Beating the Summer Slump

A child’s favorite season is Summer.  Sports camps, swimming lessons, trips to the beach are anticipated by children all year long.  child-1339829_640And best of all no homework.

But Summer can be a dreaded season for small business. Prospects are on vacation. Every email seems to get an out-of-office reply. Calls go unanswered. But as a small business owner, you can’t let it get you down.  What to do?

Plan Ahead for the Summer Slowdown

•    Before summer arrives make plans to encourage employees’ summer vacations.  If the workload is low, there is no reason to be overstaffed.  Encourage them to take vacations with their families now so that they will be available when business picks up again.  
•    Tackle those tasks that you never have time for during the rest of the year.  Summer can be a great time for equipment maintenance, attending a conference, etc.
•    Think of a new service you can provide during the off-season.

Hold an Annual Summer Sale

Get the word out to prospects and customers alike.  The increase in cash flow will help tide you over during the slow time and perhaps let you get rid of slow moving inventory.  But it can’t be just a 5% off, it must be a great value to turn out the crowd.

Visit with Established Customers

Your customers may find the summer a slower time too.  Invite them to a barbecue restaurant, play 9 holes of golf, do something fun that you can use to lighten the mood.  But don’t miss the chance to find out how your company is performing, what special plans or projects they have coming in the fall.  Ask them who they know that might benefit from your services.

Summer Slump? Prospect, Prospect, Prospect

Not everyone has left town.  Find a new area of the city, an underserved customer segment, someone you have paid little attention to.  Take advantage of the extra time and see what you and your sales team can turn up.  Dream up a sales contest to get them excited.  Who know what you might find.

Get Your Marketing Plan Ready for the Fall

•    Spruce up your social media pages.  Post some photos, re-purpose old content, look at what your competitor is doing.
•    Create a marketing calendar of blog posts, think of events you might sponsor that shows off your staff and your customers.  Be ready to take photos and post them.  Call in your marketing advisor and ask her to compare your website pages and keywords to your customers.  Try something new and off-the-wall now while everyone is out of town.  Something might stick.  A little effort can make a big difference.

Vow that you will start earlier next year to be ready for your summer season of opportunity.

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