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How Small Businesses Can Prepare for The Summer Downtime
March 01, 2018
Businesses-Summer-Downtime

How Small Businesses Can Prepare for The Summer Downtime

Whether you recently started a business, or you’re an entrepreneurial veteran, chances are you’ve heard about the dreaded summer downtime. This season can be the downfall of an unprepared business, in the chance that sales slow, engagement diminishes, and customers become busy with vacations and other interests.

Still, the summer months can be an extremely productive time for your business After all, how often do you get extra time to give to different areas of your business? This could be the ideal time to update your website, apply for additional financing, or invest in your employees, among other tasks!

With the summer months around the corner, rather than fret, why not plan activities that can help your business continue to grow? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Schedule A Summer Clean-Up

Over time, little tasks can build up. These might be small responsibilities that don’t need to be completed right away, but that will continue to accumulate until you take time to complete them.  Luckily, if business slows down during the summer, you’ll have plenty of time to catch up!

This can be anything from reviewing accounts, to reconnecting with former clients. Use this time to clear the backlog, so when the busier months draw near, you can approach them with a clutter-free calendar.

Update Your Content Calendar

Sales may be slower in the summer months, but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your audience. They’re still out there, and can still be inspired by your brand. Due to this, it’s vital to maintain your marketing efforts.

Naturally, at the heart of this is content creation. Plan your summer content and be sure to include a range of seasonal and evergreen content to keep your audience engaged throughout the summer. Not only will this help to build your audience’s familiarity with your business, but it will also help to increase your brand’s authority.

In the long run, these efforts will boost your business’s visibility, and improve the chance of customers purchasing your products or services. The more value you can offer, the more likely you are to be remembered by your audience, and sought out in the future!

Arrange Training and Development

Small business owners often struggle to invest in their employees’ personal development, as every team member is so critical to their individual roles. Yet while sales are at a low ebb, there should be time for your team develop new skills, and learn about other areas of the business.

In preparation for summer, speak to each employee about their career aspirations, and discuss how they can grow in their role at your company. This is the perfect opportunity to let team members try something new or undergo additional training.

The more skills you can add to your team’s repertoire, the more flexible, capable, and productive they’ll become. This means that as your business grows, your existing team will be prepared for extra responsibilities, and well-equipped for training new recruits as your staffing requirements increase.

Update Your Website

Slow months can give you the chance to update your website, and ensure that it’s meeting your customers’ needs. This is especially important if you’re planning a significant redesign, or the addition or removal of certain features.

Major website changes can be jarring for customers, and could serve as a deterrent. As such, making big changes during a busy time of year can be a costly decision. However, when business is slower, you can afford to make more drastic alterations, while simultaneously dedicating time to handling the queries of affected customers.

With your new and improved website, you’ll be in a better position to interact productively with your audience, drive greater sales volumes, and even make changes to the core functionality of your business. This is especially useful if you’re pursuing a new source of collaboration or funding, as it enables you to present a polished representation of what your business offers.

Consider giving your website a makeover, create an online store, or make another needed change. You’ll be surprised at how it’ll benefit your business once busier times come around!

Plan Some Personal Downtime

Since there should be fewer demands for your time during the summer, this is a great opportunity to set aside time for yourself. Whether you take a vacation, try a new hobby, or simply spend quality time with friends and family, it’s important to make time for yourself.

No matter how successful your business is, everyone needs some time off. Due to this, consider how you can make time for yourself, while still trying to improve your business.

Next Steps

The anticipation of a slow spell can often be disheartening. However, while the summer is often a difficult time for small businesses, there is plenty you can do to make the most of that empty time.

Devise a plan so that you can make the most of this period, and use your time wisely. After all, the more your business grows, the rarer these brief respites will be, so be productive with this down time while you have it.

There’s always more to do, and only you can decide on the course of action that will be most beneficial to the future of your business. With these tips, you can ensure that the summer downtime is just as valuable to you as any other season.

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Victoria Greene
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Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on eCommerce and how companies can improve the way they represent their brand. She is passionate about using her experience to help brands improve their reach. Follow her on Twitter here.
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