For many small business owners, May marks the start of the summer season. This may mean your company experiences an inevitable slowdown and loss of momentum. If you run a seasonal business, it could be when customers come knocking. Whether it’s a busy or quiet time, the summer months can be the ideal time to grow your business.
Inspired by this weekend’s observance of Cinco de Mayo, when Hispanic pride is celebrated with plenty of singing, dancing, and feasting, Summit Financial Resources is sharing five of our favorite strategies for keeping your small business sizzling, now and all summer long.
1 – Sale into Summer
If summer is typically slow for your business, take a cue from the retail industry and offer targeted special promotions to give customers a reason to make a purchase. Instead of an across-the-board discount, invite select customers to take advantage of limited-time offers or buy-one-get-one deals. Consider ways to attract people during off-peak hours, such as special pricing or a free consultation, or focus on a single promotion for the entire summer. For example, clients who refer friends and colleagues will get a percentage off their next service, visit, or purchase. If the campaign succeeds in generating new or increased business, you can run it again during the winter holidays.
2 – Throw a Party
Usher in summer by hosting a special event that showcases what your business is all about. It could be as simple as a one-day open house to thank your clients, or as elaborate as a weeklong vacation-themed celebration that includes daily deals, giveaways, and prize drawings. Consider a cookout in your parking lot or a local park, complete with food, family-friendly activities, and incentives for guests to frequent your business in the future. Partnering with complimentary businesses and sharing marketing efforts can help maximize your budget and expose a new audience to your products or services.
3 – Take it Outside
Warmer weather provides the perfect opportunity to take your business outdoors. This could mean promoting your products or services at a local market, street fair, or festival or adding outdoor displays or tables to your retail store or restaurant. Take advantage of opportunities that combine brand and team-building by sponsoring a community service project or having your staff volunteer at an outdoor charitable event such as a bike or walk-a-thon. Choose a cause that is a good fit for your business and reach out to the media to help publicize it.
Summer is also a great time to catch up with contacts, vendors, and prospects over an iced tea or al fresco lunch. Consider treating your staff to an offsite retreat or a day of remote work outdoors. You can enjoy the summer weather and build camaraderie and morale in the process.
4 – Get a Jump on Fall
If your customers or vendors take time off during the summer, use the downtime wisely by working on your business instead of in your business. Review and update your business and marketing plans. Determine what has been accomplished and what remains, and focus on completing more items on the “To Do” list.
Depending on your industry, this may be a good time to conduct market research to determine what customers think of your business and the products and services you offer. You can use a simple survey to gauge your customers’ buying habits and find out how you can better serve their needs. Get a read on market or demographic trends that might impact your business later this year, and use the data to better position your business for growth post-Labor Day.
5 – Get Your Financial Ducks in a Row
Invest extra time in thoroughly reviewing your company’s finances. Learn how to interpret balance sheets and profit and loss reports. Analyze your cash flow to get a full understanding of when money will be coming in and when it will not. Investigate resources for accessing additional cash when your operating expenses exceed your income.
Working with a partner like Summit Financial Resources will help ensure that you have stabilized cash flow to cover shortages whenever they arise. We offer working capital loans that involve using your accounts receivable and other assets as collateral. We can mix and match from a variety of product options to suit your needs, including invoice factoring, asset-based lending, inventory lending, and equipment financing. This means you can make the most of what summer has to offer and have access to the working capital you need to keep your business growing the rest of the year.
Working Capital Financing is a few clicks away.
Summit Financial Resources specializes in working capital financing for small to medium-sized businesses that need increased cash flow. We provide working capital financing through invoice factoring, asset-based lending, inventory lending, and equipment financing.