Summertime is meant to be hot. You’re meant to dash from air-conditioned room to air-conditioned room, braving short bursts of 90 degree weather in a business suit that leaves you feeling like a 400 pound man in a Finnish sauna. That’s the way it works.
Yet for many small businesses not in summer-related industries—here I’m thinking of surf shops, tanning salons, beachfront restaurants and arcades, among many others—summer actually represents a cooling off. That’s largely due to holidays like the Fourth of July, long family vacations during the hottest months of the year and the summer mindset that everyone should just kind of slow down and take it easy, bro. That’s a challenge for small businesses who need 12 months of high-tempo sales to keep growing.
Recognizing that reality, Manta has a nice list of ten ways to keep the sun shining on your business throughout June, July and August. It’s well worth your time to read the entire list, but I’d like to boil it down into a sweet syrup of three themes, if you’ll allow it.
- Take care of yourself. Whether you’re taking a vacation, getting a massage or just generally relaxing, your slower times give you a (likely) rare opportunity to address your mental and physical help. Take advantage of it to be recharged for the time when sales are booming, or when you need to take care of the next couple of things on the list.
- Gear up your marketing and sales. Again, you have a rare opportunity to take a deep breath and evaluate how your business is selling itself to customers and the community. Put time into strategic planning, upgrade your websites, blogs and social media accounts and spend time exploring what your customers want out of your marketing efforts. (Hint: It’s probably more content, less sales pitch.) You can ramp this up during the summer to get more customers and carry it into a tidal wave of momentum in the fall.
- Get stuff done around the office. Fix equipment, improve your computers, reach out to contacts and clean the office up. Go out and explore your options for working capital.* You’ve got a little extra breathing room, so get your office humming efficiently to handle the volume you’re hopefully going to get from step two. You don’t want Soviet-era computers crashing spectacularly in the midst of sales season, after all.
Combine all three of these general themes and throw in good ol’ fashioned business acumen and you can at least marginally improve your business during the summer. You can also assure you’re more than ready to take on the considerable uptick in business that comes your way after Labor Day, which is a huge bonus in its own right.
Give the entire Manta list a read and let us know if you have more tips for your fellow small businesses.
Photo credit to ChillaII at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1341518