Summer's just starting and some people are already singing the ain't got no business blues. But if you work it right, summer can be a wonderful time to get new business, make new contacts, and set some goals for the fall. Here's some ideas for kicking the summertime blues and making the most of the warm months ahead.
1. First things first. Take some time off! It may seem counter intuitive, but taking some down time is crucial to the health of your business. A change of scenery, new experiences, and a chance to slow down and really relax will help you to recharge the little gray cells and increase your creativity.
Be sure to keep a little notebook (I use Moleskin journals in bright colors) or voice recorder (I use the Recorder app on my iPhone) handy to keep track of those smashing ideas that will come up during your down time.
2. Do some training. Summer is the perfect time to take a class and learn a new skill or master a software program that will help your business grow. Check out the offerings at your local community college or university, subscribe to an online training site or take a teleclass. Some ideas -- if you want to learn some new software, check out the online tutorials at Lynda.com. If you want to expand your entrepreneurial mind, consider a teleclass with Barbara Winter of Joyfully Jobless on brainstorming or outsmarting resistance.
3. Network everywhere! Just because you are on vacation doesn't mean you can't network. Stay open to connecting with people no matter where you are and always be sure you have your business cards and info with you to exchange with your new friends.
4. Set some goals. Summertime is perfect for creating or rethinking your business goals. Use this time to write down your goals for the rest of the year or check the progress of the goals you've set and tweak them a bit.
5. Host a fun summertime sales event! Do something fun for your customers to increase business -- if you have a retail store throw a customer appreciation party and invite your customers to come and bring a guest. If you have an online business, you can run a contest or offer a free teleclass.
Finally, be bold this summer and break out of your comfort zone. Your bottom line will thank you for it!