A lot of solopreneurs and freelancers in the service business dread the summer as much as they dread the Christmas holiday period. The summer is when all the people that could be giving them business seem to have better things to do like vacations or taking their aunt Bertie and uncle Phil to see Niagara Falls or just two solid weeks of non-stop doing nothing at the cottage. It can be murder on your business.
I think the summer slump thing is not as chronic as it used to be when the economy was in better shape. I have always believed that when businesses do slow down a bit, at whatever time of year, the smart marketing people in client companies use the time to check out who is out there and what they have to offer in terms of services. Because if you’re smart, when you’re not doing, you’re researching or planning. The not so smart, just kind of fumble along no matter what and most of them won;t be in your target group anyway.
When I worked in the ad agency business, and we got slow, the Creative Directors and Groups Heads would arrange screening days when we would all gather in a meeting room and look at director reels from the various production companies. The writers would also listen to talent reels looking for new voices. The art directors would look at photographer and illustrator books.
In marketing, design, communications and branding, you have to stay current and always know who is out there with a new gizmo or service that you might have some use for. Smart people use that time to re-assess their brand positioning and maybe trim some of the fat from their supplier roster. You just never know. If they’re slow…they will read your emails, maybe even take your calls or go for coffee with you. Wouldn’t that be sweet?
Of course, that’s just the smart ones.
The moral of this story is that yeah, it might be slow in the summer, but it probably won’t be as slow as it used to be. Yeah, you’ll have some time on your hands, so maybe consider taking a vacation yourself. Yeah, there’s lots of things that you can work on that you don’t have time to do when you’re busy…so do that. Catch up on your blogging and giving your prospects a hard time on LinkedIn. Go for a walk or a bike ride. Sit around Starbucks with your laptop and look like you’re too busy to even enjoy a coffee.Talk to your kids…remember them.
The big plus is that you get to do all this when it’s warm and sunny out. As opposed to…well, you know.
Have a great summer. I’ll see you at Starbucks and we can play duelling banjos on our laptops.