Summer tends to be a slower time of the year for business. This can be disheartening if you own your own business and rely on the income for your family. However, just because orders aren’t rolling in doesn’t mean that you can’t be productive. Summer is a great time to catch up on some projects that you’ve been neglecting or work ahead for the coming months.
When your children are home from school, it can present additional challenges to working from home. That in itself can make the lightened workload less noticeable. However, I’ve outlined some ideas here that will help you stay productive while also balancing the extra time with your kiddos.
Chances are, if you’re like me, you don’t feel like you have enough time to write new content for your website or blog. Summer can be a great time to catch up on the blog posts that you’ve been meaning to churn out and stock up some content for the busier months of the year. We all know how important fresh content is to SEO and making your site more viable. You can take your laptop to the park and write while your kids play or maybe while they take their afternoon nap.
2. Update your website.
Another crucial aspect of your business is making sure that you have an attractive, up-to-date website. Sometimes this gets overlooked during the chaos of filling orders or completing other tasks that seem more urgent. The summer can be an excellent opportunity to look over your site page by page and take inventory of the things that need to be updated or refreshed. Maybe it’s just a matter of adding some newer photos, or maybe your product descriptions need to be updated. You may also have time to focus on a redesign or structure change if you’ve been thinking of one.
You may want to use your downtime for doing some research. If you’ve been contemplating a new product line or adding some services, now might be a good time to investigate them. It also might be a good time to check in on your competitors if you haven’t recently and see what they are up to. What are they charging, who are they working with, what can you learn from them? It’s also a good idea to always keep your marketing strategy current. Always be aware of new and emerging advertising options. Research is another very portable task. You can research while in the doctor’s office waiting room, lounging by the pool, waiting in the carpool line, etc.
If you haven’t written a marketing plan this year, there’s no time like the present. Or, if you have, it’s never a bad idea to review and evaluate it. Slower times of the year give you the opportunity to look at what’s working and what’s not. Hold yourself accountable, and if you don't see the results you’d like, ask yourself why. If you need some extra help, contact a business consultant or coach. Summer can be a very good time to do some self-improvement and work on bettering your business for the future.
Are there networking contacts that you’ve lost touch with? Customers that you haven’t heard from recently? How about vendors you haven’t chatted with for a while? Summer can be an excellent time to pick up the phone or shoot a short email just to touch base with some long-lost contacts. Who knows, this could open the door for some added business.
Some weeks it seems as though there just aren’t enough hours in the day. And then, things slow down, and we are at a complete loss of what to do with our new found free time. What do you think of my suggestions? What are some of your favorite business housekeeping tasks that you like to catch up on over the summer months?
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Dawn Berryman is the founder of MarketMommy.com and Market Mommy:: The Blog, online marketing resources for mom entrepreneurs. Market Mommy shows moms how and where to market their businesses. She holds a B.A. from Indiana University and has worked in the marketing/communications field for more than 11 years. She resides in rural Ohio with her husband and three children. For more information, please see: Market Mommy.