Making the Most of a Slow Summer

When your phone doesn’t ring or you can’t schedule appointments because prospects are away on vacations, use your down time effectively. This will optimize your efforts now so you can reap rewards after Labor Day when the traditional summertime doldrums end.

Keep marketing
While summer may be slow in terms of customer response, it’s a great time to devote efforts to marketing:

  1. Clean house. Go through old contact information and follow-up notes and houseclean. With many people losing or changing jobs, your contact information may be out of date and useless. Read and then toss articles you’ve been clipping for a later time; that time is now.
  2. Keep up with online marketing. Internet traffic usually declines during the summer months. This is no reason to slack off on your marketing activities. Keep up your efforts; you’ll likely see the payoff after the summer.
  3. Build up blog files. Extra time can be devoted to building a backlog of blogs that you can post after the summer. Select topics that are evergreen, but review and update them before posting.
  4. Review your marketing plan. Often plans get stale and need to be updated for changes in your business (you are busier/slower than expected; you’re introducing a new product/service) or in marketing venues (you want to get into video or mobile marketing).

Make changes
Many businesses postpone disruptive changes, but slow times may be ideal times to act. If you’ve been delaying these changes, consider making them now:

  1. Upgrading equipment (assuming you can afford it).
  2. Moving to new quarters or renovating your present one.
  3. Revising your website. This will give you time to test and work out kinks.
  4. Changing vendors. For example, if you want to change webmasters, a slow time may be a good time to do so.

Work on you
A slow time may be an opportunity to devote some time and energy to yourself. Consider:

  1. Taking continuing education. If you are required to take courses to maintain your license, do it when your business is slow.
  2. Taking a vacation. This can be challenging for small business owners, but a worthwhile activity to do. Getting away, even for a short time, can recharge your creative juices and prevent burnout. See my article on "Three Ways to Protect Your Business While You’re on Vacation" at Business.gov.
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