Sun’s out, plans out: Prepare your business for the summer

For most businesses, the summer months can often be a quiet time of the year, but that shouldn’t stop you from planning ahead to make the most out of the traditionally slow season. After all, spirits are high during the sunny months, and it would be a waste to not capitalise on the happy nature of your clients and customers alike during this time, regardless of how your company operates.

You may be anticipating a lull in business during the warm weather, but put in place some measures in preparation for summer and you could see your business perform better than expected!

Customer support
This time of the year is the best to get in touch with your existing customers and let them know of your summer plans. Now is when people are still in offices, still switched on and still productive, so let them know that your business will be open during the summer before the message drifts away in the summer daze. Chances are, not all of your clients will be away during this time, so strike while the iron is still hot and nurture those customer relationships before it is too late.

Now may also be the time to secure new clients – especially those who are venturing out and testing the waters before the summer season picks up fully. It may also be the case that your competitors could be taking the summer months slow, so it would be worth garnering potential interests now and fostering a relationship with new clients over the summer, whilst your competition is taking a step back.

Plan in advance
In order to keep your customers and new clients on board, having a solid marketing strategy ready to go is vital. After all, how else are you supposed to keep and get their attention when their attention is likely to be focused elsewhere? Now is the time you should think about updating your website, discussing costs for summer sales and discounts, and organising a social media calendar to keep all avenues of communication open and consistent. Beware, however, of over-reaching out to your target audience – the last thing you want to do is inundate them with messages during what is typically their holiday period.

As well as planning for customers, plan for internal employee holidays and changes in timetables. Ensure that there are no overlaps in times off and that deadlines can still be met if staff numbers are lessened during the period. It might be worth writing up a set of risk assessment plans and having key members of staff write handover notes and training materials well in advance for when they are away from their desks. Consider taking on some temporary staff members during the summer months – interns are a great way to go.

Keep the cash flow consistent
It might be summer for the rest of the country, but that shouldn’t mean that your cash flow should waver, especially if regular payments ought to still be coming in. It may be worth considering sending your clients a gentle reminder that payments do not stop during the holiday period – you can do this in a disguised manner by letting your clients know that your services to them will continue regardless of the time of year! In addition to this, ensure that you always invoice as soon as possible.

Holidays are important
Your business may not stop, but it is important that you give yourself a break when it is truly deserved. To prevent yourself from burning out – literally and metaphorically – do not feel guilty about going on holiday! You will naturally need time to relax both your mind and body, only to ensure that you return with fresh ideas and the energy to achieve existing goals and establish new ones. Of course, before your time off, make sure your employees are well-equipped to handle business matters in your absence and set up a number of contingency plans should things go haywire. It is also best to avoid taking time off during your busiest business period, where possible.

A detox would be nothing unless it includes a digital holiday, too, so make sure that your phones and emails are all left behind when you step away from the business for a few weeks. Have faith in that the company will be left in safe hands while you make the most of the sunny weather, and let employees know that they should only make contact should there be a genuine emergency.

Though traditionally a slow time of year, the summer months do not necessarily have to mean a dip in productivity for your business. If matters are planned well in advance, i.e. now, you and your company can certainly make the most of this exciting and relaxing time of the year!