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  • Writer's pictureClaire Elbrow

Got the summertime blues?

Updated: Mar 24, 2019

Need a cure?

For small businesses the summer can be frustrating – people on holiday, delays in new project decisions, sales dipping and diving as the weather changes from scorching to torrential rain. For some, part-time employees may vanish for a bit as the kids’ holidays kick in. So what’s the cure?

During my first year trading, a good number of moons ago, this summer slump caught me by surprise and I panicked slightly that it was going to be the norm for the rest of the year. Nowadays, I realise and appreciate that certain times of the year will be quieter than others and that you need to plan out your months in order to make the most of these times.

Firstly and most importantly, I think you need to enjoy a bit of downtime too. Take a break, sit in the sun, read a good book – take some time out while you can! Other freelancers and small businesses have said that they sometimes cut their hours back a bit in the summer so that they keep working but also give themselves time to recharge. Works for me!

Here are our best cures:

Catch up on whatever is outstanding on your list of projects or ‘to-do’s’ How about sorting out your paperwork and having a shredding session to clear out stuff you no longer need? If you are in retail, organising and clearing out your old stock and looking forward to the coming months is always very therapeutic!

Have a refresh! Take some time to look at all your marketing materials. Could your website do with a refresh? Perhaps your packaging could do with a lift?

Analyse. Look at your campaigns to date and really understand what has worked for you through analysing the results of your campaigns. If you need to revamp your measurement metrics for the year, give yourself the time to think through what you really need to see.

Build your business. These quieter times are great for brainstorming new ideas, products or campaigns. In fact, I do more new client work in September and January than at any other time of the year – purely because people have had time to sit back and take an objective view of their business and want to look at the next steps and marketing campaigns to take it forward.

The lead-up to Christmas is always busy as is the time heading into end-of-year financial reporting. A bit of planning or reviewing of your annual marketing plan does not go amiss in these summer months. A tweak here and there can make quite a difference to your sums.

Perhaps look at a new audience for your business. Can you take advantage of any current trading conditions or find a new demographic? Is your advertising targeted enough? Can you see any PR opportunities coming up in the next few months? Are you really sure who is your most profitable customer?

You are likely to have attended a number of networking events between last January and now. What has worked for you and brought you new business, new relationships, new ideas and knowledge? Are there any other events around that you should investigate for the rest of the year?

Try something new. Investigate new online solutions for your business or look at those platforms you keep meaning to check out. Take an online course. Write your own online course!

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