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How small businesses can maximize slow summer months
The summer months may be great for warm weather and relaxation, but small-business owners dread the summer slowdown. While seasonal businesses are hitting their stride, most small businesses are in the midst of their slow season.
Even though sales numbers may be sluggish, these slower months are the ideal time to conduct mid-year analysis. Take a closer look at your goals, where you can make improvements, and how you can save money. Refreshing and realigning goals during summer helps ensure you’re in a good position to close the year out with a bang.
During busy seasons, you may only have time to focus on business processes and fulfilling customer demands. So during the slower summer months, why not use the extra time to revamp the customer experience? Update your website, optimize it for mobile use, upgrade your search-engine optimization strategy (or create one if you have none), and automate processes like email or checkout.
Another great use of extra time is networking. So much of a small business’s growth comes from word-of-mouth, which makes networking a critical element of success. But during busy periods networking tends to fall down the priority chain, so summer is the ideal time to get out, mingle, make connections and strengthen the brand.
Choose a networking style that best suits your personality. Some people prefer formal gatherings, such as industry conferences or local chamber of commerce events. Others prefer a more casual approach, connecting with prospects through a light lunch or casual cup of coffee.
No matter how you choose to network, getting out there and making connections creates additional interest in your business which can directly affect future numbers. It’s also a nice way to add a human element to your brand, so people can put a face to the company.
Finally, extra time during the summer is perfect for reconnecting with employees. Ask how they could do their jobs better. What tools would streamline their day? Is there extra training that would benefit them? And don’t forget to take a break and enjoy some time with your staff – a casual barbecue or happy hour is well deserved by everyone, and is a great way to boost morale.
These are just a few ways to utilize the summer slowdown, but no matter what you decide to do, remember that this time is a rare opportunity that you can use to your advantage.