ant and grasshopperSales and revenue generation are of key concern to any business owner and during the summer months, especially in the Bay area, some businesses experience slow moments. People are traveling, vacationing, and basically on summer break, which means a break in revenue for some companies.

We have many people who contact us attempting to figure out how to “get their business out there” during these possible slow times. There are always various ideas: capturing the market that’s visiting, running summer specials, coming up with summer story angles and more. The one thing we always recommend though, is embracing the downtime. It doesn’t mean sit back and kick it (like the grasshopper), but knowing what you should be storing (as the ant).

For some, the inactivity causes anxiety and panic, which leads to stress (or additional stress) and well…it just goes annoyingly downhill from there. Instead of working yourself into a frenzy, refocus your energy and commit to productivity during times that are slow (or may seem slow).

Here are some ways to keep yourself productive:

1) Review Your Year. OK, half the year. Look at what you’ve accomplished thus far this year and take stock of what has worked, what has not and what needs to be revamped. Also, what has not gotten done? Is it time to dust off some of your goals? Whether they are business-related or personal, now is a good time to revisit your goals. How can personal goals help me with my business, Nancy? Well, I’m a firm believer that you are your most valuable business tool (another post on this later). Whether it’s eating healthy, exercising more (may we recommend Fuse Pilates), spending more time with your family, writing in your journal, or calling home ~ when you are taking care of you, you are better for your business. Your perspective is fresh and you get the break and time you need, so go ahead and revisit the goals you didn’t get done and make some new ones, if necessary.

2) Connect & Reconnect. While you should always keep in touch with your colleagues and peers, we all know that business keeps us all busy. When it’s slow, it’s a good time to reach out to your colleagues and peers. Keep in mind that not everyone is slow during this time of year, so make sure you’ve written down a list of several people whom you may want to meet or reconnect with. Set a realistic goal to connect with these individuals for coffee/tea, lunch or a phone call (e.g. commit to meeting three people this week for tea). What’s the goal of this meeting, Nancy? To connect. Find out what is happening in this person’s world, with his/her business and how are s/he is keeping busy this summer. Whatever you do, don’t whine about your business and how it’s slow. Instead, be open to exchanging ideas and perhaps share ways that you might be able to collaborate. At the least, you will have met someone new or reconnected with a past associate and should walk away feeling refreshed and energized.

3) Research & Experiment. Seek out businesses that are not slow during times that your business is experiencing downtime. For us, we remain pretty busy through the summer months pitching holiday gift guides, and for our clients who experience a decrease in traffic during the summer months, we are focused on their fall/winter campaigns. There is always something you can do in your business, and now is the time. Have you been meaning to update your images or your website? Now is the time. Wanting to search for a new accountant or hire a virtual assistant? Now is the time. Been meaning to check out the latest on Vine? Now is the time. Consider issuing a survey to find out what your customers are up to this summer and how your products/services may assist them. Also, do a soft test or beta launch of a product/service and gather feedback. Yes, it may be a smaller audience but any feedback will be valuable to you before you launch to a larger audience. Now is the time!

Bonus PR Tip: Catch up on your media reading and watching. What television outlets and publications have you been trying to get featured in? What new story angles can you develop? And if it’s not for now, perhaps your ideas will be for coming months! Have a product that’s holiday gift guide worthy? Reach out to us and we can help.

What ways are you remaining busy through the summer? How have you survived a slow summer in the past?

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