It’s July and you’re ready for a break. I get it. We’ve been conditioned from the time we were youngsters that this time of year is all about summer vacation. Even if it’s been years since you were a student on summer break, it’s hard to break out of that thought process. It’s just as hard to sit at your desk and ignore the pull of spectacular summer days drawing you outside, especially for those of us in the Pacific Northwest.
If it feels like it’s harder to focus during the summer, the sunshine could be partly to blame, so could the general slowdown in business development during the summer months. You’re not the only one who takes a break. Many organizations reduce the frequency of their networking events during the summer. Summer vacations also impact your ability to schedule one-on-one meetings with contacts or potential clients.
It’s tempting to just give in to the sunshine, but a decrease in business development efforts now can cause a cash flow issue later in the year. Keeping your business busy during the summer can be solved with a little creativity.
Here are four things you can do this summer to increase your visibility and drive your profitability.
Opt outside for meaningful meetings. Instead of coffee or cocktail meetings, head outdoors and schedule meetings that take place while walking, kayaking or paddle-boarding. Being outdoors is a fantastic way to clear your mind, and business conversations take on a fresh perspective in a different environment, all while your FitBit gets a workout.
Review your list of key influencers and follow up with them. Avoid developing a reputation as a “one and done” business owner. As in, you had one meeting with an influencer and then disappeared. Relationships take time to build and it’s important to nurture them. Use the summer months to reach out an inquire how you can support your trusted partners. You’ll be glad you did.
Launch a gratitude campaign. Gratitude shouldn’t be reserved for the holidays. Use this time of year to send handwritten notes and cards to people who have influenced you or your business. Reach out to clients and thank them for their business or their referrals. Show gratitude to influencers for a resource shared or introduction made in the last few months. Gratitude goes a long way in developing relationships and building your network.
Create a “dog days of summer” special offer. Retail stores frequently create summer specials to entice customers to buy during a slower season. You can do the same thing in a service-based business. Create a limited time offer or a “friends and family” referral program in which the person making the referral and the person taking advantage of the referral receive an incentive. The success rates of summer promotions can be a little hit or miss, but you won’t know until you give it a go. In addition, you’ll be able to test the waters for how you want to position a special holiday offering later in the year. The value of new customer relationships is priceless!
Your business development activities will look different during the summer, but there’s no reason they can’t be effective. Use the summer months to schedule time to further business relationships, fine-tune your offerings and enjoy the sun without taking a break from your profitability.
Read on for more ideas on scheduling success to drive money in the bank.
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