Ten Tips for Summer Business Survival
Summer can be a tricky time for businesses, as B2B clients go on holiday, the coast is flooded with tourists and it’s too hot to think. We all tend to wilt a little at this time, but don’t worry, we’ve come up with 10 survival methods to help you keep going until life returns to normal in September.
- 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 you’re 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 on the first part of the year and plan for the next – When we’re busy it is hard to have perspective, so use this time wisely to identify what’s been working and what hasn’t 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 – This time of year traffic is horrendous and parking is a pain, so ask if you can have conference calls or skype rather than meet in person, you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration.
- 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 – The good thing about summer is the amount of people around and the events that are taking place. 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.
- 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 in September. 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!