Between the months of June and August, it happens daily. You take a break from your business, hop on social media and suddenly you're wrapped in a fantasy world created by photos of beaches, airplanes, mountaintops and surfing (thanks GoPro). Instead of finishing an order or responding to that overdue email, you get lost in a whirlwind of adventures and 28 minutes later, finally getting back to business, you move along with a slightly less productive day. With ideal vacation photos littering your Instagram and Twitter feeds, it’s hard to distance yourself from the adventures other people have during the summer. In fact, 45% of workers encounter the same concentration obstacle and find themselves distracted during summer. Studies prove that projects take 13% more time and workplace productivity drops 20% throughout the summer. Whether you own the business, have employees or are the sole worker in your small business, productivity lags as the days get warmer. With one month left to combat the doldrums of summer, follow these 3 small business tips to Own Your Summer.
1. Unplug and go mobile
As a small business owner, we know it's hard for you to step away from your business, even for a day or two. Like most entrepreneurs, work and life are practically inseparable and this workaholic pandemic does not reside solely within small business ownership. At Google, only 31% of employees can fully break away from work; the other 37,164 employees have difficulties segmenting their work from life. Which, as every small business owner knows, can be detrimental to relationships, health and sanity. If a company with the resources of Google has difficulty with work/life balance, what can be expected of a small business owner with more investment and customers to lose by unplugging? We get it! Another article about the mythical work/life balance is the equivalent of looking at your friend’s crystal-clear, swim-with-the-dolphins, paradise image on Instagram: not entirely helpful helpful. Instead of unplugging, go mobile! Take your laptop outside without the ability to keep it charged; you will have a limited time to work so you can focus only on the essentials. The other work can wait until after your vacation or at another break in your day. If your computer battery lasts for 8 hours, then set a time limit and stick to it. Another tip is to go completely mobile. While constant connectivity is both a blessing and a curse, exercise discipline and remove push notifications for your work email to your cell phone. You can check emails when you have a moment, but the constant buzzing of incoming messages will be less of a distraction while out of the office. With the additional battery power, you're free to post your own picturesque vacation updates.
2. Plan for the Holidays
If summer is slow for you, take the extra time to plan for impending holiday traffic by developing your strategy no later than October. Use this time to update systems and put a strategy in place for marketing automation during your busy time. This could include the promotions you will use, the emails you will send and the coupons you will share with customers. By getting this promotional strategy and collateral in place during a slow period, you can focus on fulfillment and customer service later in the year. Additionally, it is during the summer when websites and publications research their holiday gift guides, and if you wait too long, you might miss the window of opportunity to get your products featured. Research various publications that your prospective customers read and reach out to the editors of those publications -- most emails can be found online or in the magazine -- with a short, concise pitch as to why your product should be included in this year’s list. For additional ideas on how to appropriately pitch your products, check out this guide from Launch Grow Joy. While it’s hard to focus on the future when you need sales right now, the work you put in today will help you enjoy the holidays later this year.
3. Focus on great content
Content is always a hard project to tackle, but whether you are a daily blogger or an occasional publisher, content is a necessary element of any business' marketing strategy. For the daily blogger, take advantage of your extra time in the summer to create a pipeline of posts. With this backlog available, you can focus on other projects later in the year when you have an uptick in business. Also, the extra posts will give you a buffer so you can take a few days off without incurring extra work before you leave. Even if daily blogging is not your forte, you can take this time to develop one or two really amazing, well-researched pieces of content. You don't have to create the next SnowFall, but consider something like interactive content, given its rise in popularity. One or two detailed pieces can attract the attention of news outlets, competitors and customers and even increase your traffic 150%. Spending the time to create content that does not directly tie to customers is a difficult justification of time. Small businesses and large companies alike have tried to crack the nut on monetizing content, but with that being said, it’s extremely important to dedicate time and resources to creating in depth pieces. Not only do they bring SEO value, the in depth pieces can help uncover problems in your market, new segments to promote and potentially new products you can create. The summer slump is real and in full force for some small business owners, but this downtime does not need to be a miserable time for you if you take advantage of the extra time to plan for the fall. If you're looking for resources to help you develop a marketing strategy or even just ways to close more sales, you'll find the Summer Academy portion of Infusionsoft's Own Your Summer campaign especially helpful. You can learn proven methods from Infusionsoft's executive team, Simon Sinek and Infusionsoft co-founder and lead generation expert, Scott Martineau.