If your business is like ours, you are currently experiencing the summer slowdown. Your customers have been in and out of the office, on and off of vacation, are getting their kids ready to go back to school.
Your sales feel out of whack, and things aren’t going the way you want them to. Many business owners react to the summer slowdown out of anxiety rather than embracing it as an opportunity. Your summer doesn’t have to be stressful if you shift your perspective.
The good news is that the summer slowdown is almost over! So what can you do to use the rest of it to your best opportunity? This is a great time to re-evaluate and recharge so that you flow into the fall refreshed and ready to boost sales. Here are ten simple tips on how to embrace the summer slowdown.
1. Administer a Mid-Year Review
This is an excellent time to evaluate how your plan for the year is working, or not working, and adjust your strategies accordingly.
This doesn’t have to be an in-depth and extensive undertaking. Just a quick mid-year review to see whether you are in alignment with your plans and goals for the year.
2. Upgrade Your Systems
We all know that having the right systems in place leverages your time and your energy, but we don’t always have the time or energy to keep them up to date.
Many times upgrades are put on hold because they take too much time or require whole systems to be offline. Now is the perfect opportunity to get current while business is slow.
3. Update Your Brand
If you stay our of worry and reactivity to sales being slow, you have the headspace you need to reevaluate your brand. Take a look at your messaging and positioning.
Make sure they reflect your company’s mission and values—as well as the value you have to deliver to customers. If you’re missing the mark, make adjustments as needed.
4. Put Together a Season’s Worth of Content and Marketing
When things are busy, it’s easy to get behind on marketing and social media. Time to play catch up! Look over your online reviews— respond to and engage with people on social media sites.
See what has been working for your company so that as you move forward, you know where you can most effectively place your energy and time.
Once you are caught up, prepare and create several weeks worth, or months worth, of content marketing.
Batch plan and pre-schedule posts. When things speed up in the fall, your content is already in place and ready to go.
5. Celebrate the Season
Take advantage of seasonal marketing opportunities. Brainstorm about what your customers need right now and play off of any major holidays or smaller events like sporting events.
Even if you can’t make a sale off of it, recognition and celebration of these events can get you back in front of your customers so you will be in the forefront of their minds when they get back to business.
6. Host a Social Media Contest
Offering a social media giveaway during a slow time in the sales season will generate excitement. This is a great opportunity to engage customers and increase page views. You can also use this as a way to promote a product that may need a nice supportive push.
7. Avoid Cutting Prices
Cutting prices is a reactive approach that usually doesn’t get you the results that you are looking for. Even though your intention is to increase sales, don’t forget that cutting prices reduces your business’ profits.
Before you cut prices take a moment to ask yourself what you can do to boost the perceived value of your products and services instead. This will effectively boost sales not just in the short run but the long one too.
8. Introduce a New Product or Service
Have a new product that you want to try out? Fewer new items are on the market at this time, so your product has a better chance of attracting attention.
You may not experience a high number of sales right now because it’s a naturally slow period, but you can use this as an opportunity to gauge interest in the product, and if it doesn’t hit the mark, you can pull it without embarrassment.
Collaborate with another business— particularly one that is summer-sales oriented. This can be a win-win for both businesses as you will be introduced to new audiences.
10. Generate New Leads and Network
Dive further into social media or in-person networks. Reconnect with people you have neglected or pursue those you haven’t gotten to yet. You never know who you might meet on a summer trip!
BONUS TIP: Go on a vacation!
Seriously. Take a vacation. Send your team on a vacation. In some cultures, it’s not uncommon for whole businesses to close for short periods during the summer.
If you can not wrap your mind around the value of downtime, then start with a company retreat where you blend work with play.
Give your team some space to breathe and get refreshed. That way, when it got busy again in the fall, they will be fully charged up and ready to go!
Reconnect With Your Product
The summer slowdown is also a great time to reconnect with your product and service providers. If you have any questions or concerns about your account with The Waterways, we would be happy to review your account with you and walk you through any questions or concerns you have about the products and services we offer. We want to make sure that you are getting exactly what we promised— and more!
If you are experiencing the summer slump, stay grounded, and use the time to your best advantage. Just as quickly as it came on, summer will pass. Have some fun while it lasts and know business will pick up again once school starts!