Making the Summer Downtime Work for You
Summer holidays – even if you’re not part of the school term treadmill, everyone is affected by the general slowdown for the next six weeks. The key as a business owner is how you make it work to serve you best.
“Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.” – Sam Keen
And isn’t it a wonderful thing? Going full tilt, all the time, isn’t good for anyone – and it’s not good for your business, either. There’s a natural ebb and flow to all things (see our last blog post for more on this), and in July and August there’s a natural summer slowdown that pretty much everyone experiences. Even if it’s Business As Usual for you for the full six weeks of the school holidays, thousands around you will be taking time off at some point – which makes for a slower six weeks across the board.
This needn’t be a bad thing, though, and it’s worth having a think about how you will approach it for you and your business – to make the summer slowdown work for you.
Rejuvenation for You
It’s certainly a great chance to take a little time out, with good reason – the weather should be fine, and it’s expected that most people will want a few days at least in the warmer months. Some organisations even guarantee that every employee can take up to two weeks if they want. So if time off is what you’d like, rest assured that it’s more or less expected, and probably won’t come as a surprise to your clients!
Communication, as always, is the key – so talk to your existing clients and find out what their plans for the summer are too. Are they taking time off? What needs delivering before and after?
Swap details of your plans, and agree how and when to contact each other too. If they’ll be trekking in Peru when you deliver a major piece of work, you may need to wait until they’re near a WiFi hub for feedback!
Putting a note at the bottom of your email signature is another good way to communicate your summer plans to clients, and those you don’t catch up with regularly – it’s another way to give a little advance warning, so that Out of Office reply doesn’t come as too much of a surprise when you’re actually away.
Rejuvenation for your Business
So your time away is sorted, but the summer slowdown may give you some slack when you’re back in the office too. Instead of despairing at the lack of new business, see it as a chance to work on your business, rather than in it: examine at those systems and processes, and see if they’re still supporting you as they should. That area of your business youre ignoring will be the reason your business fails, so use this time to review it all: onboarding systems, your marketing strategy, sales funnels, the planning process, financial forecasting – all will benefit from a review, and this is the perfect time to give them your attention.
If you’re happy with the support structure for your business, use the time to look ahead. What will the rest of the year look like? What adjustments do you need to make? What advance prep can you do? What results do you want by the end of the year? Plan for the next few months: turn that strategy into an action plan. Have a think about what could get in your way, and plan for that too.
Happy with all of that, and still have some downtime to fill? Take yourself to Summer School! What could you brush up on that would enhance your expertise? Cast around for some online learning to complement your business offering, and add it into your newly-polished plans for the year.
“Summertime is always the best of what might be.” – Charles Bowden
That’s a fantastic quote, and so true. Ideally we’d be able to work in our business, on our business and have all the time out of our business that we need, all year round – but it just doesn’t work like that. But in summer, all of these things are possible.
So this summer, may your time off do you the world of good – and may the rest of the summer slowdown do the world of good for your business!