Although in Texas summer starts practically as Spring Break ends, for the rest of the U.S., Memorial Day officially kicks off the summer season. For employees this means vacations, barbeques and catching some rays. However, for business owners, summer typically marks the slowest season of the year. With many clients out on vacation or saving up to take a holiday with their families, money can be tight and the number of prospective customers decreases. But just because summer is slow for businesses, it doesn’t mean your company has to suffer. How can you combat the summer slump?
Develop Marketing Strategies
Although summer is a sluggish time for sales, you should still focus on your marketing strategies for the long run. It’s easy to become complacent just because clients are scarce, but now is the perfect time to test out new marketing ploys and get a little more creative. When things are slow it is the best reason to experiment and try things you normally wouldn’t have. Release a product you’ve been sitting on and see what the reaction is. Hold a big in-store event to get clients interacting with you. Try implementing guerrilla-style marketing schemes. Create a viral video. Start a company blog. Right now you have the time to brainstorm and implement tactics you might not have time for in a few months.
That being said, now is also the time to fine tune your fall marketing plans. When customers are ready to start buying again, you will want to have all your strategies firmly in place. Work on your marketing materials, line up trade shows, pencil in advertising, and beat your competition come Labor Day.
Hone Your Social Networking
Maybe you’re lagging behind the trend or you haven’t put that much effort into it, but now is a good time to beef up your social networking initiatives. Use the slower months to learn more about sites such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more and decide how it factors into your business model.
Read more about getting the most out of social networking to build your business.
Hire a Summer Intern
It’s not too late to hire a great intern for the summer who can help you with your new social networking strategies or other tasks so that you can focus on building your customer base and making sales. Learn more about how you can best utilize interns in your small business.
You send your kids to camp to learn new skills, right? So why not lead by example and develop tools to help you run your business better this summer? Learn a new skill, take a class, read a business book, attend a seminar, or form a Tweetup to make new friends and build industry ties. There is no better time to improve your skill set and grow as a business owner than when things are slow. Once sales pick back up in the fall you won’t have as much time to spend on learning new talents. Make sure you take your business cards with you and prepare to network too!
Start (or Improve) Your eNewsletter
Even though your customers aren’t calling you as much as they were you don’t want them to forget about you in the meantime! Now is the best time to start an email marketing campaign if you haven’t created one yet. If you already have an email marketing service, then summer is a great time to improve your email campaigns to get more readers to open them. Before sending out your first email newsletter you will need to build up your customer and prospect database based on all those business cards you’ve gathered throughout the year. Then you can send out an introductory email to see if they want to be added to your email newsletter list. Remember that you must have permission before you can send eNewsletters or else you could get marked as SPAM.
Sending eNewsletters is incredibly easy with email marketing software, such as Benchmark Email or iContact.
Take a Break
Once you’ve taken care of your business, set up your marketing strategies for the fall, and learned a new skill or two it’s time to unwind a bit! Vacations help you get perspective on your life and your business and allow you to recharge. If you can’t take much time off, spend some time away from the office with your friends and family. Barbeque, swim, relax! You can’t go full-speed all year long.