You may have heard people talk about the "summertime lull" in business. Don't believe it. The idea is that while employees are taking vacations, offices slow down and sales numbers slip.
Now, it's true that some companies slow down, but as a CEO, that's music to my ears. When you hear that other businesses are looking at low numbers, think of it as an opportunity. Here are three ways to take advantage of a summertime slump.
Summertime Tip 1: Brush off Your Negotiation Skills
If business is slow for you during the summer, it's probably slow for the vendors, consultants, and contractors you work with. That means summer is a great time to negotiate on services you need.
Want to hire a sales coach? Need a frontend developer to modernize your website? Great. Summer may be the time to negotiate for a lower price or some bonus add-ons. Or you might consider bartering. Trading work for work can help you not only manage cash flow but also build relationships that you can tap into throughout the year.
Summertime Tip 2: Get ahead of Work. Plan for Seasonality.
Accountants have busy Aprils. Florists are slammed with Mother's Day orders and June weddings. Walk into a college coffee shop during finals week, and good luck finding a seat.
Here's the thing, though. All businesses have lulls, but the best businesses don't let that get in the way. If summer is your slow season, now is a perfect time to revamp your marketing, send out mailers to attract new clients, renovate your website, audit your inventory, train your team, and do all kinds of other things that will make it easier to crush the competition once you're flush with customers.
Summertime Tip 3: Hire Interns.
Sure, your business dreams may not be made or broken with the labor of interns. But getting smart, motivated people to work for your company over the summer can give you an advantage.
But to handle an internship well, you need to have a plan in place right now.
Young workers like interns need guidance, so be prepared to give it. If you're looking to hire an intern to spruce up your social media marketing, you'll need to have social media policy in place, a way to review their posts, and a strategy for measuring their success.
One strategy for attracting good interns is to offer college credit, which may require registering with a local school. The Small Business Administration has a helpful internship guide that can walk you through the practical and legal steps to take before hiring an intern.
When your competitors are putting their feet up this summer, get busy laying the ground work for your next successful season.