Many businesses experience a little downtime during the summer months. Especially, for those self-employed, small/independant businesses and “Mompreneurs”. Children are home from school, customers are on vacation or people are just not interested. Those whose client bases are taking a breather – should take time to re-evaluate their business strategies.
This is a great time to assess your current strategies. Here are some things to consider while the lazy months of summer are upon us.
1. Review your current online presence
- Should you look at building a Blog
- Search online magazines, forums or complementary sites to see what you like and what you don’t
- Contact those who might be able to increase your traffic
2. Review your sales strategy
- If you are working with retailers – analyze your sales, costs and effectiveness with them
- Seek out new retailers
- Consider working with a wholesaler
- Research online retailers – like EBay, Esty or Kijiji
3. Attend Fairs, Tradeshows or Local Community Events
- See if they would be a good fit for you in the coming months
- Talk to vendors in attendance - you can get a sense of how successful each show is for them and why
- Talk to attendees of the event, find out their likes/dislikes about the event
4. Review your profit margins
- Doing what you love sometimes takes precedent over profit. Evaluate if after costs of goods sold (manufacturing costs, marketing costs, operating expenses and/or office expenses) you are actually making money
- If your profit margins are slim to nothing; it is imperative to review your revenue vs. expenses and assess what needs modification Conduct customer research
- Backyards and BBQ’s are a great way to get some key clients together and discuss their thoughts on your product/service
- Getting suggestions and feedback from your clients, not only enhances the existing relationship – but also provides valuable information in the form of
- new ideas for products/services
- innovative communication strategies – blog, website, email, advertising etc.
- suggestions for new channels of distribution
5. Research the competition
- If you are a Mompreneur and have the kids home for the summer – take them to places that sell your competition
- See how customers are reacting to their products/services and apply the useful information to you
- If you are on vacation or just slowed down – go out there and see what is happening on the street
Once you have done a review of the above, compile some ideas to implement in the coming year. Information gathered from all these sources get the creative juices flowing; and subsequently give you innovative and fun strategies for the new year.
September and October are “Back to School” months. Vacations over and busy Holiday seasons just on the horizon; provides the perfect opportunity to contact your existing customer base and target new customers. The creation of a launch for a new product, idea, online venue or marketing strategy gives you a fresh reason to contact. New clients are garnered by reaching a larger audience or maybe a more specific niche market; depending on what you have discovered over summer.
While summer may give a lull to your business – instead of resting on your laurels – put this time to good use. Then run into the Fall with both guns blazing.