As we approach the Memorial Holiday Weekend and the official start of summer many businesses know that this is a time in which their own business slows down because of their clients, colleagues and staff have vacations. So, what do you do during the slower days of summer which can help to increase sales for your business?
The first thing I recommend is that if you have not had a vacation and you are working 12 hour days, 7 days a week, you really need to take a week at the beginning of the summer and RELAX and ENERGIZE yourself! Think back to when you were in college cramming for finals and trying to exist on 2-3 hours of sleep a night. Let’s face it, you became a walking zombie who only got through the week of hell because you knew that there was an end date to exam week and then a vacation break directly after. As a business owner, learning to recognize the signs of “burn-out” is key to your success and longevity in the industry. Stepping away from your business and in to a week or two of fun and relaxation will have you refreshed and ready to make the most of working the remaining days of summer with new ideas and a vitality that could be missing right now.
The second thing I recommend to do during the quieter months of summer is to prospect for new business. Attend business networking groups that are outside your local area, go to workshops and seminars that attract businesses that could be potential clients, and spend time taking key clients that may still be working hard like you out to lunch or for a day of golf as a way of thanking them for their business. Use this time to reach out to your customers with cards or emails during the slower months which will help with retention and possibly expand your business if you add a “refer-a-friend” program in the newsletter.
Finally, the summer is a great time to meet and do planning for your marketing for the remaining year and in to 2011. One of the biggest problems that small businesses have is that they are always putting out fires and often do not have time for real planning or creating a strategy for their marketing. Their websites never get updated, they still struggle with understanding how to position social on-line networking as a way to market their business and they seldom analyze what the ROI is for the advertisements that they are currently running. The hit or miss type of marketing they have done all year often is a result of being hurried and the summer months allows the time to organize, regroup and make a successful plan.
In addition to these three things, summer is a great time to do an office make-over or have a professional organizer help you to set-up systems that work for your business. Move your desk, paint the walls, add a few plants and have an organizer help you to get rid of the piles of paper and watch how fast your sales improve when your work space is one that you are happier working in!
All my best to your success!