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Small Business and the Summer Slump

It’s no secret that summer can be a slower season for lots of businesses, especially small business and those with side-hustles. So, if you’re experiencing a slow-down or seeing less revenue than usual, know that you’re not alone…

It’s no secret that summer can be a slower season for lots of businesses, especially small business and those with side-hustles. So, if you’re experiencing a slow-down or seeing less revenue than usual, know that you’re not alone…

Summer travel often makes brands, clients, and consumers away from their usual needs and habits, and this summer people are “catching up” on both work trips and personal trips. Things always level out though as kids return to school, and the fall arrives. But in the meantime, this is a great time to catch up on some of those things you have been putting off for your business and that would be great to work on in the last month of the slower summer season. Here are some of the things I like to focus on in summer months:

Updates
There are so many things we put off “until we have more time”. Guess what? Now you have time! So update your resume or website, get your portfolio up-to-date, make those tweaks to your logo or letterhead you’ve been needing. Whatever “housekeeping” or non-urgent things you have piled up on your to-do list, now’s a great time to address them. You’ll be so glad you did it.

Social Media
Yes, I just heard the collective groan of every reader here :). So often, when I’m coaching business owners, they don’t have the time or space to focus on social media but desperately want to. This is a great time to play around with new ideas, images, videos, or anything else you’ve been thinking about but haven’t tried yet. Do you want to test out Instagram Reels or TikTok? Go for it! There is no harm in testing it out. You can also start planning content and posts for the fall and winter if you’re feeling extra motivated to work ahead. But also get on the platforms you’re most interested in and engage with your followers and your community. Research other brands to learn what they are doing, what seems to be working, and what your own audience responds to. Find others doing complimentary things or in your field, reach out, and connect. Use social media the way it was meant to be used and for the improvement of your business!

Learn
Whether you’re just starting your business or you’ve been in business for fifteen years, there’s always more to learn and room to grow. Don’t understand search terms or SEO? Find a class or grab a book and get to know how it might help your business gain visibility and grow. Not sure how that new law has affected your industry? Find a workshop or seminar. There’s always room to grow and not always as much time as we want, so if you have spare capacity right now, take the opportunity! There are so many affordable online classes on almost every topic!

Spend Smart
If your cash flow is lower in the summer, be really smart about how you spend your money. Go find those books and classes for free at your local library or the community college lecture series. Reach out to your network to see if anyone has resources they can share. Hold off on buying that expensive 3D printer or upgrading to the latest tech right now. Be intentional with your finances to weather the slow season, and spend again when you’re back to your busier season.

Take a Break
If you are feeling exhausted, burnt-out, or just in need of a break, you are not alone. This last year was grueling, and sometimes there doesn’t feel like there’s an end in sight. So if you don’t need all of your usual work hours, take a break. Whether it’s 15 minutes or an afternoon, close your eyes, nap, or meditate. Find a local botanical garden or a beautifully landscaped neighborhood to walk through. Treat yourself to a soft-serve ice cream. Life can be challenging, so sometimes we can view slow seasons with gratitude as a chance to reflect, calm down, and think about what’s most important to us.

Photo by Bethany Nauert

2 comments

  1. Thank you, Joy. I feel like you read my mind. I recently had a sale which I knew would be a bust due to people out of town, and indeed it was. I live in DC and the city truly feels empty. Even knowing that, I walked away from the sale questioning everything about my business. I needed this reminder that my instincts were right. People really are out of their routine and enjoying life. I won’t take it too personally and keep making, readying myself for Fall. 🙂

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