7 Ways to Avoid the Summertime Small Business Slump

Ah, summer — long days, warm temps and weekend getaways. While your customers are hitting the beach and soaking up the sun, you may be stuck inside, scrambling to fill a wide-open appointment book. If you’re not based in a beach town, it can be a challenge to reach customers when they’re away on vacation or to convince them to pass up time outdoors.

Try these tips to continue to drive regular foot traffic and avoid the summertime slowdown: 

1. Maintain a strong social presence: Continue to gather reviews on Facebook and Yelp so that seasonal visitors looking for services can find reliable recommendations without the word-of-mouth suggestions that they normally rely on.

2. Bring back former customers: Use an automated marketing tool to easily send out targeted promotions to clients, whether it’s a last-minute reduced rate for same-day appointments or custom specials based on client preferences.

3. Embrace text message marketing: SMS messaging is a great way to reach your clients while they’re out and about enjoying the season. 91% of consumers who opt in to receive SMS messages from a business see those messages as somewhat or very useful and 82% of consumers open every single SMS message they receive.

4. Offer online booking directly from review sites: Integrate online booking into websites like Facebook and Yelp to make it easier for visitors to make an appointment without having to click to another page.

5. Start summer specials and discounts: Offer summer-themed specials and promotions, for first-time and returning customers, designed specifically for summer months with special discounts to appeal to new seasonal visitors and/or regular summer clientele. 

6. Make mid-day appealing: Use automated email targeting to tap into customer data and send relevant emails to offer discounted services during the slowest times of the day, whether that’s lunchtime, evening, or weekends.

7. Partner with local businesses: Establish partnerships with nearby non-competing businesses to leverage one another’s customer base. Swap promotional materials and find ways to complement each other’s services in a way that appeals to consumers.

When autumn rolls around, examine which promotions were most successful and use these insights to develop a marketing plan for the following summer. Meet with your team to discuss what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve upon the previous year. 

Take control of your small business this summer and every season by listening to what your clients want, offering customized promotions and analyzing customer data.

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