8 Simple Ways to Prepare Your Business for Summer
Whether it’s a busy or slow time of year for your business, the summer months can be a very crucial time for your business. Here are 8 simple things you can do to take advantage of the summer season.
There's no doubt, consumers love knowing that they got a deal on something they purchased. Whether it’s just a $5 discount or a percentage off their purchase or even a free gift with their purchase, they will be more likely to shop from you and leave feeling satisfied.
Create promotions that make sense to your business and consumers; something that they would appreciate and want to participate in. For example, if you have a construction company offer a discount on a project. If you own a restaurant or café show your customers that you understand it’s hot out there by offering them a free cold beverage with a purchase of an entrée. A beauty salon could also promote a free blow dry when getting a haircut or color for a new look this summer. For retailers summer promotions can help move slower moving inventory to create room for new inventory. And don’t forget about creating promotions around special days like Father’s Day, Graduations, or 4th of July.
Whatever your business is, think about what is important to your customers during the summer. Make sure to stand out from your competitors and show your customers that your promotion was created with them in mind. Spread the word in your store, office, online and social media. Your customers will be sure to appreciate it.
Get Involved in Your Community
During the Summer, school is out, and parents are always looking for things to do and places to take their kids. They’re reading newsletters, are more often on social media and searching the web for activities and events going on around them. Take advantage of this by getting involved with your local community to give your business some presence at these upcoming events. You could simply create a community promotion, and have it announced at these events. Something like donating proceeds from your sales to a charity is a good way to not only promote your business but also shows that your business cares about the people in the community.
Decorate for Summer
Putting up decorations doesn’t just have to be for the holidays. Create Summer spirit by putting up Summer decorations around your space. Play with colors and themes. If you have a storefront, decorate your windows to show customers that you are prepared and have the best products to make their summer great.
And don’t forget about your website. If you have a business website, which nowadays you should, make some image and color changes (if they fit within your brand) to give it a new summer look.
Update Your Business Hours
During Summer, days are longer, and that means people are more likely to stay out longer. Try to take advantage of Daylight savings time and keep your doors open longer during the days. Or if Summer is a slow season for you, change your hours to fit within the season. Make sure to announce these changes in your workplace as well as online.
Understand Your Online Reputation
When your customers are searching the web this summer, make sure your presence online is as best as it can be. Be sure to Google your business and see what your customers will see. If you see inaccurate information about your business, try to clean it up. If you have negative reviews, make sure your response to the reviewer is posted and visible to customers; your online reputation depends on it.
If Summer is a busy season for your business, a great way to save money and manage your cash flow is byopting into hiring interns rather than full or part-time employees. High School and College students are looking for work during the Summer. Most of them are in it to gain experience and have something to do, so they are more likely to take on an internship with no or low pay or one that gives them incentives, like free lunch or opportunities to go to events. It’s a win-win situation; your interns will gain hands-on experience from you for their future, and you gain motivated and reliable workers during the Summer crunch.
Remember though, if you choose to offer internships you must make sure you comply with the Wages and the Fair Labor Standards Act as well as make it worthwhile for your interns. Create a plan for them where they can gain value and experience from working for you. This will keep them motivated and allow you to evaluate some of them for future employment.
Revisit Your Business and Marketing Plans
If Summer is a slow season for your business, this one is mainly for you. Now is a great time to prepare your plans for the 2nd half of the year. If things have gotten a bit unorganized because you were too busy, or you haven’t had a chance to evaluate your marketing plans, use this time to get everything in order. Take the down time to sort through paperwork you’ve been putting off and revisit your business plans to do some analysis and see if you need to make changes or updates. If next season is busy start planning for that. For many businesses, planning for the December holiday season also starts during this time.
Schedule a Vacation and Prepare Your Staff
This is probably one that many of you think about but never put into play. Yes, your business needs you during the Summer season, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a break and enjoy the sunny days with your friends and family. Your business is important, but so is your health and mindset. If it makes sense and it won't affect your business, take a few days to relax and destress, it’ll help you think more clearly and make better decisions when you come back to work.
But don’t forget to prepare your staff before you go. Make sure they are notified in advance and understand what their tasks and responsibilities are. This will ensure that your business will run smoothly while you are away resting and recharging.