It’s SO common to hear from my fellow small business owners or my Oh Joy! Academy students, that business slows down in the summer. For some, it’s a welcome break, but for most, it can feel worrisome as sales, clients, or projects slow down while vacation season is happening. I’ve certainly felt this myself a lot, and wanted to some things I can suggest for getting through the summer slump as a small business owner. The most important way to take advantage of slower times is to refocus on all that stuff that get pushed to the side the rest of the year. For example:
Side projects or growing smaller parts of your business
Do you have some parts of your business that aren’t your main focus and therefore you don’t spend as much time on it? Do you have some side project you’ve been meaning to get off the ground? Now’s the time to get it going and move it forward!
Pitches to new brands, clients, or partners
When we’re busy, we often don’t have to put ourselves out there and hustle like we need to during slower times. Whether you’re a freelancer looking to expand your client base or a retail shop looking to find new brands to carry, here’s the time to research and find those new and exciting partners that can help you grow your business.
Dive into areas of your business that might not be working
This is a great time to diver deeper into analytics, sales, and stats to see what’s working best for you and what’s not. What’s attracting clicks in your email newsletters? What products are customers buying on repeat? You can even ask your social media audience for feedback on what they want to see from you. Do your research in areas that often get overlooked because you’re usually too busy to do them!
Develop skills or learning something new
Do you wish you could edit videos or take better photos? Here’s your time to practice a skill you’ve started to grow or learn something brand new with an online class. Or, learn about something that has nothing to do with your business. Read that book that’s been on your night stand for months. You’ll be surprised how it still gives you inspiration in some way even if it’s not work related.
Try some new ideas for social media
If you use social media as a marketing tool (which should be everyone by now!), here’s the time to start poking around on platforms that scare you (but you know you should use…hello TikTok), add lots of pins and ideas to your Pinterest, try some new ways of creating Reels on Instagram, or get more experimental on a platform you love to try out some new content!
Test out a new product or format
Do you have a color way of a popular product you’ve been thinking about offering? A new version of your usual services? Try them out during slower times to gauge interest and see if they stick! For example, we launched these Advice Sessions as a way to give another option for those who wanted business coaching for me but didn’t need a whole hour.
Over here at Oh Joy, the first part of the summer was slower for us, so it gave me time to work on my 8th book pitch, research more brands that I want to work with, and try to get with the one social media platform I have been avoiding for so long :P. While it felt stressful at times to feel slow with work, it also allowed me to get excited about parts of my business I often put on the back-burner. Soon, you’ll find yourself in a busy season again and glad that you took advantage of that time to do things that were productive for your business and inspirational for you!