When the weather heats up, does your business cool down? Fewer calls, proposals, meetings, and events? With more people on vacation and kids out of school, some drop-off in activities that drive your business may occur. But the summer sales slump is less related to summer — and more related to your activities and expectations.
It’s easy to listen to and believe others in similar industries when they say things like “it’s hard to get new business during the summer” or “sales really drop off in July and August” or “marketing in the summer is a waste of time and money”.
When I started my business many years ago, I heard the same thing from others who were far more experienced than me. And I believed them. So I cut back on many of the activities that produce quality clients. And I got exactly what I expected – no new clients from June-August. I didn’t make that mistake again. The following year, I made a few minor tweaks but kept doing what I was doing the other 9 months. And I got new clients in the summer – some really good ones!
Fewer Leads, More Sales
Here is what I learned. While fewer people called me, the ones that did were more serious about getting the help they needed to improve their business. So I converted more of those prospects to paying clients. Fewer leads, but more sales! I’ve seen this play out again and again in my business and with my clients. We expect new business in the summer – we take action – and we get results. With different expectations, you can too.
So as you head into the summer, take some time to set priorities and activities for the next three months. Include some marketing and sales ‘stuff’ on your to-do list. If you already have consistent activities to generate leads and have extra time, use the summer to work on other areas of your business.
Summer Projects To Improve Your Business
- How can you serve your customers better? Come up with one or two things you can start doing now.
- What is the biggest complaint you get from customers? Work on a system to improve or eliminate the problem. Remember, think solution, not band-aid!
- Change often comes from getting your team engaged. Pick one project for the team to work on together — to address a challenge or problem.
- When was the last time you reviewed the procedures you have in place? Pick a few and start looking for ways to make them more efficient and effective. Not sure which ones need attention — as your team, they know where the problems are! Never took the time to document procedures? Now is a great time to start!
- Are all your eggs in one basket as it relates to vendors or suppliers? Now is a good time to start exploring additional options — before a problem arises.
Get the most out of the summer. Think sales. Think productivity. Think profit. Then get to work to make it happen.
How Do You Measure Up?
For a comprehensive checklist to help you identify more hidden opportunities in your small business, check out my Business Success Checklist. It’s a great tool to help you assess progress and prioritize what needs to be done — all year round.