basic principles: build on what you know works and out-prepare your competition.” – Read the entire article here.
I was really happy to get a few emails asking for advice on how, exactly, to take your seasonal preparation to the next level beyond just having your car or track ready for opening night.
Here are five quick ways you can get ahead before the season even starts:
- Public relations. At this time of the year, there isn’t much racing going on. That means that reporters are looking for newsworthy stories. If you have one, now’s the time to put it out there because you’ll get a lot more traction before the racing action heats up.
- Public relations. While we’re on the topic of media, you can also do a little bit of work now to get yourself ready for press release time. Isn’t one of the best parts of getting to victory lane the post-win press release? No? Okay, that’s just me. On the nights you win, you have extra responsibilities, not more time on your hands. Now’s the time to put together your press release template, including the text you’ll use to highlight your marketing partners. It’ll take work off your plate later and ensure that you don’t forget anyone in the bustle of a win.
- Sponsorship. Everyone is thrilled at the beginning of the season, including sponsors. In fact, you may have just brought a marketing partner on board. This is a great time to put together a checklist of marketing deliverables that you’ve promised to sponsors, or bonus activations you’d like to incorporate into your program this season while it’s still fresh in your mind. If you don’t put together a plan that’s easy to follow, you’ll wind up panicking at the busiest point in the season when you may not be able to execute.
- Budget and Scheduling. In our house, budget dictates schedule. Maybe it’s different with your team or track. Either way, a budget is extremely important to making your racing program go. If you don’t already have enough information to put one together, now’s the time to create a system to collect the data you’ll need. Wingless racer Travis Berryhill shared his simple and effective solution here. It’s great for record keeping at the track. If you already have some records, you can also put a more advanced spreadsheet to use here.
- Social Media. There’s not a ton you can do with social media ahead of time, at least not effectively. I suggest deciding how hands-on you want to be this season and creating a plan to make that happen. Are you only going to comment after races about your results? Or will your account report lap-by-lap action? Big difference. Whatever amount of content you plan on producing, you’ll want to decide that up front so you can be consistent throughout the season. If your account will be putting out updates while you’re racing or putting on a drivers’ meeting, you’ll also need to put someone from your team in charge of the account for those times. Have that conversation now.
I hope that gives you some practical ideas for hitting the ground running this season. It might not seem like much, but putting in a little bit of work right now can save you a lot of time when you don’t have much to spare later in the season. It can also help you do the things you always plan on, but never get to.
Let me know what else you do to prepare for the season!