Beating The Summer Lull6th August 2019
The secret to beating the summer lull.
It’s the middle of the summer holidays. Life is very laid back and relaxed. Shorts and dresses have come out to play, and the daily commute is significantly quicker. BBQ’s and sunburn have become the topic of conversation. The heatwave has put a spring in people’s step, and life is great.
However, with the summer holidays comes a slowing down. Your business has become quite quiet. People are abroad on holiday. Others are embracing a ‘stay-cation’. Either way, they are not spending money with you. They have temporarily disappeared, ready to dutifully re-appear at the beginning of September.
So, because of this seasonal trend, we have compiled a list of things you could do in this ‘summer lull’, to revitalise your business. To turbo charge your profits. Take advantage of this quiet time and get ahead of your competition.
#1 Business Plan
Revisit your business plan. Perhaps put it in a new shiny folder and give it the status it deserves. Tick off or use a highlighter to show the things you have achieved.
Have a go at writing one if you never got around to it. There are plenty of templates online to help you. Evaluate the outstanding tasks and check if they are still priorities. Add new tasks focusing on the desired outcomes.
Consider what you want from your business over the few months/term? What are your goals?
#2 Social Media
Look at all of your social media channels with a critical eye. Do any need re vamping.
When was the last time you changed the profile picture? You could update the bio. Use this time to reflect. Are these social media channels telling the customers what we are all about?
Do you want to create any new social media platforms? Join Instagram or Twitter or Linked In. Now is a good time to start researching new SM channels and creating accounts. Spend some time reading peoples posts and getting a feel for this new environment.
Paperwork can be smartened up and sorted out during the summer months.
Does anything need scanning and shredding? A very rewarding and satisfying job, but one we rarely have time for.
Are your paper copies of things in organised and labelled folders. If someone asked you for a document could you go straight to the correct folder and fish it out? Make some fancy labels for things so they are easier to locate and organise. If you are not very crafty, then pick up some cheap labels from somewhere like Hobby Craft.
Networking can be planned during this time. Go online and find out what is happening in your area. Research local events and put them on your calendar.
Plan any prep work you may need to do (elevator speech) and start gearing yourself up for the autumn. Dig out those business cards and you’re ready.
Start reading about your industry and what new innovative ideas people are floating. Is there a grant your business can be applying for? You don’t normally have time to even consider this normally, but now you have a bit of breathing space exciting things can happen.
You could use this time to learn something new relating to your business/industry.
Apart from posting on social media, what other marketing do you do? Begin evaluating your current strategy and exploring other avenues. Are there any annual events you wanted to do last year but didn’t end up taking part in? Could you do some joint marketing with an SME near to you?
Where have you advertised your business in the past? Was it successful? Where could you advertise this coming season? Do you want to sponsor anything or anyone? You could look to sponsor a football, hockey or cricket team in your local area.
Would a new customer entering your business think ‘Magnifica’ or would indifference sweep across their face? Pretend to be a customer, and role play what they experience. Is the customer experience in your business a positive one?
Perhaps zhuzh up your window display, re-arrange the stock on your shelves. It is surprising what a difference can be made just by moving a few things around. Remember, consumers don’t just want to buy something, they want a great customer experience that complements the product or service.
If you approach customer service in the same way as Rowan Atkinson in ‘Love Actually’, I very much doubt you will have repeat custom. It’s just too over the top. Again, if you are not sure whether you’ve got it right, then role play with friends or colleagues. Quiet periods are perfect for doing this sort of thing.
Other ways of beating the summer lull ……………
- Start gathering evidence in a portfolio format ready for the next round of awards.
- Make a few short videos of your business for ongoing marketing.
- Consider having a ‘Summer Sizzler Sale’ to attract new and existing customers.
- Spring clean your electronic files and folders.
- Write a blog or two for your website.
- Review your current contracts, insurances, subscriptions. Get rid of what you don’t need, reduce costs where you can.
- Spend time with your calendar plotting; meetings, networking, personal wellbeing
- Develop your relationship with your neighbours.
- Do a SWOT analysis of your business.
- Evaluate your pricing. Have you increased your prices yet this year?
- Plan some team building activities.
- Brainstorm how you could diversify.
- Meet with your accountant to discuss ways you can grow and increase your profit.