For some industries, like the tourism industry, there’s no better season than summer! There are new people in the building each day, and business is thriving.
This isn’t the case for all businesses, though. If your small business sees a summer slump, don’t worry — you certainly aren’t alone.
Between vacations and the lack of gift-giving holidays, many businesses aren’t booming in the warmer months. Don’t be discouraged, though! While a slower season may seem like a challenge, it’s really an opportunity.
Boost Business This Summer
Here are eight ways to boost business this summer. Let’s make this your most successful summer yet!
1. Get Involved in Your Community
Summer is the season for festivals, parades, carnivals, farmers markets, and countless other outdoor events. Have a presence in your community this year! See how you can get involved, whether it’s participating in a parade, donating to charity event giveaways, or setting up shop for the day at a neighborhood pop-up event.
Getting involved in opportunities outside the normal brick-and-mortar shop or office will help your business increase brand awareness AND gain more conversions. If you haven’t already, this is the perfect time to start accepting mobile payments.
2. Order Summer Merchandise
Brand your business logo on t-shirts, drawstring bags, water bottles, Frisbees, or other summer must-haves. Incorporate the freebies into summer events, giveaways, in-store promotions, and other creative ways. Before you know it, your customers will be carrying your logo with them everywhere, all summer long!
3. Give Back
It’s always important to remember the community that your business is part of. Take some time this summer to be great neighbors to those around you.
Why not plan a summer volunteer day for you and your staff? Contact a local non-profit organization and find a day they’d love some extra hands.
The Harvard Business Review shared several benefits of employee volunteer programs for the employees, too. Studies found that volunteer opportunities can increase employee engagement, boost productivity, and even make employees happier and more confident at work!
4. Develop Your Digital Strategy
Examine your marketing strategy — specifically, your digital marketing strategy. If summer is a slower season for your business, take advantage of the extra time to audit your existing digital marketing strategies and learn about new digital opportunities.
Some questions you can ask to get started:
- Does my business have a social media presence?
- If so, is it maintained, or are posts shared infrequently, if at all?
- Is the information listed on my website current?
- Is my website easy to navigate? How does it look on a smartphone?
- Does my business have a Google Business listing? Is the information on Google, such as the business address and hours, accurate?
- What in my current digital strategy is working well?
- What areas could use improvement?
Once you’ve evaluated where your digital strategy currently stands, here are a few quick tips to get started or enhance the digital presence of your small business:
- If you aren’t already on social media, make a company Facebook page!
- Encourage your customers, friends, and family to like the page.
- For more on the value of social media for your small business, read this blog from Sprout Social!
- Develop a basic content calendar to keep your post ideas organized and to be mindful of upcoming holidays and promotions you’d like to post about.
- Share pictures showcasing your business and products or services. Did you know that posts with photos get twice as much engagement as text-only posts? Share high-quality images with each post!
- Highlight your employees or important vendors and partners.
- Share industry-related news — but not from a competitor!
- Encourage customers to leave reviews and engage with them.
5. Offer a New Service or Product
Is there a new product or service your business has wanted to start providing but hasn’t found the time yet? Why not try now? Make this summer the season you launch a new product or service you’ve been thinking about, whether it’s enhancing your restaurant’s patio space or expanding your menu to include exciting new options.
Make sure you let your customers know about the fun, new offerings at your business. This is where your new social media strategy comes in — and encourage feedback!
6. Host An Event
Want to get your name out there? In addition to attending community events, your business can host its own!
Treat your customers to a Customer Appreciation Day with giveaways and a cookout, for example.
If your business is an auto repair shop, pair the event with safety tips for summer driving and discounted routine maintenance.
For a small business like a barber shop or hair salon, consider product raffles.
This is an opportunity to get creative and get to know your customers — and it gives them a chance to get to know you!
7. Get Ahead
On a hot summer afternoon, the holiday season probably feels lightyears away — but, of course, it’s not! If you’re facing a summer slowdown, this might be the perfect opportunity to start planning for the future rush.
Think about fun, new promotions you can run this holiday season. With more time to plan, you’ll have more time to really get creative. Consider staffing, budgeting, and other logistical concerns now, and you’ll save yourself the headache later!
And getting ahead doesn’t even just mean the traditional holiday shopping season; make sure you create promotions for the summer holidays, too! Fourth of July and Labor Day can be great sales holidays. Consider promotions you might want to run for these upcoming holidays, and start getting the word out!
8. Sales and Discounts
Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned sale? The Small Business Association recommends promotions such as:
- Offering package promotions. Encourage customers to buy multiple items or services with a package discount. Create a package deal, such as $4 for a coffee and a cookie rather than $5 to purchase each separately.
- Providing incentives for off-peak hours. People tend to have more flexibility in the summer. Consider time-sensitive discounts or running promotions (like a free consultation) on hours your business isn’t seeing as much traffic.
- Giving discounts on certain products or services to select customers. Send a discount to customers on your email list who haven’t been into the store in a while, for example.
Above all else, use this season as a time to get creative. Collaborate with your team to see which of these ideas would work best for your small business this summer and, of course, you can brainstorm new ideas, too!