Preparing for the “Winter” of Small Business – the Summertime Slump

When we think of bleak, forlorn and depressing times, we usually think of snow filled forests full of dead trees and crows flying everywhere. What we don’t think of is sunny beaches, cars with their tops down, and kids excited to go on vacation.

But for small businesses everywhere, summertime is exactly that – a horrible time to make money, and thus their depressing downtime. While people are away on vacation, out of school, and otherwise not doing what they usually do, they’re not buying the stuff they typically buy. This is a nightmare for small business owners who can’t wait for that first breeze of cold air to drift in.

If you’re in this predicament and worried about this summer, here are a few things you can do with your business to reduce the pain.

Think of a New Direction for Summer

While it might be breaking your current model of doing business, there’s likely a new direction you can take just for summertime. It might seem like added trouble for not a ton of reward, but pulling some sales out of thin air is always worth the trouble.

For example, you might sell electronics equipment all year round, but you’ve noticed your sales drop off during the summer because everyone is away from home. While you don’t normally sell it, mobile equipment could be a good summertime sale since your regular customers will likely take their phones with them on vacation.

It works even better if your store sells a variety of items. Figure out what could be good sellers during this season (sunscreen, bathing suits, towels, etc.) and make a summer-centric sales page to focus energy on it.

Boost Your Mobile Presence

Again a lot of your customers might be on their phones and tablets more than their laptops and desktops since they’re traveling around and seeing new places. If you don’t have a solid mobile presence and they go to buy something from you anyway, they may get irritated and leave to buy from someone else instead.

One great idea is to have mobile only sales. While YOU know you’re focusing on mobile out of priority/desperation, your customers don’t know that. They just see you’re offering a great coupon or discount for ordering through their mobile device. This should lead to them coming back for even more great deals later on in the summer.

Use the Time for Refining Your Business

Are you ok on sales and not particularly concerned with going out of business over the summer? That’s fine; this is a great opportunity to take some time to refine the business you have. You no doubt have a huge list of tasks you’ve wanted to work on but just haven’t had the time. Now that you don’t have pesky customers in your way, you can get to quite a few of them.

For instance you may have wanted to get your finances in better shape, improve your email system, or come up with a better PR strategy. With orders coming in left and right you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to dedicate energy to these tasks. Throughout the “bleak” summer, though, you could refine the business at hand and get ready for fall and the always-important winter/holiday season.

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