Summer can be a challenging time for businesses. Reduced productivity from individuals going on vacations or taking time off can lead to slow sales. This common phenomenon is a subject we’ve covered before on the Sandler Blog, with tips on how to combat the slow season.
Identified below are three key pieces of advice that can get you organized and focused through the summer. These perspectives are universally applicable to turning a challenging season into successful opportunities, and can even be relevant for situations outside of the workplace as well.
1. Plan ahead
You’ve probably heard of the saying, “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” This can be incorporated into your strategy for dealing with seasonal effects. Plan ahead now before the start of summer to optimize and organize your resources, so you can effectively take on any potential obstacles. Proper planning includes incorporating flexibility into your thought process, and consistently thinking a few steps ahead. To get a better idea about what “the people,” want, reach out to your clients and dig into what they find attractive about your product or service. This can help ensure your supply chain is prepared to adjust with demand-side shocks. It pays to plan ahead and it’ll save you headaches along the way.
2. Control your “controllables”
Understand what you can and can’t control. You may have heard that acceptance is the last and essential stage of overcoming grief. The same can be said for overcoming the sporadic highs and lows of summer. Acceptance is essential to navigating the potential mental barriers to your flow and productivity. However, acceptance alone, is not the solution to any low moments. Being able to recognize when you are experiencing a trough, allows you to more quickly devise strategies to withstand summer sales slumps (this practice can apply to the good times, too). Recording which tasks or responsibilities you have an immediate effect on, allows you to compartmentalize what you can and can’t control. This helps ground your expectations and lets you plan accordingly.
3. Do the math!
If you’ve planned ahead, controlled your controllables, and things still aren’t going well, it may be time to do some math. The answers to your problem aren’t always intuitive, and you may have to break them down quantitatively. For example, if sales are low, your first thought may not be to raise prices, even though this move does aim to bring your revenue up.
By taking a deep dive into the numbers, you can identify what factors that are affecting performance and determine how to correct them. This in-depth research will provide data to support your decisions. Arming yourself with this data will help communicating with your superiors and colleagues much easier as you can back up your claims.
Summer can be the predecessor of both great times and potentially slow business. By engaging in proper planning, controlling your controllables, and performing in-depth analysis, you will be prepared to mitigate the summer slowdown and come out on top.