Your year has been moving along at a quick pace. Sales are good. Your staff is busy.
Until... summer hits. It happens to many businesses. You start off strong, but as you head into the warmer months, everything stops.
Are you having a summer slowdown? If so, here are five ways to turn it around.
#1: Create a Social Media Plan
For most businesses, creating and working a social media strategy takes time, and that’s a commodity most companies don’t have when they’re busy.
Social media posts often get set aside in favor of daily work tasks.
A summer slowdown is the perfect time to create your social media plan.
First, decide which platforms are best for your business. You have quite a few to choose from. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube are all good bets.
Then, download one of the free planning calendar templates from Hootsuite.
• Social media strategy template
• Social media audit template
• Editorial calendar template
• Social media content calendar
All four of the templates are easy to use, and basically all you have to do is fill in the blanks to get started with your social media planning.
Lay out as much of the year as you can. Certainly other posts will come up through the year, but you can use the templates to set your framework.
This is a good time to stock up on content and create branded images or videos to go with your social media posts and tweets.
By getting your social media plan in order during your slow times, you’ll be able to schedule your posting in advance which makes life easier when you get busy again.
#2: Create a Blogging Plan and Write
Blogging is so important to your website. It keeps content fresh on an ongoing basis while providing valuable information for your customers.
Yet, like social media, it’s one of those things businesses never seem to have time for.
Take your summer slowdown to make a list of all the blog posts you want to write. Coordinate them with your social media strategy, because you’ll want to push them out through your posts and tweets.
The best blog posts are ones that will interest people at any time of the year and into the future. Gear them toward your customer. You want to provide helpful, valuable and educational information for them.
Do some research and pick topics with your customers in mind.
Once you’ve got your list, you have a few choices:
• Write the blogs yourself.
• Assign them to a staff member.
• Hire a blog service to write them for you.
Whichever way you choose, take the time while it’s slow to get them organized and ready to go.
#3: Train Your Employees
When it comes to down time, the perfect solution is to train your employees. Not only can you provide them with some on-the-job education, but you can also reach out for educational opportunities for yourself as well.
The summer slowdown is a great time to move forward on that often put off training.
Schedule sessions to further educate your staff. This instills confidence in them, increases employee morale and makes them better able to do their job.
Topics might include customer service, sales, marketing or team building.
Perhaps you or your staff wants to learn more about a specific software, app or computer technology. Are there any adult education classes or seminars to attend?
Training should be beneficial not just a way to spend time. Consider asking your employees what kind of training they might like. This gives them buy-in and makes them more amenable to it.
Keep your employees happy by investing in them and showing you care by providing educational opportunities.
#4: Have an Open House
If you want to create some buzz around your business during the summer slowdown, have an event such as an open house, customer appreciation event or huge sale.
This helps bring your customers back into your business while keeping your employees busy.
You might include your VIP customers or your entire customer base. Be sure to include excitement in your event so your customers actually want to come.
Turn your event into an annual one so customers learn to look forward to it all year.
Take the time during the slowdown to carefully plan the event including the promotions, specials and marketing involved with it.
#5: Reach Out to Your Customers
Give your customers the personal attention you aren’t able to give them when you’re busy.
They’ll appreciate the interaction and personal touch.
Reaching out to your customers helps you establish your company as a trusted, loyal partner.
For example, if you own a furniture and home décor company, reach out to your established, loyal customers. Offer to show them your newest items for the upcoming season and even bring some to their home for a personal showing.
They’ll appreciate the time you take to show them you care.
A summer slowdown doesn’t have to be the bringer of gloom and doom.
Just think of all those things you can’t finish during your busy months. You can take this time to do some much needed behind the scenes work.
Finally, we’ll leave you with one last option for the summer slowdown.
Take a break. Embrace the slowdown.
Your summer slowdown may be nature’s way of telling you that it’s time for a much-needed break.
If your slow time is at the same time each year, consider closing up for a week. If not, stagger employee vacation time and encourage everyone to take a few days off.
Be sure to take some time for yourself. Your company benefits when everyone is rested and recharged.
Did you have a summer slowdown? What are some things you do to keep busy? What did you do to turn it around? Please share your comments. We’d love to hear your tips below.