Ready to throw in the (beach) towel because you expect slow sales this summer?
You could be missing a big opportunity.
Summer sends many people on vacation, but it also slows down hectic workplaces, meaning that the people who are still in the office may have more time for a phone call, a lunch meeting, or an early morning coffee with you. The person you’ve been trying to reach for months just might be available for a conversation—and in a frame of mind to actually focus on what you have to say.
Budgets for many companies are due in October, and the planning and wish lists begin over the summer. This is a great time to let your customers know if you’ve got new products, updated equipment, or new services available. Did you miss a sale last year because it “wasn’t in the budget”? Follow up with your contact and offer to get them an updated quote well in advance of this year’s budget planning.
Having a slow couple of weeks? Use that time to plan, network on social media, create a new information product, or get caught up on your filing, accounts receivable, or phone calls. The more relaxed summer atmosphere can he just the thing to stoke your creativity on a big project like a book, article series, new speech, video or other item that’s been on your to-do list.
Summer can be a great time to invest in yourself. Take a working vacation and attend a conference to learn new skills or get a dose of motivation. Buy a home study course and listen to the CDs in the car when you take a trip—or download the MP3 audios and listen by the pool. Take time off on a beautiful afternoon and read a business book in the park. You’ll make good use of your “slow” period and have new skills and a brand new can-do attitude come September.
Do a mid-year look at your goals. Have you hit your revenue goals? Is your business where you thought it would be by the year’s half-way point? How is your to-do list coming along? Congratulate yourself on what’s gone well, and take a few moments to think about where things are behind schedule. What can you do in the remainder of the year to adjust? Where might your plans have been a tad over-ambitious? If you need help to assess, get it!
Prepare now for the Fall. Once Labor Day is over and the kids are back in school, everyone gets serious about business again. Get a jump on the competition by doing your prep work now to have the materials, videos, presentations, web sites and other elements ready to launch so that you can dive into the Fall ahead of the competition.
Rest and restore. No one can work at full speed forever. You’ve earned a break, and you’ll return to work with a better attitude, more creative ideas and a whole new level of energy if you just give yourself permission to take some time off. Do whatever you find more relaxing and rewarding, whether that’s sleeping late and lounging by the pool or trekking into the wilderness. You deserve it—and you’ll be twice as good when you come back.
Make this the summer to finally master social media. Use some of your slow time to play around with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pintrest and other sites. Make it playtime—enjoy what you’re doing and have fun making connections. Get comfortable using the sites, and visit the business pages of other businesses you respect, big national companies, and thought leaders like authors and speakers to see what they’re doing and what ideas you can borrow and adapt. Don’t stress out about it—just have fun and let the creativity flow.
Gail Z. Martin owns DreamSpinner Communications and helps companies and solo professionals in the U.S. and Canada improve their marketing results in 30 days. Gail has an MBA in marketing and over 20 years of corporate and non-profit experience at senior executive levels. Gail hosts the Shared Dreams Marketing Podcast. She’s the author of 30 Days to Social Media Success and The Thrifty Author’s Guide to Launching Your Book. Find her online at www.GailMartinMarketing.com, on Twitter @GailMartinPR and check out her Facebook page at 30 Day Results Guide.