When beach season’s here, it’s tempting to put work on the backburner. Funny though, since summer is actually a great season to focus on building your business. With more leisure time, you can start brainstorming and developing your business more. In my own experience, summer gives me the space I need to stretch my entrepreneurial muscles, looking how I can strategize and plan for my gymnastic workshops and social media consulting. To get your ideas flowing, here are 6 ways to improve your business over summer.
Put a day aside to reflect on your business. You can go outdoors with a sangria and your laptop--whatever gets you in the zone. Now think, what’s going well? What’s not? And overall, are you reaching your target market?
Then consider your current marketing strategies: Google adwords, social media, newsletters, affiliates, ect. Consider which of these strategies have shown success and which ones need more development or should be dropped entirely. In my experience as an entrepreneur, I’m personally not a fan of pay per click because it looks like spam-- but it may still work depending on your business.
2. Strategize and set goals
Now that you’ve identified your strengths and weaknesses in your business, you’ll spend the summer taking action. Let’s start with the weaknesses. Here are some common ones:
Poor website presence
Low social media engagement
High bounce rates from email marketing
Once you’ve identified the areas that need development, choose to improve one at a time. For instance, if you’ve got poor website presence, you need to focus on developing SEO, content quality, meta tags, keywords and the blog. Or maybe your price points are too high at this stage.
Most commonly, I’ve seen the issue of poor conversions from affiliate marketing. In this case, you’ll need to re-plan every angle of your business strategy. Maybe their followers don’t match your target market. Maybe it’s better to get featured on Instagram, not Youtube. There’s always a solution so make new plans.
Now let’s talk about your strengths. Fortunately, this is the easy part. You need to continue those patterns; so if your blog is hot, write even more stuff, or if you’ve got a best seller, feature it more. Got it?
3. Make your mark
How strong is your brand presence? Does your business feel lost on the internet? The summer is a great opportunity to start making your online mark. Here are some places you should feature your business:
4. Partner up
Have you got business connections? Spend the summer making more. It’s a great way to promote your business, while staying on budget because you can make agreements that are mutually helpful. For example, if you’re selling vegan makeup, you might partner up with a vegan candle website of similar standing so you can put an ad promoting each other's websites for free. So go ahead and begin reaching out to non-competitors in a similar market.
Then there’s affiliate marketing. It only works if you chose a person who’s perfectly matched to your brand goals. Otherwise, it’ll be a waste of money. Take this scenario: you partner up with a twenty-something, jetsetting girl to endorse organic tea on Instagram. It didn’t lead to sales. Why? Maybe your buyers are mostly forty-something, middle class women and you've completely missed your target. Instead, you should be partnering up with a mom blog or arranged for a sponsored post featuring your product.
Make sure you team up with the right partners for your business.
Now you can consider who you’ll hire over the summer. While keeping budget in mind, start thinking about which types of partners and experts can help your business improve. Below, I’ve jotted down examples of talent you may need:
6. Start a new campaign
Once you’ve hired your talent and created a business plan, you can begin a new marketing campaign. When it’s launched, spend the summer monitoring its progress carefully. Whenever I’ve started a new campaign, be it on Instagram or Facebook, I track the engagement and conversions to measure if it’s working.
Not all campaigns will be a success. Sometimes, we need to go back and revisit step 1 (reflection): what worked, what didn’t and why? Any time you go back to the drawing board, you’ll be smoothing out the kinks in your business in order to grow. At first, it’ll feel like experimenting, but eventually, you’ll find your rhythm. That’s why the summer offers a valuable opportunity to develop your skills as an entrepreneur. Good luck, friends!