While some seasonal businesses hit primetime during the summer, many others see a major slow-down as clients and customers go on vacation (and as new projects are postponed until after said vacationing.) Never fear - here are a few steps your business can take to make the most of the summer months.
Inventory and Audit
If your business is slower during the summer, take advantage of the free time by conducting a summer audit. While your time isn't necessarily 'free,' it's important to use the downtime you do have to verify product inventory in advance of busier months ahead.
Summer is also a great time to conduct a simple audit with your team, your stakeholders, and yourself. In addition to regular team meetings, schedule an off-site lunch or group activity and give your team the opportunity to provide feedback on what is working well for the group and what you can improve by the holidays. You can also connect with customers and outside stakeholders to ensure that you are meeting expectations, engaging on a regular basis, and collecting valuable feedback. Most importantly, you can use the summer months to look at your personal goals. Have your goals changed since your last performance review? Are you tuned in to all of the resources available to your business? Business owners often worry so much about pleasing customers that they forget to take care of themselves.
Liability Review and Tax Prep
All small businesses should consider liability insurance. Since most of available information comes directly from providers, the summer months are a good time to do extensive research on your liability insurance options. Check out this blog post for things to consider as you work to ensure that your business is protected.
You might not intuitively think of July as an important time for taxes, but there are many things you can do during the summer months to work toward achieving a good outcome for the year. Take your time reviewing the first half of your year, catching up on paperwork and forms, and meeting with your tax advisor.
Networking and Outside Sales
Summer is a great time to network in person, so take the opportunity to catch up on face-time with contacts, colleagues, and prospects. It's also a great time to host your own networking event. Any type of open house or get together is a great way to not only celebrate and thank your customers and colleagues, but to find new ones.
And of course, while sales commonly slow down during the summer months, there are always new ways to get creative and boost sales. One option is ramping up your social media efforts to create new leads. If appropriate, consider a contest or social campaign through Facebook to increase your presence and attract attention for your business. Or try a new social network. If you only have a Facebook page, consider Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or Pinterest.
Summer can also be a great time to try a fun promotion or special offer. Offer discounts to new and existing customers - or even better, existing customers who refer new business. Remember that seasonal slowdowns are temporary, and that things will eventually get back to normal. In the interim, a promotion or special seasonal offer may boost sales and engagement, and it could even land you some new customers who will stick with you well beyond Labor Day weekend.