Use the Summer Slowdown to Soup Up Your Business

Many businesses have a slowdown during the summer. The smart ones use this time strategically to soup up their business.

Dispute the Doldrums.

Yulia Vereshagina, head of marketing for the sales-consulting firm Skaled, suggests not assuming the summer lull is automatic. She examines the previous summer’s sales, comparing customers who kept buying to those who stopped. The underlying patterns lets her develop a smaller, better qualified outreach list.

Pick Up the Phone.

If you have free time, there’s a good chance prospects who were too busy to meet during the year do as well. “Connect with your clients, potential clients, and also clients who you no longer work with,” says Diana Ennen, president of Virtual Word Publishing. “Take the time to say, ‘hi!’ Connect on a more personal level.”

Set a Daily Task.

Peter Shallard, a coach for entrepreneurs, creates a daily task, like writing 500 words or following up on 100 percent of his sales leads. A small daily task puts on pressure that can push off lethargy.

Work On Your Web Site.

The Internet is the new storefront, so use downtime to see if yours is getting shabby. Does your site design feel old-fashioned? Is the site hard to navigate? Is it full of irrelevant material (like a sale that ended months ago, or old samples/photos that don’t reflect your current work?)

Benchmark the Competition.

While you’re prowling around your own site, look at your competitors’ websites to see what they’re doing well. A free tool called Social Crawler analyzes how the content on a site is being shared, as well as how the content is constructed in terms of keywords, themes, style and structure.

Turn Out Templates.

Before she writes a press release or social media content, Diana Ennen often sends a message to her client asking for information – such as their target audience, any key words they normally use, and a pithy quote – so that she can produce more impactful copy. During slow periods, she creates templates for these information requests, which makes the rest of her year run smoother.

Right Time to Write.

Use your summer downtime to promote yourself. Bryan Hyland, an account supervisor at Stanton Public Relations & Marketing , suggests you write an article (or hire a freelancer) that offers “5 top tips [for solving a problem in your line of work],” post it to your website and send it to your top local daily and weekly papers. Write an article that helps others in your field, like “5 things to look for when hiring staff.”

Make Some You Time.

Recharge, take a class, and focus on improvement. “Instead of putting all your focus on client work, build your brand and make processes run smoother,” Ennen says.

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