If you’ve found that your company’s sales and other activity seem to succumb to the lull of summer, you’re not alone! Many business owners find that the hottest months of the year are also the quietest. As long as you can plan for the slowdown, it doesn’t have to hurt your business, but once fall rolls around, it’s time to get things moving at full speed again! Try these five tips to get your business in motion.
Use Time Management To Incentivize Productivity
You’re not the only one who’s feeling the summer slowdown—your employees are, too. Most small business owners lose at least a little sleep over employee productivity, but you’ll encourage them to work harder with less oversight if you take a positive tone. Rewarding the most productive employees or teams is a great way to communicate to workers that their efforts are valuable and will be rewarded. Use a time card calculator to keep track of which employees are working and when, so you’ll have reliable information about who’s putting in the time.
Audit Your Company’s Operating Budget
With future income and productivity on your mind, fall is a perfect time to consider the financial details of your business so you’re set up for success during the busy season. No matter how small your business is, make sure you have separate business and personal accounts, and start thinking about what your accountant will need from you at the year’s end to prepare taxes.
For companies that make extensive use of business services or subscription software, try calling around to service providers and vendors to see if you can negotiate a better deal. You might be surprised by how much your business can save with just a few minutes of pleasantries exchanged on the phone.
Reconnect With Your Existing Clients
Whether you offer services or sell products, you should be keeping information on your customers, and after the slow season, it’s wise to remind them that you’re still open for business. You can reach out to clients in any way that’s appropriate for your business—personal phone calls, email lists, or small gifts—and take some time to bolster your relationships with associates that already know and like you.
Especially if you offer long-term contracts or personalized services, you don’t necessarily need to pressure clients to buy; consider these efforts a part of your marketing outreach efforts and satisfy yourself with keeping warm contacts from going cold with the changing seasons.
Figure Out Ways To Delegate
Business owners are busy! With tasks ranging from marketing to operations to strategic planning, it’s almost impossible for any entrepreneur, no matter how gifted or energetic they may be, to manage every part of their business alone. Especially if you find yourself beginning to feel overwhelmed during your fall reboot, don’t resign yourself to it; make this the year that you take delegation seriously.
If you have employees who can handle managerial decisions independently, give some thought to where their talents would be best utilized given current needs. For business owners without that option, consider hiring an assistant or at least an independent contractor to take some of the load off your shoulders. For businesses where neither of those ideas are workable, look for tasks you can automate, and see if there’s anything on your task list that doesn’t really need to be done.
Plan for Next Summer Now
Having a predictable slow season can be hard on your balance sheet, but it can also provide you with the opportunity to invest time in long-term business goals that take a backseat when sales demand is stronger. Examine your social media pages, revisit your advertising strategy, and consider partnerships with other businesses. Particularly if you’re in retail, summer is the best time to begin strategizing for the holiday season. There’s never a shortage of work to be done when you’re running your own business, so reserve time next summer to clear some postponed but valuable work.
Summer slowdowns aren’t forever, so make sure to take advantage of the changing seasons to get your business in top shape before the year is over.