For many small businesses owners and entrepreneurs, summer is the busiest time of the year, especially if you’re in the wedding, construction or tourism industries. Add in summer events and managing vacation schedules and you could quickly become overwhelmed by lists of have-to-dos and need-to-dos.
Fortunately, there are a host of productivity tools to help streamline your efforts and add a bit more time back to your day. You can use those added moments to grow your business but don’t think it has to be all work and no play.
Below are five enjoyable things you can do with your extra time that have the potential to help your business grow this summer.
1. Read a business book
While beach reads are typically viewed as light and fluffy, I encourage SMB owners to take a different approach and fill beach bags with business books that can help boost your bottom line. Melinda Emerson, better known as the Small Biz Lady, has a few great suggestions depending on your interests. For DIY Marketing, try Jacky Fitt’s How to Get Inside Someone’s Mind and Stay There. If it’s social media you want to tackle this summer, pick up Melinda’s book How to Become a Social Media Ninja: 101 Ways to Dominate Your Competition Online.
2. Learn a new skill
Continuing your business education doesn’t have to mean heading back to the classroom. There are lots of best practices that can be learned in a single day and still have a major impact on your business. Microsoft Stores are a great resource force advice on the latest technology. Most local stores even offer free business consultations. If you have children, they can tag along to enroll in YouthSpark Summer Camps where they’ll learn everything from gaming to coding.
3. Give back
Summer is a great time to become a mentor or hire an intern thanks to the sudden availability of hundreds of local high school and college students. Consider partnering with a school or university to help students learn firsthand the basics of entrepreneurship. It’s likely that by helping out a student, you’ll learn something in return be it a new social media tool or an upcoming event you could be a part of.
4. Try out a new product offering
Traffic on Main Street – where many of the world’s small businesses are located – tends to pick up in the summer as more people are on foot and accessible. If you own a restaurant, add a new summer salad or beverage to the menu. If you work in the B2B space, consider hosting an event such as a BBQ or picnic to get customers closer to your brand.
5. Start a blog
A blog may seem like extra work but it can actually be an efficient way to increase your audience. Sharing great content is a proven way to build your email list and develop new leads as well as help sharpen your brand identity. So much of what’s shared on social media these days is visual, so even if you’re not a writer, you can still create valuable content. Small businesses can also benefit from personalized storytelling, so don’t be afraid to share photos of pets and family vacations to help customers see you as more than just a product or service. Maryland-based Citizen Frederick is a shining example of the power of social engagement, as the business has effectively created a strong sense of community and connection with customers through its channels.