How to Get Past the Summer Business Slump
The Cape, Islands and South Coast are generally a buzz in the summer month with an active flurry of foot traffic that business owners wait for all year. What about those businesses who experience a lull in the summer months? Whether the slowdown is from your target clientele being on vacation, or if you work in an off-season based industry, or experience a decline in foot traffic overall, how do you manage the ‘Summer Slump’?
I recently attended the Massachusetts Business Network’s Lunch & Learn where a panel of experts addressed this topic. Here are the key takeaways if your company also experiences a slow down during the summer months:
- Embrace the Lull
- Focus on the Future
How to keep revenue steady if not growing?
What should your business focus be during this lull?
What should businesses do to prepare for the fall months?
When posed with the question, ‘how do you keep your revenue steady, if not growing all year?’, the resounding answer according to MBN’s panel of experts was to PREPARE! If you are a brand new business, this could be a challenging task as you’re not sure what your future revenues might look like, but if you’re a business owner with a couple year’s experience under your belt, then you should have a general knowledge of your financials, and the ebbs and flows. Getting to know your business’s financials is critical to any business owner. Use your data! Look at how and when your income is earned, and if you know you have slow months, plan for those months financially by making sure your cash flow (or reserve) during your busy season covers the lack thereof during your slump.
Embrace the lull. Assuming you already heeded the expert advice to plan ahead financially and are not in emergency mode to keep your doors open, the slower summer months can be a wonderful time to tackle new projects. Have a new idea for a new product line? Extra time to focus on a new project could be the fuel your business needs to kick off the fall bonanza. Learn a new skill if you’ve got extra time and are looking for ways to better yourself or your company offerings. Work on your networking, socializing and growing your business contacts while the weather is nice and people are enjoying these longer days. We love this idea, and there are always plenty of opportunities to find networking events throughout the Cape & Islands, South Shore and South Coast. Don’t forget to take care of yourself! Maybe the summer slow down is what the doctor ordered; taking a break to refresh and recharge when your customers are doing the same is a no-brainer. There are many great options, you might even be looking forward to the slower summer months now.
A summer slowdown might give you the needed time to really focus on your future. How will you finish the year out, strong? What plan of action will you implement for the new year? Summer is a good time to think about long-term planning and how to best set you and your business up for future success.
While you might be inclined to dread the summer lull, as long as you’re financially prepared for it, there are so many advantages to embracing it instead!