Summer is here! Now that the kids are out of school, you might be thinking about how to reduce your work schedule, but that’s the worst thing you could do. It’s time to turn up the heat in your business. Third and fourth quarters are critical times in business. You may have customers who are in budget planning cycles, or have excess budget to spend. Now is the right time reach out to your existing customers and get your house in order to make your revenue goals for the rest of the year.
Here’s 10 Things to grow your business this summer.
1. Take a break. Even if all you can afford to do is a staycation, take a break from work for at least 7 days. You need to recharge your batteries so that you can go hard the rest of the year.
2. Attend a conference. The Summer is a great time to sign up for a course or attend a conference in your industry to learn the latest trends and techniques.
3. Read a great business book. Pick a book that’s you have been meaning to read and learn a few techniques that will help you grow your business. I really like 201 Great Ideas for Your Small Business by Jane Applegate. http://www.amazon.com/Great-Ideas-Small-Business-Bloomberg/dp/0470919663/ref=dp_ob_title_bk
4. Revisit your business plan. In the first few years of a business, you should be updating your business plan every 90 days. When is the last time you reviewed your marketing plan and how well it was working to drive sales. Make sure your budget and revenue projections are up-to-date.
5. Organize a Business Retreat. Take your team offsite treat them to some good food in a lush environment. Brainstorm with them to solve the top three issues in the business. Bring in a trainer.
6. Ask for testimonials. Go back to all of your customers that you worked with over the last six months and ask for testimonials. Get them in writing to update your website and ask them to post recommendations to LinkedIn.
7. Refresh your website and marketing materials. Take a look at your website and marketing collateral including your blog header, business cards, and newsletter template. If something was just thrown together just to get some out or you’ve been using the same template for a whole, take the time to clean up your design elements to make your brand shine.
8. Update your personal bio and profiles across social media. Every small business owner should have a professional biography. Take this time to update yours with any new marquee clients, non-profit board service, and speaking opportunities. Be sure to update your profiles on your social media accounts as well.
9. Do a waste walk in your office. Summer is a great time to chuck the clutter. The shredder is your friend. Get rid of stray paper, conference bags, direct mail, magazines, equipment that doesn’t work, and giveaways you really didn’t want anyway.
10. Develop a special offer. You need a reason to contact your customers. Nothing is better than a discount, coupon or special offer. You use this as your excuse to call, email or snail mail your existing customers. They are the most valuable asset in your business.
Do you have any other tips to keep a small business growing over the summer?
For more tips on how start or grow your small business subscribe to Melinda Emerson’s blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com.
Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is one of America’s leading small business experts. As a seasoned entrepreneur, professional speaker, and small business coach, she develops audio, video and written content to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. As CEO of MFE Consulting LLC, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing. Forbes Magazine recently named her one of the Top 20 women for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also the author of the national bestseller Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works. (Adams Media 2010)