Ten Tips for Summer Business Survival
The start of the new normal has coincided with the start of the summer season, where many businesses see a drop off in their clients and are already very quiet due to lockdown. Hopefully for those in the hospitality sector, the tourists will come this year and we’ll all be hitting the bars, restaurants and beach clubs ready to let our hair down and enjoy.
For those businesses not in this sector, only time will tell what this summer will bring. It could be, that companies don’t decide to wind down as normal over the summer, and push harder to generate income following lockdown. Or it could be that they take the wait and see approach and start pushing from September onwards.
However, what ever happens, summers here in Spain are hot and long and it’s normal to wilt. Here are our 10 survival methods to help you keep going, positive and comfortable this summer.
- Don’t be afraid to change your working hours – There’s no point staying in the office if you don’t have anything to do, but you and your customers need to know there’s consistency, so look at your working hours. Could you change it to mornings only, or take a break in the hottest parts of the day? It is common practice to change your working hours during the summer months, so don’t be afraid to cut down. Often you are more productive in shorter stints than if you have all the time in the world anyway!
- Stay hydrated – This seems obvious, but you often don’t drink enough when you’re sat at your desk. Use a 2 litre jug or bottle on your desk so you can easily see how much you’re drinking and snack on high water content food such as watermelon or cucumber.
- Keep cool with a fan and water spritzer if you don’t have air con –Many smaller businesses find it hard to swallow the cost of aircon, but using a water spritzer, and a desk fan can keep you very comfortable. If your office is too hot, vary where you work, take your laptop to a local café with aircon and WiFi if it’s getting too much, or jump in the pool in the middle of the day to cool down – it’s one of the benefits of living here after all!
- If you’re slow, use the time productively to reflect and plan – This year has been tough for us all and lockdown and pandemic panic left many of us too worried, or with too many fears and responsibilities to get perspective. Hopefully the fog will now be lifting and the situation is becoming clearer, so use any summer down time to identify what’s been working and what hasn’t, what has changed in the new normal that you need to respond to and what you want to change from September. Set objectives and make a clear plan to make sure you achieve them.
- Re-establish contact with lapsed clients – Summer is a nice time for a gentle reminder to ex clients that you’re still around. If you have some free time, drop an email to people who used to buy your products or use your services to say hi and ask them how it’s going and if they need anything. Chase up quotes or proposals and see if with a small nudge you can trigger an order, or a lead to follow up in September. Sometimes that’s all it takes!
- Swap meetings for conference calls – One of our favourite things to come out of COVID-19 is the use of Zoom and video conferencing for meetings. It’s kinder to the environment and saves time and stops you being stuck in traffic, so don’t be afraid to keep using this tool.
- Think about summer promotions – If it is too quiet, think strategically about what your clients need at this time of year and design promotions around those needs. It may be the trigger they need to use you at a time of year they traditionally avoid.
- Take advantage of events – Slowly but surely as bars, restaurants and beach clubs reopen, events are being promoted and people are starting to get together again. I’m not sure when networking will resume face to face, but the events calendar will start filling up again. As well as being fun, these events can be a good promotional tool, so find out if you can sponsor events, or head down there with some flyers or to network.
- Take time to train – Slow summer months are great time to invest in your professional development. There are a lot of excellent free resources online where you can expand your skills. Identify where your weaknesses lie and see if you can improve them through training. Read our marketing focus series of articles for useful, practical articles to help you become a better marketer for your company.
- Take a break and regroup – Small businesses tend to get scared by the idea of taking holidays, because you might miss out on the next big client. But it’s important to get some R&R and recharge those batteries for when it gets busier. Our experience is that if you value yourself and your time more and take those holidays your clients will value you more, so be strong – you deserve it!