As an entrepreneur, you may have forgotten what the “lazy days of summer” feel like, but if you’re like many small business owners, there’s a good chance you felt a summer slowdown in sales, revenue, and business as usual.
You might have welcomed the relaxed pace and taken some time to unwind, but now you’re concerned that you’ve fallen off track. And even if you weren’t spending your own days lounging by the pool, many of your customers were. Distracted by vacations, backyard barbecues, and having the kids home from school, priorities shifted, deadlines were postponed, and buying decisions were put off.
If you’re a new business owner, the slowdown might have caught you off guard, rattled your confidence, or even left you temporarily cash strapped. Even seasoned business owners can become anxious about the down tick in cash flow and anticipation over pending deals that keep dragging along.
However, Labor Day weekend is behind us now, so it’s time for an upswing. Are you prepared?
Here are 5 tips to reboot after a summer business slowdown:
Shift your mindset
Rather than worrying that you’ve lost your touch or that things may not turn around quickly enough, set aside your fears with a renewed sense of confidence. The slowdown was perfectly normal. If you come from a corporate background, remember when projects slowed to a halt because of everyone’s vacation schedules? This is no different. You rode the wave, and it’s going to surge upward again. So keep a positive outlook.
Wrap up loose ends
Did you start some projects to make the best use of your downtime, with the best of intentions? If it’s something really important that’s going to make a big difference in your business, move forward quickly and wrap it up. If it was just a pet project with a ‘nice to have’ versus a ‘need to have’ potential outcome, set the project aside. Your time is valuable, and it’s critical to laser-focus on what’s most important. Just because you started to redecorate your office or color-coordinate your files doesn’t mean you need to finish.
Apply what you’ve learned
We know you can’t turn off your entrepreneurial thinking, even when you try to slow down. You’ve been soaking up knowledge from books, blogs, magazines, and podcasts while you were poolside, right? Those wheels have been spinning all summer with new information and ideas, while everyone else was taking it easy. Head into fall with a fresh perspective, and renewed excitement about putting what you’ve learned into practice and trying new things. You’ll see that learning and reflecting was time well-spent.
Check in with your top prospects
Remember that great conversation you had with a potential client back in May? You were feeling pumped about it, and then when you followed up, you never heard back. Despite contacting the person several times over the summer, your prospect seems to have fallen off the face of the planet. Assume instead that she was climbing down the side of a mountain or scuba diving in the deep blue sea. In other words, don’t take it personally and simply check in again. The same goes for your existing customers who could be ready to buy more from you now that they’re back in the swing of things. Give them a call: “Hey, I hope you had a great summer. I’ve been working on something that might interest you…”
Commit to networking again
Attendance at networking events can sometimes be sparse over the summer. You might have noticed canceled meetups due to low RSVPs or only a handful of participants in typically lively groups in July and August. Juggling childcare, travel schedules, and the lure of enjoying gorgeous summer nights with friends can leave you feeling rather lonely if you’re out there trying to hustle up new business. But everyone is getting back to work now, so show up and commit to connecting with some new interesting people this September.
So another summer season is coming to an end, and it’s time to reboot. Cheers to a prosperous and happy fall, y’all!
If you’re looking to partner with a small business marketing agency that can help your small business grow year round, give us a shout.