Building Momentum in The Summer
Summer is one of the most challenging times for business owners. With the exception of seasonal businesses, many businesses struggle during the summer months. July and August are typically vacation times for families - how do you build momentum in business during the hot summer months?
What I’ve found is that taking more than two weeks off your business in the summer will lead to a massive drop in momentum. Gaining momentum is one of the hardest things to do, and once you have it, you never want it to stop. Unfortunately, many small businesses will take their foot off the gas during the summer months and struggle to regain momentum in September. What can we do to avoid this?
Here are some of my best tips on how to build momentum in business during the summer:
1. When you're off, you're off. Vacation and rest is essential. Plan your vacation, whether you are going away or simply enjoying a 'staycation', make sure you let your clients know that you won't be available and turn off your phone, set your out of office and take a real break. We are a very connected society and we are generally tethered to our phones.
Many of us have some sort of anxiety when we are separated from our phone. Taking a break from phone dependence is an important exercise. It gives us time to focus on being present and to stop worrying about what is going on with other people. What I’ve found is that it helps us to be more grateful and less distracted.
2. Focus on productivity. This is the best time of year to be more productive. With longer days, you have the opportunity to wake up earlier and get more done earlier in the day. By being more productive earlier in the day, you can make the decision to spend the afternoon by the pool or on the golf course.
It’s also a great opportunity to create new habits by waking up 15 minutes earlier. You could try meditation using an app, reading (I love going to the library!) or yoga. Simply sitting quietly to start the day is also a gift.
3. Summer specials. What incentives or offers can you promote to your current or new clients to encourage them to do more business with you in the summer? Your competition may be taking it easy over the summer and perhaps you might be able to pick up a few new clients from those who are taking their foot off the gas.
Social media is a great way to share these special summer offers. You can choose to provide discounts or rebates, however what I have found works really well is to offer added value, instead of discounted pricing. For example, let’s say your regular coaching package is $599 for 5 sessions. A great summer special would be to offer a bonus of an eBook or online course for free with the purchase of the coaching package.
4. Commit to minimum daily action. What are the two or three things that you must do every day, at a minimum, in order to keep your business moving? Create a short list of these tasks and check them off daily.
For many of us, our daily tasks include connecting with potential clients, following up and serving our existing clients. We have more opportunities to connect with new people during the summer, as we are outside and often involved in many more activities than during the summer. Take the time to create new connections and build new relationships while having fun in the sun.
5. Are you a parent? Involve your kids! If child-care is not an option, is there a way that your kids can help you with your business? Are there admin tasks that they could do for you? Perhaps older kids could help with social media or some creative ideas too. Even younger children can offer some creativity when asked.
This is the key for those who work from home. It can be a real challenge to build momentum in business when you’re also taking care of your kids. Now that my daughter is a little bit older, we have a deal. I work in the mornings and we go on adventures in the afternoon. It’s a compromise and it forces me to be more efficient with the few hours I do have to get work done.
6. Schedule your September. Perhaps the summer is not a great time for your clients or customers, so ask them to set an appointment for September and fill your calendar for when the kids are back at school. Even if you don’t have kids yourself, many of your clients and potential clients do. Instead of being frustrated that you can’t find the time to connect now, simply set up a time in September. It’s a great feeling to have a full calendar after Labor Day.
Lastly, remember that everything you do now will pay off in the fall. If you've ever trained as a high level athlete, you know that taking more than two weeks off can lead to losing up to 50% of your fitness level - it's the same in business. Focused, specific action this summer will lead to an amazing 4th quarter! And when you build momentum in business during the summer, it’s so much easier to get going in the fall.