It’s the dog days of summer, and your small business might be starting to feel like a ghost town. Everybody seems to be working shorter days, or on vacation, or just not ready to shift gears from browsing to buying. You may be thinking of throwing in the towel, but your business doesn’t have to suffer from a summer slowdown.
While you can’t expect people to stop taking summer vacations, there are plenty of things you can do to give your small business a summer boost in unexpected ways. At the least, these tips will help you build a stronger foundation for when business shifts back to normal after the nice weather ends.
Beat the Small Business Summer Slump
Put a Shine on Your Social Media Accounts
Chances are good that when your business is rocking, you don’t put much time into Facebook or Twitter. Use your summer breather to work on the social media profiles you keep meaning to improve, but never get around to.
Now you can get to things that take a lot of time, like changing the background and themes of your Facebook business page from the standard white and blue to something that matches your branding, or bulking up your LinkedIn profile with all the details you haven’t been able to add yet.
Working on social media over the summer will also help you get into the habit of spending a few minutes a day actively posting and responding to comments—something you can carry over when the slow season ends.
Get Creative with Your Campaigns
Have a wacky marketing idea that just might work, but you’ve been afraid to try it?
Summer is great for experimenting with new strategies for putting your small business out there. Start that blog you’ve been thinking about since the turn of the century, launch a new product or service that you’ve been on the fence with, or try your hand at viral videos or guerrilla marketing tactics.
If your business is already slow, it can’t hurt—and the results might surprise you.
Meet New People (And Learn Stuff, Too)
When you’re running a small business, you don’t get much of an opportunity for face-to-face networking unless you make one. Summer is the perfect time for seeing new faces and forging new contacts, because it’s conference season.
Look for conferences, seminars, and summits in your industry that are nearby and affordable, and try signing up for a few of them. Head out prepared to network with business cards—printed, virtual, or both—and other material about your business, and remember to ask the people you meet for their contact information, too.
You never know who might become your best small business friend.
Reconnect With Your Customers Through a New (Or Improved) Newsletter
Subscriber lists are still the best form of digital marketing. If you don’t have one, it’s time to start putting it together—and if you’ve got one that you’ve been neglecting, now is your chance to use it.
A regular newsletter is a great way to stay connected with your customers, even when they’re on vacation or running a laid-back summer schedule. It costs about five times as much to land new customers as it does to cultivate repeat business, and a newsletter is a low-cost strategy to let existing customers know that you’re still around and available for them.
Head for the Hills (Or the Beach, or the Park)
In between all the work you’re putting into your small business this summer, don’t forget that you deserve a break, too. Small business owners are less likely than their traditionally employed counterparts to take a vacation—but it’s essential to give yourself a little downtime.
So take an afternoon to hit the beach, or give yourself an extended weekend away from it all. When you head back to work, you’ll do so refreshed, revived, and ready to beat that business summer slump.