Right, so hands up who is already feeling frazzled and frustrated during the summer holidays? Juggling the kids and a thriving business can be exhausting! Even if you don’t have children, the summer period can feel like an uphill struggle with so many potential and existing clients ‘offline’. Chasing those leads is taking forever; your favourite client has gone AWOL; your IT guy is on holiday JUST as your website has a moment…
But all is not lost – it is JUST 6 weeks after all (please don’t all pelt me with leftover Pimms fruit….)..
If, like me, you are feeling a bit ‘meh’ and you need a pick me up, here are some tips for how to make the most of, and more importantly survive, the summer holidays.
1.) Take care of yourself – we are over half way into the year and it is likely you are, like many online business owners, feeling a bit burned out, so it is important not to overdo it. Eating nutritious food (regularly – no skipping meals!) and making sure that you have time to wind down in the evening to help aid restful sleep can help you to feel better on a day-to-day basis. Also having time to not be IN the business, but to focus on doing some of the things you don’t usually have time to do is like chicken soup for the soul, and should give you the re-energising boost you need to face the new challenges ahead. The hardest part is acknowledging that you need a break and accepting that taking a few hours to recover is permitted (and doesn’t mean you are slacking off!!!!) – you are not a superhero, so please cut out the ‘Mr/Mrs Invincible’ act and get on that sunbed/into that spa/out shopping* (*delete as applicable)!
2.) Spend time planning – even if you are still busy at work, scheduling in time for a business review is an important thing to do. What has worked iso far in 2018? What isn’t working so well? How far are you off meeting your goals? And, how can you ensure the last part of the year is jam packed full of success? Schools going back is the perfect time to set yourself realistic and attainable – yet still challenging – goals, and formulate a route map of how to achieve them. More networking? Check. Regular social media posts? Check. World domination. Double check. So, what’s on your list?
3.) Get your finances in order – whack on some summer tunes (Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince anyone?) and make sure your business expenses, finances and receipts are up to date. A quiet spell is a great time to review your business outgoings. Are you paying for software that you no longer use? Are there smarter apps you could be using? Could you make use of the end of summer sales to purchase some software, hardware or office equipment that you will need going forward? Now is the perfect time to browse the online retailers for the best deals whilst you’ve got a spare few hours.
4.) Touch base with your customers – Feeling bored with nothing to do? Why not drop your existing clients a note to ask how their summer is going? Or reaching out to your potential connections to check in? Many businesses are ramping up for the last few months of the year, so touching base at this time can be be a handy follow up and reminder that prompts them to reach out about a task they could do with some assistance with, whether now or in the near future. Either way, quiet times are a great way to review your pipeline and get back in touch with your network.
5) Write like a VA possessed! – If you are trying to reach out to potential customers in your local area through Social Media or blogging (whether guest blogging or via on-page optimisation of blogs on your own website), to do this effectively, you need content! So why not spend a few days creating some ‘evergreen’ content (posts and blogs that can be published at any time of the year and are not aged by seasonal references or specific events) so that you’ve got a catalogue of posts to use when inspiration or time is lacking later in the year?
Hopefully even taking five to read this blog has made you feel better…if so, then I’ve done my good deed for the day.
If your summer is a little slower than usual, please know you aren’t alone (many other are experiencing the same), the summer is short and these days will pass. Don’t get too bogged down is worrying about ‘now’ – invest your time and thought into preparing for nailing your goals in the last few months of the year with vigour, enthusiasm and momentum.
So make the most of logging off early, sipping Sancerre in the sunshine and having some crucial thinking and planning time for your venture.