You might not be big enough to treat your customers to a box at Royal Ascot, but there’s no reason why even a small business can’t celebrate the Summer months by putting a little zing in their customers’ steps.
If Summer is your quiet time, you might want to wait until Christmas or New Year instead, but if your customers are around Summer can be a good time to do something out of the ordinary.
Celebrate your customers
If you can stretch to it, you could partner with a local restaurant or bar for some special summer drinks and snacks for your community. It’s a way of saying thank you to customers (and it’s legitimate business expenses, just saying!). Not just a local business? You could run a special Summer-themed giveaway to reward your customers. Running it on social media will have the added bonus of some extra love for your social media channels. As you are celebrating Summer, even if you can’t make the prize something directly related to your business, you can get away with something useful for a vacation such as a Kindle. That should drum up some enthusiasm!
Appeal to their competitive spirit!
In London we’ve just had the World Athletics Championships and have seen people competing at an elite level. Your business can capitalise on people’s enhanced competitive spirits by holding a contest of your own. Make sure you adapt it to your own business, so a restaurant could hold some kind of eating contest, a bar could hold a cocktail making contest, a shoe shop could hold a three-legged race. Have some fun with it! If you are a service based business you are going to need to be a little more creative in your ideas but I’m confident you can decide on something fun which ties in to your business, however tenuously.
Hold a networking event
It’s not just your customers who like celebrating Summer. It’s always beneficial to make connections in your local community, and if official networking events are thin on the ground during the Summer months you could host your own informal gathering. Marketing it on local channels will provide an extra benefit to your own social media channels also.
Summer is your busy time
If these are your busy months, make sure you have planned ahead, and taken on temporary staff if they are needed. Delegate everything you can, so that you can concentrate on the smooth running of your business during this busy time, and be available should an extra opportunity jump on your plate. Delegation will also be good for your employees who will benefit from the increased responsibility and your obvious trust in them.
Work Life Balance
Even if this is your busiest period, remember you need a good work life balance. Make time for your family, and give yourself periods without doing anything towards the business. Don’t even think about it! A digital detox will do wonders but if you can’t manage that make sure to switch your phone off sometimes so that you can fully be with your family.
Bring the Summer into your social media
Make sure to get outside and do some live video in the open air, on something related to your business. Bring in summer colours on to your channels, and bright colourful images. Even if your business is quiet in the Summer months, this will at least keep your channels ticking over and might even bring new customers.
Write some Summer-y blogs
You may not have time to do this if Summer is your busiest period, but if you are quiet take some time to populate your website with some seasonal content, and push it out onto your social media channels. Blogging can be a great form of content marketing, and you can highlight events in your local community or industry. You can also mention special Summer deals you have or new lines you will be bringing in for the coming season.
Summer is your quiet time
Maybe Summer is quiet for your business but Christmas is manically busy. In that case, use this time to make sure you are well prepared. Plan your marketing strategy and use a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite to schedule some of your social media posts for the next few months. (Note I said some – never just leave your social feeds to be completely automated, or they will die a slow death. Engagement is totally needed.)
Plan your promotional strategy and prepare anything extra you might need such as vouchers or posters. If you want to get your products featured in Christmas gift catalogues then you need to start pitching in the Summer. Use the time to think about future product development.
Whatever Summer means to you, there’s a way of maximising the benefit to your small business. Let us know what you decided to do, we’d love to hear!
For more Summer ideas check out our blog on taking a break from your small business.