Few of us look forward to the offseason. Ask anyone in racing in the middle of June if they’d like to stand in the middle of an empty race track or stay home on a Friday night, and they’ll certainly tell you politely what they think of that.
But once it’s here, it’s nice to take a break. For about a week. Until you start going a little stir crazy.
What you do in the offseason can set the tone for what you do the rest of the year. It’s the foundation of your season.
Here are a few ways to beat the funk and get your offseason on-track:
Start with winter maintenance. You’ve probably already gotten to work on your winter maintenance, so this one is a given. If you’re a racer, that might mean stripping your car down to the chassis, doing regular upkeep or building a new one from the ground up. If you’re a promoter, that might mean assessing your facilities and starting winter projects like reinforcing and painting grandstands and improving bathrooms.
Go deeper. Now is probably the only time of the year for in-depth assessment and building instead of maintaining. You can go much deeper than usual with components that change over the season, like setups, tires, shocks and engines. Have your shocks dyno’d. Check your electrical and fluid systems. Have your engine tuned. Make sure you know what you have before you move forward.
Gather data. Everything you’ve measured this season – from fan attendance to setup information – take the time to catalog it. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities to improve in 2015. That might mean focusing on your strengths and only racing on high-banked half-miles or working on your weaknesses and growing your market share in the youth demographic.
Get proactive. Can you believe I’ve waited this long to talk about marketing?! THE SELF CONTROL. Most sponsorship deals are done, or at least started, in the offseason. This probably doesn’t come as a surprise. So if you’re looking to build your marketing program, now’s the time to start. (Need some help to get the ball rolling? Check out our on-demand workshops on Creating and Valuing the Perfect Sponsorship Offerings and Crafting an Effective Sponsorship Proposal.)
What you might not realize, though, is now is also a great time to build the rest of your off-track program out to support it. If your social media channels and website aren’t up to snuff, you can build those in the off-season, too.
Many race fans are just as active now, looking for the smallest tidbit of information to get them through the offseason. This give you the opportunity to build a following quickly by being one of the few drivers, manufacturers or tracks that are putting out information consistently.
Being proactive goes far beyond sponsorship and growing your audience. You can apply this to every part of your program, from researching new technology to improving your own skills.
I hope this gives you a few ideas for how to get ahead for next year now, when you’ve got the time to dedicate to building a successful program and growing.
What are you focusing on improving this offseason? Share it in the comments, or shoot me an email. I’m working on reaching more people and creating more free content, so if you know anyone who could benefit from any of these posts, please feel free to share the site with them.