Very few people dread or hate summers. After all, the temperature is warmer, the days are a little longer, the barbecue is usually running somewhere and many people take their much needed vacations during the summer. It’s a time that many people look forward too, but for many small business owners get itchy under the collar as the summer days approach because it usually means a summer slump is on the way. With the exception of the small business owner that sells pool floaties or other seasonal effects, most businesses experience a sales slump in the warm months. This summer slump can be anything from a minor inconvenience to a major problem depending on the type of business and the customer base. If you’re a small business owner that’s experiencing a summer slump, you don’t have to just mark off days on the calendar and wait for the leaves to turn! Here are 4 strategies from HJR Global that you can use to beat the summer slump.
Set Goals To Beat The Summer Slump
Far too many business owners resign themselves just to survive through the summer slump. You don’t have to do that! You may have experienced a tough July or August in the past, but that’s not a reason to set your sights low during the summer. Setting goals and creating metrics for achieving those goals during the summer will keep you on track and prevent some of that burnout that seems to grip people as the days get hot. The summer is a time to try new things and if you’re a small business owner that’s going to beat the summer slump, you need to have goals that you would like to hit before you can craft creative solutions to reach those goals. A good rule of thumb for summer goals is to set an overall sales goal for the summer, and then daily goals, weekly goals and monthly goals. And don’t be afraid to be lofty! Perhaps this will be the summer where you double your June – August sales! If you don’t meet the overall sales goal, but you did reach some landmarks during a shorter period, you might consider implementing more of the tactics that you employed for that period.
Get Creative And Social
The summer slump is also the best time of the year to try some of the marketing tactics you have been too worried to try at high water level times, as well as to take care of some tasks that you never seem to have time for the rest of the year. For example, if you’re LinkedIn presence is lacking, you can take some time to make sure you’re well represented on that platform and that will increase your presence and reach. Have a creative marketing idea that doesn’t fit well with your consistent marketing strategy? Run a special summer campaign. Social media accounts getting a little bland? Summer is a great time to give your image and update and it can only attract more customers in what would normally be a summer slump.
You also need to remember that you’re not the only small business owner that’s experiencing a summer slump. Do you have a neighboring business that’s also experiencing the summer slump? Perhaps it’s time to hold a joint event around the barbecue. Are you running out of tasks too early, but there are networking events going on nearby? You never know what kind of partnerships you can form if you stop putting off those marketing events that you never seem to have time for.
Keep Your Team Productive During The Summer
One of the most difficult obstacles you might face as a small business owner during a summer slowdown is your team’s general lack of productivity. Most employees take their vacation time during the summer and 39% of employees feign sickness during the summer to enjoy a day playing hooky, while nearly 64% of employees admit to skipping out early during the summer months when they are daydreaming of the things they want to do outside work. This presents a unique obstacle for you as a business owner because this means that your team is somewhat responsible for the summer slump predicament. Here’s a few things to remember:
- It’s Summer. People Have Different Goals. – It can be frustrating dealing with a team that can’t seem to focus, but an emotionally intelligent leader will recognize that your team’s desires and goals to accomplish this summer might not be the same as your own. People should be entitled to the enjoyment of their summer and the good leaders can find a way to bridge the gap between summer enjoyment and productivity.
- Set Expectations – The best way to get your team on your side and to let them know that you recognize their needs, have a discussion and set clear expectations for what your goals are to avoid a summer slump. Together, you can attack those goals you have set before and your employees can know what they need to accomplish so they can vacation and enjoy the summer without harming productivity.
- Apply Emotional Intelligence – These trying summer times are the perfect time to hone your emotional intelligence skills, basically responding to your teams needs in a manner that assures they will work toward your goals as well. If you’re all on the same team, there is no reason why you should have to experience a summer slump that wrecks your business. Learn more about expanding your emotional intelligence here.
Take A Little Personal Downtime
It can be hard as a small business owner to take any time for yourself. Many entrepreneurs work long hours, weekends and through their vacations in order to assure that their business stays profitable. However, this has an extremely detrimental effect on your health and the health of your business. You need to give yourself a little break or the summer slump could end up breaking you. Take at least a day off, relax near the beach or even in your favorite chair under the air conditioning and give yourself permission to refocus for a little while. Personal time is also a great time to catch up self study, so make sure to pick up the latest book from Harrison Rogers, the CEO of HJR Global, for your relaxation time. Click below for a special offer: