Take advantage of your community’s summer activities and get your business’s name at the finish line.
Ah, summer! Summer equals vacation. Summer equals hot weather, which, in turn, equals lazy days. You know, “the dog days of summer,” or, as Nat King Cole sang, “Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer…”! It’s so easy to slow down during these months, and you should take a well-deserved break at some point; however, summer shouldn’t be an excuse to slow the business workings down to a crawl; you should still utilize your summer months productively.
For example, take the snail time to reassess your company’s website and social networking pages. Why not do some upgrading or redesigning to freshen up your company’s online presence. Give your website and social network pages a summer feel by “warming” things up with appropriate summer themes and photos of you and your employees engaged in summer activities. Most people equate summer with fun, including potential clients, and playing along will pique their curiosity and keep them on your pages.
If you haven’t built an online presence, summer’s the perfect time to do it. I dare say there is not a potential client out there, who isn’t going to run a search on your business, first, before ever considering hiring you. It doesn’t matter if your business is B2B or B2C, people research before they hire or buy, and they want to see you online. If you don’t have a website or social networking pages, put down the cold one and barbecued ribs and get cracking!
Speaking of good food and drink, summer is the perfect time to capitalize on your company’s community presence. Summer time is event time, and events need sponsors, food, and drink. Sponsor your community’s 5K run or the local surfing contest – whatever the big thing in your area may be, get involved. Sponsoring a community event is a perfect way to get your small business’s name out to the masses – not only in signage, but also in goodies such as munchies, water bottles with your company’s logo, t-shirts, posters, buttons, and other event-related memorabilia; and never, ever, forget about the publicity! Every time the event is advertised, so should be your company’s name!
You should also network face-to-face no matter the social situation. Having a neighborhood get together to welcome a new family into your neck of the woods? Take your business cards! Does your community have a Saturday night movie in the park or an annual July 4 bash? Go! Make sure to meet and mingle. You never know who or where your next client will be. Summer is very much a social season, so take advantage of this and network, network, network with the peeps in your hometown!
Once you’ve met potential clients, take them out! If your business slows down during the summer – and even if it doesn’t – schmooze potential clientele with a cool, refreshing lunch at a local café or an afternoon break at the ice cream parlor. Don’t be afraid to make it fun and lighthearted. This will ensure the potential client remembers you. While I cannot stress enough the importance of an online presence, during the summer months when everyone is out and about, there is no excuse not to pump up your business’s community presence, as well.
Finally, network with your employees. Summer slow can be well spent sitting down individually with each member of your “crew.” Discuss goals – both yours and theirs – and address any concerns or needs your employees might have. Cross-train, too. If it’s a particularly slow day in the office or shop, have the employees teach each other their jobs. You never know when someone might need to know exactly what John or Susie does.
Assess your business, as well. Take a moment to look at your company’s annual goals and see where you’re at. If you work via a traditional calendar, summer means you’re halfway through the year. Are you on target or, pardon me, up a creek? If you’re up the proverbial creek, what should you do to get back on track? Talk with your partners and employees during the summer slow-mo, and come up with a game plan to get the business back on track and achieving its year-end goals.
See? Summer is such a slow time! You have absolutely NOTHING to do! Now, take advantage of these “lazy, hazy, crazy days” and get to work!
By: Max Zaron