One thing you’ve probably learned as a small business owner is that there’s no such thing as planning too far ahead. Yes, we’re still enjoying the calmer months of spring, but before you know it summer will be here. Depending on your industry, that means either your business will be heating up (so you need to increase stock and staff up) or slowing down (so you need to conserve working capital). Whether you expect your summer to be busy or slow, here are five things you can do to make the summer months smooth sailing:
- Get social! If the Polar Vortex kept you hunkered down in your business this winter, now is the time to out in the community and make some important connections. Join a local networking group or attend a Chamber of Commerce or association meeting. See what plans your city has for the summer. Are there any events you can attend, sponsor, volunteer at or host a booth at? Don’t forget to keep up on economic development issues in your city to learn about programs your business can benefit from.
- Get more social! If you’ve been busy and neglected your social media channels as a result, you’ve probably lost some followers. Win them back by revealing upcoming promotions, offering coupons or asking for feedback. Check out who people are following, what kind of activity your competitors have on social media and who the major influencers are online.
- Make over your marketing plan. Don’t plan the same old promotions you do year after year. Develop some fresh ideas by looking around your community, asking employees for suggestions and investigating what your competition is doing. Take a hard look at your logos and marketing materials. If they need a new look, ask a graphic designer to take a swing at it, and then get feedback from business colleagues, customers and employees.
- Take a class. Before summer begins, take a class at a local community college, through a business development office or even online. Maybe you need to learn more about SEO or social media. Perhaps you want to shoot videos to add your website or maybe you don’t really understand accounting. You can find free workshops hosted by your local SCORE office on just about anything small-business related. (Disclosure: SCORE is a client of my company.)
- Get to your to-do list. Make it a point to take 30 minutes out of each day to do something that’s been gathering cobwebs on your to-do list. Replace office light bulbs with energy-efficient ones, research new business insurance, call a landscaper to redo your front entrance…whatever the task, it will make you feel so much more productive to see that dreaded to-do list get smaller.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.