It’s easy to lose momentum over the summer. It’s hot and sticky, and it seems like everyone else – from your investors to your customers to your partners – is on vacation.
While most businesses dread the summer slowdown, it can be especially anxiety-inducing for young startups that fear running out of steam. The off-season doesn’t have to stress out your startup though – it’s a great opportunity to empty that to-do list and tackle projects you don’t have time for during the busy season.
Here are a few startup tips to help you get started taking advantage of the summer slowdown:
1. Tackle the things you’ve been avoiding all year.
Maybe they got left by the wayside because other things took priority, or because you simply didn’t have the time. Either way, now’s the time to take care of the things you’ve managed to avoid doing all winter. During the busy periods, keep a thumb drive or shared drive folder full of long-term or slow-season projects, so you already have a to-do list handy when the summer heat hits.
2. Read, research, learn.
Whether your startup is bootstrapped or on pretty solid ground financially, summer is a great time for professional development. With options ranging from books to webinars, podcasts to workshops, and classes to conferences, there’s no excuse for not increasing your knowledge this summer.
3. Update your website and social media profiles.
Take the time to revisit all your bios and descriptions. Are they up-to-date? Does your website reflect what your startup is doing currently? Make sure your online presence is accurate, current, and compelling. Freshen up the look by replacing old picture with new ones, or engage more people through a weekly blog post. A perfect project for a slow summer is making your website mobile- (and tablet-) friendly, if it’s not already.
4. Make summer work for you.
Different seasons lend themselves to different outreach strategies, and summer is no exception. Relate your Facebook posts, website updates, blog posts and marketing materials to summer to keep content relevant. If you designed an app, make an update available that gives it some summer flair, and customers will be impressed (or at least entertained). Better yet, host an event in the summer for potential investors or clients if you can – everyone wants to have fun in the sun.
5. Revisit your business plan.
Use this drowsy season as a chance to step back, take a deep breath, and reevaluate. What goals did you set? Are you making progress towards them? What worked and what didn’t over the winter? Learn from your mistakes, and set yourself up for success come fall.
6. Network, network, network.
Not only can this be a pleasant social activity on a personal level, but it also benefits your budding company. It’s a no-brainer. Take advantage of the increase in social and professional events that comes with the heat – never leave home without your card, prepare your elevator pitch, and get out there and meet people.
Come Labor Day, when everyone returns from their sandy beaches to the real world, you’ll want to hit the ground running. Take advantage of the opportunities the summer slowdown presents, and it’ll be a while before you break a sweat.
How do you take advantage of the lazy summer season? Share your suggestions in the “Comments” below.