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How to Manage your Small Business for the Summer

Learn small business summer tips to stay at the top of your business game during the busy summer months while giving yourself time for a break with picnic.

Summertime for small businesses can be difficult. It brings a generally slower pace with less foot traffic, fewer website visits, and adds difficulty in connecting with new leads as people are out and about enjoying their holidays. Now, we have the added pressure to maneuver around COVID-19 restrictions, and it doesn’t help with the season’s slump. But don’t fret, there are many ways you can maintain and even grow your business while taking some time for yourself.

Here are 6 ideas you can implement this summer to keep your business goals moving forward, stay on top of the market, and still have time to enjoy the sunshine.

 1. Use technology to your advantage

Just as you probably started to use technology more at the start of the quarantine to stay connected in your business, the same tools can be used during the summer. Get your online tools synched with your phone, tablet, and laptop. By making things portable, it allows you the opportunity to go and do the things you want to do and plan accordingly.

Here’s a handy checklist we do to make sure we’re staying on top of things.

You’ll find this may free up some extra time for yourself by getting things organized for your business and employees.

 2. Create Summer Campaigns

It’s a common business habit to look at your business’ forecast for the coming seasons. With what you’ve learned from the years before, we advise you to create summer campaigns and discounted deals to draw in more traffic, whether on foot or online. 

Marketing is at its peak around the holidays and is a great way to keep in touch with your customers, so plan accordingly. 

Some great holidays to work with during the summer months are Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Canada Day, Fourth of July, and all the way through to Labour Day. 

One of our clients, Good Space Plans Online created a summer campaign focused on outdoor patios. They hosted a contest on their social media platforms where people were asked to add a photo of their own outdoor space and explain what they’ve done to enhance it to make it ‘their own’. The incentive for entrants was a cash prize, which isn’t a bad deal when it comes to gaining potential customers and enhancing their brand awareness online.

If you find some key highlight days or weeks within the time-frame that match your niche, use those too to create in-brand awareness days.

3. Plan and Schedule Social Media Content

One great way to keep your audience thinking about your business during the summer is with your online presence through social media, email campaigns, and advertisements. 

Whether you manage your social media in-house or hire an agency to take care of it for you, plan out your summer campaigns and key features in advance. Planning 2-3 months ahead will free up a lot of time for you and keep things organized.

Be sure to schedule meetings once a month to see how it’s performing and where you can make adjustments to optimize your reach for your ideal clients to hit your summer targets.

Lastly, make sure you work on your marketing strategy in advance to maximize your traffic and interactions too.

4. Build your lists

It is always important to be managing and growing your business CRM list throughout the year, but there is a great opportunity to do more of it in the summer months. Email marketing has been a consistent tool utilized by all industries to help move potential customers as well as loyal ones down your sales funnel to create conversions. 

According to Barillance, the average conversion rate for email marketing peaked in 2018 at 18.49%, however the last 2 years have declined to 15.11%, they still hold steady and prove it is a valuable tool for all businesses as they account for 19.8% of all sales. 

Some ways to build your email marketing list are:

  1. Using lead magnets to draw in subscribers
  2. Include pop-up subscription forms on your website
  3. Ask customers to sign up before or after they make a purchase
  4. Offer a free service in return for their email
  5. Offer a sale for subscribers ONLY (this will encourage new ones)
  6. Deliver valuable content

5. Participate in Local Events

As the summer brings more downtime for customers, it’s a great time to either host or participate in local events. This brings about an opportunity to take advantage of the season to entertain existing customers but also attract new ones. 

You can cater to your business to find or create a related event for your services. Some good ideas we recommend include:

  1. Hosting a Social Media Contest
  2. Host live events on Social Media
  3. Partner with a related business for a special, self-curated event
  4. Participate in local festivals, fairs, or local running events

6. Schedule time for yourself and plan a vacay

It’s important to lastly schedule time for yourself so go and schedule a vacation. Getting ready to take the time off will require initial planning as we have talked about in the above sections, but it is manageable and doable. Having time away will help you re-energize and come back with a clear mindset along with fresh ideas. 

If you find you need help managing your marketing so that you can get away and focus on the bigger picture for your business, we at picnic have a list of services we can help you with. Our talented team is based in Vancouver and is always looking for new small to medium-sized businesses to work with! To learn more about what we do, head to the about section on our website or email to get talking with us directly. 

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