Some seasonal businesses heat up during the summertime, but most businesses see a major slow-down during the summer months. Clients and customers take vacations, and new projects and purchases are usually delayed until after the vacation season dies down.
However, this downtime isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Savvy small business owners know they can use the time to update their skills, technology, marketing, and anything else that can drive their business forward for the rest of the year. Below are some suggestions for ways you can make the most of the summer months.
Get Ahead During a Summer Slow Down
1. 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 one topic to focus on. Attend a local class, pick up a book, or find a training webinar on the topic. And if you have school-age children at home for the summer, they could be a perfect teacher on the latest social media trends and digital technology.
2. Update all Your Social Media Profiles
If you have a LinkedIn profile, make sure it’s up to date with your latest skills, experience, contacts, endorsements, etc. If you use Twitter or Facebook to connect with your customers, take some time to review your bio and profile description. In general, you want to make sure that all your digital calling cards are accurate, up-to-date, compelling, and loaded with your important keywords.
3. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Break away from your tired old routine to find new inspiration this summer. It could be as simple as going to a different coffee shop in the morning, trying a different exercise class, or attending a festival you’d never consider going to. You never know where your next great idea will come from, so look anywhere and everywhere this summer for inspiration.
4. “Summer-ize” Your Marketing
Think of creative ways to incorporate summer themes into your marketing, such as blog posts, Facebook updates, newsletters, events, and more. Give your readers good summer content like grilling recipes, your summer reading list, or summer pet care tips. If applicable, you could even treat your top clients to a summer activity like golf, a baseball game, summer wine tasting, lunchtime barbecue, etc.
5. Revisit Your Business Goals
The summer is the perfect midway point to reevaluate your business’ goals for the year. If you made goals at the beginning of the year, pull them out and see how well you’re sticking to them.
Are there any less important tasks that are distracting you from your top-line goals? Do you need to realign your day-to-day tasks with your top business goals?
6. Get Ready for Tax Season
If you’re guilty of waiting until the last minute to organize 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 optimize your tax position.
Get your finances organized, including all expenses and receipts for the year. You’ll be grateful you did when tax time rolls around.
7. Touch Base With Your Best Contacts
When things get busy, it’s easy to fall out of touch with key clients, colleagues and mentors. Summer is a great time to reconnect. A simple lunch meeting or phone conversation might give you valuable insight on important ways to grow your business.
8. Set Time Aside for Yourself
As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably gotten used to working round the clock. Your clients and customers are taking vacation, so maybe you should to. Whether you take a two-week beach vacation or just make a point to set aside an hour to do something you enjoy every day, remember that it’s important to recharge your batteries in order to stay focused and motivated throughout the year.
A change of scenery can stoke your creativity. Who knows what brilliant plan you’ll dream up when you step outside your daily grind?
Slow Down Photo via Shutterstock
Thanks for the tips. My friend owned a computer shop and it is certainly slowed down during the summer months. I guess most of the kids don’t want to go out or maybe some of them are just on vacation. I guess he should just do one of these than worry himself about his business. His customers will come back anyway.
These are great! I never really thought about how summer could be a great time to recharge my business.
Great list of tips. Thanks for sharing it in bizsugar.com.
Love this list, and especially the last item. It’s so important to step back from time to time, ro get a fresh perspective, and refuel your creativity and motivation – even more so if you’re a solopreneur. I also like to create content for my newsletter and blog post in advance, so I have those ready to go when I’m busy again in the fall.
Nellie: I only see point 7 & 8 at the moment. I will both get in touch with my best contacts and ideal clients and then allocate time aside for yourself. Where did I put these to-do things in my calendar?! 😉
Hi Martin, thanks for the heads up about only seeing part of the article. We seem to have an issue with a setting with our CDN and it was decapitating cached versions of articles. We fixed it. You may have to do a “hard refresh” to clear out the old cached version, by clicking the F5 key or something similar.
Love this list! I’m heeding your advice on #7 — a needed reminder!
Organizing your books is a great thing to do during the summer slow down period. Accounting and other financial services firms are also experience a slower time as it is past tax season for most people. Consulting the help of a financial services provider over the summer can help you organize your finances and get prepared for the upcoming tax season – so you aren’t scrambling to get everything together at the first of the year.