Some businesses may be in that ‘summer standby’ mode, when their employees have either gone away on their holidays or whose minds are already at the beach. But what if you aren’t going away? Let’s say you’ve just got your start-up off the ground and you don’t have the time to take a long holiday. Here are a few tips on how you can keep your business revved up rather than simply ticking over during holiday periods:
1. Target customers who aren’t going away. Many other businesses will be working during summer, so focus your marketing efforts on them. Put the word out on your website, Twitter or Facebook that you, like them, are still busy and focused and that you can help them by offering your services to make their business better. After all, if they’re too busy to take a holiday then they’re likely to need your help.
2. Offer them something that adds value. Many companies try to overcome a summer dip in sales by price promotions or heavy discounting. But a small business can’t afford to get drawn into a price war and you certainly don’t want to be judged purely on how much you charge. In fact, you could need to make more money from each sale, to counteract any seasonal drop in volume. So how do you stand out from the crowds without eating into your margins? You need to be imaginative in packaging what you sell. For example, if you’re an IT consultant why not seize the opportunity created by firms having many of their staff away on holiday to offer them a systems MOT? With so many PCs sitting unused it’s a perfect time for you to go in and make sure a client’s servers and systems are working properly.
3. Give them outstanding service. Obviously you need to provide this all-year round, but if you go the extra mile to help a client when they’re in a real jam, such as when they’re alone and overworked in their offices over summer, then that will stick in their minds. They’ll remember how you helped them out when everyone else was away and they’re likely to return to put more business your way.
The ultimate goal is that instead of summer being a period when you’re scratching around for business, you’ll make it a time when your support leaves a genuinely positive impression with your clients and that can only strengthen your business.