While some believe that a majority of businesses have some sort of a summer slump, that notion is highly dependent on your business and what you’re doing with it once the temperature starts to rise. By following a few easy steps, you’ll be doing your best to take advantage of all those out and about enjoying the summer.
1. Take Lots of Photos
The grass is green, the sky is blue, and people are tanner and wearing fun clothes (and less of them). What better way to capture your business interacting with smiling, happy customers than in the summer? Social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest are tailor-made to show off compelling and interesting photos, and summer is a perfect opportunity to share them to engage more customers and grow your user base.
But don’t just stop there – encourage your customers to take their own shots and post them to your page, or create your own hashtag trend to spread out virally.
2. Get Involved in Local Events
Don’t pass up this great opportunity to get your business and product in front of a large captive audience. Whether this participation is a full-booth presence or just distributing pamphlets or business cards is up to you, your type of business, your budget, and the nature of the event. Obviously, the cost of a booth will be considerably higher than printing up some literature to pass out, so that option may be appealing from a budgetary standpoint – but if you’ve ever been to a trade show, fair, or similar event, a staggering amount of the trash in the bins (and unfortunately, on the ground) is made up of pamphlets and hand-outs.
3. Use Your Vacation Time Wisely
As a business owner, you might be laughing sarcastically at the mere notion of “vacation time” – most of them are so caught up in the day-to-day operation of their enterprise that they barely get nights and weekends off, let alone days or weeks at a time. But it can be hugely important to take some time off and to get away, and that time more often than not comes in the summer. It’s important to get away from the grind to recharge your batteries and clear some of the clutter and stress out of your brain. Ideally, that would mean 3-4 weeks at a white sand beach with lots of tropical drinks, but that’s probably not realistic for most folks.
Instead, consider taking a vacation somewhere that is hosting a trade show or conference that is in your field or related industry. You’ll still be getting away from the minutiae of your business and getting out of town for a bit, but you’ll be able to network with some of your peers and potentially learn a LOT of new information that can help you run your business more efficiently and successfully.
4. Explore Themed Promotional Items
Summer is great (as you can tell the intro), but it sometimes can get a bit too warm for comfort. Be it a pool, a lake or river, air conditioning, or simply an ice cold beverage, everyone is constantly on the lookout for ways to cool down. And regardless of the season, everyone is also constantly on the lookout for free goodies. Why not combine these and create some cooling tchotchkes to dole out to your customers?
There are a bevy of relatively cheap options – drink koozies are always popular and well-received and come in a variety of thicknesses, materials, and costs. Miniature, handheld water spritzing fans are a bit pricier but can be the runaway success of the day if you’re at an event that’s predominately outdoors. Freezable neck wraps containing coolant gel can be absolute lifesavers when the temperature creeps into the triple digits, but their high cost (around $40 retail) makes them prohibitively expensive and are better suited as a prize giveaway (perhaps for the best photo submitted during your contest?).
5. Get Started with Yelp
If you haven’t gotten involved with your business Yelp page yet, or it doesn’t have one at all, summer is the perfect time to get involved or get it started. Yelp is one of the most efficient ways to gain word of mouth advertising, which as we’ve noted before on this blog, is by far the most effective form.
If you’re following some of our other tips and are getting involved in local events and festivals or running promotions with social media, you stand a good chance that your customers are going to have a positive interaction with your business and brand. What better time for them to write a review that will be seen by hundreds, if not thousands, of potential customers reading about your business for the first time?
6. Be Generous
This should apply during all seasons, but in summer it can be especially beneficial. If you operate a brick and mortar selling products, you well know by now that people coming in just to browse are a regular occurrence. In the summer, sometimes people are in there with absolutely no intention of buying your products, only to escape the heat and soak in a little AC. While that can be frustrating, try embracing it. Keep the thermostat low and cool. Have a water jug or tea dispenser that offers complementary cold beverages.
It will cost a bit more, sure, but having potential customers see your generosity and associate your business with a positive experience is likely worth more than the cost of keeping the thermostat cool and a few jugs of ice water a day.