6 Ways to Use the Summer Slowdown to Grow Your Business
Summertime can have varied effects on your business. For some seasonal businesses, it’s the time to hit the pavement and make money that will make up the majority of their revenue. On the other hand, the season can bring a lull in sales and cause to scramble for other businesses.
Just because your business isn’t bringing in substantial amounts of cash, it doesn’t mean you can’t grow your business. With effective planning and strategic use of some perks business owners enjoy, you can use this summer to grow your business.
1. Enjoy Your Summer
First and foremost, enjoy the downtime. Owning a business is absurdly time-consuming and is likely the focus of your life, so don’t forget to stop and relax occasionally. Self-care is always important, and no season provides opportunities to step away and recharge like summer. Not only can a quick getaway or even just a weekend away from your phone give you the space to relax, but it can also make you a better business owner.
Time off can breed creativity and fuel innovation for when you return to work. It gives you the chance to step aside and let your employees run things for a little while, which can give you new insights to your staff’s abilities and how to utilize their talents moving forward.
If it helps, you can label your vacation as a “retreat” with the intent to brainstorm and come back with ideas to ramp up your business. Plan time to be alone with your thoughts and always keep a notebook on hand — you never know when the next earth-shattering idea might hit you.
Also, make sure to spend time with your family during the downtime, and especially during these retreats. Keeping them around will remind you why you put in the hard work and possibly make up for the time you’ve had to spend away working late nights.
By taking some time away, you can build up some energy and possibly get the inspiration you need to move your business forward in successful and new ways.
2. Use Your Staff Effectively
Speaking of vacation, it’s more likely than not that your employees will want some time off in the summer months. This is totally reasonable and should even be encouraged so your staff can bring their best attitudes and full energy to the workplace. Make sure your employees know to give you as much notice as possible of their vacations so you can plan and staff your business appropriately, and don’t get caught understaffed.
Because of the slowdown in business during the summer, there may be some adjustments in how your employees need to spend their time. Take time to plan and sit down with each of them to best use their time and your money to make sure the right things are getting done.
Looking ahead and planning adequately for summer can make all the difference in how your business bounces back from a potential drop in revenue.
3. Get on Social Media
Just because your business isn’t earning and producing in the summer like the well-oiled machine that it is, it doesn’t mean you can’t maintain a strong online presence. As individuals and other businesses flood social media with images of vacations or other summer activities, make sure your business is in the mix. You can use some of the downtime to brainstorm fresh new content for your business’s blog or social accounts and let your staff have fun with it. You can also plan content in advance to use when you are busy and can’t find the time to post.
If applicable, plan a contest or something to incentivize customer engagement with your social media profiles. A product giveaway or shout out for your business customers is a great way to draw more engagement.
Even if people are away from your business, you can reach them by maintaining an online profile and attract new customers.
4. Travel to See Clients
While you’re out on your retreats and spending downtime traveling with family, make an effort to stop by and see clients who are typically too far away for FaceTime.
In this day and age, a business can’t thrive without an online presence and technological savvy, but people will always trust and appreciate a handshake and an in-person conversation.
Planning time for a check-in with regular clients can pay dividends (literally) moving forward.
Doing so can bring a more personal touch to your business and build a stronger working relationship moving forward. The potential lull your business experiences in the summer gives you time you likely won’t have the rest of the year to make such visits, so take advantage and use this networking tactic to help your business.
5. Get Organized
While the storm is calm, take time to get the ship in order, both physically and otherwise. A review of your inventory could inspire some sales moves to get extra items off your shelves or be a valuable note to take for next year to avoid overspending on materials.
Never underestimate the value of cleaning out your computer. You’d be stunned by how many extra documents you’re hanging on to that you simply don’t need anymore. Cleaning up can help your device run smoother and even extend the lifetime of your equipment.
Organize your workforce, as well. An overview of your staff and your needs moving forward could inspire some promotions or other adjustments to where your employees are needed. If you have seasonal employees, offboarding them could take some time or offer opportunities to bring high performers on full-time.
6. Get Your Business Credit in Order
Did you know you have a business credit score? Well, you likely do. Even if it’s in its infantile stages, you’ll want to pay attention to your business credit score and report.
Just like personal credit, business credit essentially rates the creditworthiness of your small business. A good business credit score could mean your business has access to superior credit opportunities such as SBA loans or business lines of credit, and could also give potential vendors a good impression.
If your business credit needs some work, use the downtime to study out how you can work on and grow your profile.