Summer is a magical time of year; as temperatures rise, sales tend to fall and summer can be a slow season for many businesses. Customers skip off on holiday in an attempt to soak up the sun, children are out of school and people spend more time by the pool than in stores and opt for family barbecues over chatting with their accountants.
While the volume of emails and phone calls decrease during the summer months, this doesn’t mean you have to let your business and spare time go to waste. The summer months are in fact the perfect opportunity to increase the time you spend working on your own company’s goals and objectives.
So while you may not be in the “office” mindset and after working tirelessly over the last several months, you might be tempted to take advantage of the summer slowdown and fill the coming weeks with a little R&R of your own, and of course you deserve it, there are things that you could be doing in order to update your skills, technology, marketing, and anything else that can drive your business forward for the rest of the year.
So if you are a growing business and want to stay ahead of the game, why not, instead of wasting the slow summer days, be proactive and use the Summer to tackle projects that would usually get pushed to the side and use the slower pace to create new, unique marketing tactics to adapt to the season change.
With the summer just getting underway, now is the time to focus your talents internally and work on ways your business can continually grow.
Review your Business
As a business owner or manager there are certain areas of the business that you can personally reflect on and use as a starting point to kick start your summer marketing and business growth strategy, starting with reviewing your business as a whole.
The summer is the perfect midway point to reevaluate your business’ goals for the year. Review the business objectives you made early in the year to see if you are on track and note what adjustments need to be made to areas that need more attention. If you made goals at the beginning of the year, pull them out and see how well you’re sticking to them. You may have to set new goals for the next quarter and the remainder of the year in order to reach the goals you first put in place.
Take note of how time is being utilised. Are the daily routines actually serving the company or do you need to make some adjustments so the day runs more efficiently? Remember that your business can always improve. Keep your ideas fresh. Keep your company moving forward. Keep the momentum going!
Get ready for Tax season
If you’re guilty of waiting until the last minute to organise and file your taxes, the summer is a perfect opportunity to get on track for the year. Meet with a tax adviser to see if there’s anything you should be doing this year (whether it’s changing your business structure or increasing your expenses and distributions) to optimise your tax position.
Get your finances organised, including all expenses and receipts for the year. You’ll be grateful you did when tax time rolls around.
Expand your network
Use this seasonal slow time to deepen relationships with the people in your network or add new contacts. This is the ideal opportunity to remind people who you are, learn about what is important to potential clients, and share ideas with other industry professionals.
Schedule lunches to simply meet and chat. Invite just one other person, or introduce people in your network to each other with a group lunch, attend events in other industries related to yours and learn how you can help others in your network with some of their goals.
Prioritising building your network will help your business run more smoothly over the next year and expose you to new customers. Remember: The relationships you build with fellow business owners and experts are (nearly) as important as the relationship you develop with your customer base.
Rekindle old client relationships
If you haven’t worked with a client in the past six months, this is a great opportunity to touch base with them again. You may now have the skills and qualities they thought you were lacking six months prior.
You can call to ask how they are doing and tell them about any new products or services that may be helpful to them or simply invite them to lunch. You can even reach out to your past clients if they are still willingly subscribed to your marketing database. If they are you can send them newsletters, business updates and holiday cards etc.
Focus on personal and business development
Just because you have a business to run doesn’t mean you should slack on developing yourself or your business’s internal methods. Start implementing work-life balance practices and streamlining how you handle administrative tasks like finances and contracts.
Attend your own summer school
There’s no shortage of new things to learn and summer is the perfect opportunity to add to your arsenal of skills and expertise. Maybe you’ve been wondering about how to use Pinterest, how to put how-to videos on YouTube, or how to boost your website’s Google ranking. Pick a topic and focus on it.
You could even take a class or course that can give you some tips on how to make the most of Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogging platforms or Facebook marketing, speak to your peers about the tools they use and how they are successful using them, pick up a book, or find a training webinar on a specific subject.
Optimise Your Online Marketing And Online Presence
While the summer months may slow down customers purchasing behaviours, marketing online and off never stops and it is important you keep on top of your own in order to continue reaching your audience even if they are enjoying a sangria on a beach in Barcelona!
Evaluate your website
Whether you need a complete overhaul of your site design or want to improve traffic and conversion rates, now’s the time to get started so you’re ready for busier months.
While the weather is getting warmer people are spending more and more time outside at beaches, events and parks after being stuck inside during the frigid winter months. A mobile responsive website is the answer.
Many people still use laptops and computers, but there has been a large shift in mobile searches. A mobile responsive platform is a great way to increase traffic during the summer because viewers will be able to easily access information while they’re relaxing at the beach.
Focus on content marketing
Despite routinely being listed as one of the cheapest marketing strategies, the time investment content marketing requires causes some business owners to put it off indefinitely.
Grab some lemonade or something a little stronger, kick your feet up and come up with ideas for blog posts, videos, graphics and social media. Jump in and create content for the summer so your brand stays on customers’ minds.
You don’t have to stop there—put together a backlog for times when you simply don’t have a spare second to write, shoot or design content. Just remember any content you create needs to be useful and high quality. You then need to promote it furiously.
Show costumers some love
Your regulars might be busy lounging in the sun and jetting off on adventures, but that doesn’t mean you should sit back and wait for them to return. Spend some time developing a plan for a customer loyalty program and/or revamp your customer service and support.
Slow months are perfect for trying out new programs and methods, giving you ample time to work out the kinks.
Then, put together plans for customer appreciation events so you’re the first business they think of when their tans fade and vacations end. Streamline your customer support services and improve satisfaction to really show them you care. This way they will remain loyal.
Build momentum for Autumn
Although summer may be a slow season for business, it is the perfect time to plant the seeds for your bigger plans during fall and winter. Use the downtime of summer to network with new and potential clients, spread awareness and generate buzz for a new product or event that will be launched once the slow season ends.
Reserach your competition
A bit of competition is good for everyone. Study your competitors. It does not hurt to see what they are ‘bringing to the table’.