Getting your business summer-ready

It might not seem like it if you look out the window, but summer is rapidly approaching and now is the best time to begin preparing for the summer months. Typically seen as somewhat of a slow period for many businesses, planning in advance can help to ensure owners get the most out of the season.

Get your plan set
A solid marketing strategy is vital as summer approaches, as you’ll need to keep customers and clients on board at a time when people will be most distracted. In the weeks leading up to summer, it’s a great time to update your website, plan summer sales or discounts and organise calendars of social media campaigns, or even in-person events now that COVID restrictions have lifted.

Above all, you’ll need to meticulously plan how you’re going to approach communicating with clients and customers during summer. You’ll want to remain in contact with them on a consistent basis, but it’s a must to avoid over-communicating and inundating them with contact during a period that they are likely to be trying to relax a little.

A vital aspect of planning will be internal, as well. Employees at your business are nearly all sure to want to take a summer holiday and, for that reason, it is vital to begin scheduling and working timings out as early as possible. After all, you don’t want to leave yourself short-staffed by having too many employees on leave at the same time.

In order to ensure that you can accommodate staff holidays without the business suffering, prepare a schedule with your employees in advance and also make sure that there are resources such as handover notes and training files available, should certain responsibilities need to be transferred to other staff during holidays.

Develop new relationships and nurture existing ones
The spring is a great time to get in touch with existing clients and customers to let them know your summer plans, that your business will be open and operating as usual throughout the season and that their custom will continue to be valued.

When it comes to clients or other firms in your supply chain, you may find that some of them close for a period over the summer and others remain open. Finding this information out could prove extremely valuable. With some clients closed, you’ll perhaps have more time on your hands to nurture relationships with those that remain open. Let them know about other services you could offer them and, who knows, you may find you land yourself a more lucrative, rewarding contract.

This time of year is also a good time to potentially attract new clients. There will be companies out there right now looking to lock in new suppliers for the summer months. Doing some research now and getting the word out that you’re open for business throughout the summer could score you some valuable new clients to help boost your summer cash flow.

Ensure cash flow remains consistent
It’s easy to relax a little over the summer – and there’s certainly no reason not to. But when it comes to the administrative side of your business, remaining efficient throughout the summer months is vital to ensuring that your cash flow doesn’t dip too far below normal levels and you're not chasing up a raft of late payments come autumn.

Keep sending invoices and invoice reminders as punctually as you normally would to make sure that clients don’t forget their payment obligations. You can help to ensure that clients don’t adopt a lax attitude to paying over the summer by (gently!) reminding them that payments terms won’t be paused or extended. This can be done in a subtle manner, such as by letting all clients know that normal service will continue during the summer.

Summer may typically be a slow time of year, but that doesn’t mean your business needs to be playing catch-up by the time September rolls around. Taking the initiative and a bit of advanced planning can help to ensure that summer remains a productive, profitable season for your company. Oh, and don’t forget to take a holiday yourself!