Unless you run an ice cream shop, you may find your small business has slowed down for the summer. People are gone on vacation. Kids are out of school. It’s difficult to get folks to come to networking events. As tempting as it is to give up and head for the pool each day, this business slowdown is the perfect time to put your marketing in place for the rest of the year. Get a jump on your competition who took the summer off.
Use the time to plan
The year is half over so this is the perfect time to take stock. Are you making progress? Work on your business plan, your marketing plan and your calendar. Create systems for everything you do. Look ahead for the rest of the year. Do you have – or can you create – any product launches or new service offerings and packages? Schedule them, then work backwards to plan the marketing.
Get to know some new people by networking online. The whole web won’t be gone on vacation. Try a new social site. Freshen up your online profiles and bios. Claim your listings. Update your website and, while you have some extra time, create lots of content to attract potential clients who are searching for you.
Get ahead on your content marketing
(And if you aren’t doing content marketing yet, you need to start!) Write articles, blog posts, newsletters and social media offerings. Start using audio and video. Create enough content to get you through the busy times. You can have it ready and you can even pre-schedule it to automatically go out on a regular basis throughout the rest of the year.
Look for summer themes
Make an Independence Day Special Offer. Do you sell anything you could tie in with travel, vacations, or summer weather? Or something your customers should do in summer to prepare for fall, back to school, the upcoming change of weather? You don’t necessarily have to lower your prices or have a sale; just invent a new service package or bundle of products along with a summery name.
Help your customers with summer information
Summer skin care. Summer fashion. Pool care tips. Summer maintenance for your (car/home/garden.) How to protect your (kids/pets/grandparents) from the heat/bugs/ this summer. Get in shape this summer. Get organized before school starts again. Summer marketing tips. Oh, wait, I did that one already.
What do you do or sell? Relate it to summer. Unless you’re marketing a ski resort you should be able to relate it somehow. And if you do run a ski resort? Why it’s “Five tips to get your ski gear it tip top shape for the upcoming ski season,” of course.
Attend events and network
If your usual networking groups are on summer hiatus, find a new group that is having a summertime meeting. If half the group is out of town, plan more intimate events with those who stayed home. Schedule one-on-one coffee meetings with the people who are around so you can really get to know them.
Plan something summery for your networking group to do, like meet in a park. Look at the places you go in the summer (on trips, the beach, the park) as opportunities to meet people you wouldn’t meet during the rest of the year.
Also look at upcoming events and get them on your calendar. Are there any events or meetings you could speak at? If so, put that in motion while you have the time.
If business is slow, spend time catching up with people you haven’t heard from in awhile, such as former customers, potential clients, possible partners, people you met while networking and meant to connect with. Call, send them something, email them or say hi online – not to sell them anything but to say hello and maybe offer them something of value. They may or may not need what you offer right now but they’ll remember you took the time to stay in touch when they are in need.
Who could you partner up with? Find someone with a complementary product or service who has the same target market you have and come up with a joint offer for the summer. Are there any local summertime festivals you could join forces with?
Don’t let the summer slip by without doing any marketing. Remember to look for opportunities to tie what you offer in to summer activities and themes. And if your business is a bit slower, be sure to use the extra time to prepare your marketing for the rest of the year while your competition is on vacation. You can even combine the best of both – grab your laptop and do your marketing from poolside.