Is a summer slowdown inevitable for your business? According to a survey by digital media company Captivate Network, summertime can have a negative impact on the workplace. The survey found people reporting drops in productivity, dips in attendance and increased project turnaround time.
However, such setbacks need not be the case. For instance, a recent survey conducted by Paychex found the majority of small businesses have plans to grow their businesses by hiring over the next six months. Perhaps what these small-business owners know is that the summer months actually can be the ideal time to grow your business.
Depending on your industry, the summer can be a valuable time in which to get a lead on the competition while they are taking time off. Here are six tips to make your business sizzle this summer:
1. Meet in person.
Ah…summer, the days are longer, the weather is great and people are more social. Technology has enhanced our ability to stay connected all year, from anywhere and everywhere, but there’s still value to be gained by meeting in person. Summer is the perfect time to catch up on face time with contacts, colleagues and prospects. The options are endless. Grab a drink, enjoy an iced coffee, have lunch al fresco or simply go for a walk. You’ll get outdoors, enjoy the summer weather and build your business in the process.
2. Host a party.
Everyone loves a great party. Celebrate summer by hosting an event. Any kind of open house or get together will be fun and a great way to thank and celebrate your customers.
It’s also a great time to host an event for your internal team. Get your team to bond and know they are appreciated by taking them to a fun event off-site, maybe an outdoor concert, camping or an amusement park.
3. Launch a gratitude campaign.
Giving thanks isn’t just for Thanksgiving. You can turn summertime into a season of appreciation. Send a note, take clients out to lunch or just call them to simply say, “thank you.” Everyone is busy these days. Taking time to show you care and appreciate your customers and clients goes a long way.
4. Offer summer promotions.
Summer sales and special offers are pervasive in the retail industry. Why not take a cue from retail and offer a special limited-time summer promotion or discount? For instance, offer a promotion in which clients can refer friends and colleagues and get 10 percent off their next service, visit or purchase. Depending on the nature of your business, this type of summer promotion may or not may not be successful, but it’s worth trying. If the promotion succeeds in generating new or increased business, you can tweak and repeat the same campaign during the winter holidays as well.
5. Hop on a plane.
Summer affords you greater freedom and flexibility to get out of the office for both business development as well as your own professional development. It’s an ideal time to take the trips you might not have time to take during the rest of the year. If you have clients in other cities, head out of town and pay them an in-person visit. Another great idea is to schedule attendance at conferences, trade shows or industry events in which you might not usually have time to attend.
6. Get a jump start.
During the potential summer “down time,” a great way to grow your business is to simply keep your head down and get to work. Depending on your industry, this may be possible with clients or customers out of town on vacation, making this the perfect time to plow through projects you might have put on hold. Get organized and ahead of the game for the rest of the year. Once Labor Day rolls around, you’ll have a jump start on the competition as you head into the busier fall and winter seasons.
While it may be tempting to succumb to a long summer siesta, summer time doesn’t have to mean losing your business-development momentum. These six strategies are just some of the myriad ways to continue to grow your business during the summer months and prepare for a big finish.