Summer is notorious for being the slowest season of the year for businesses. Sales take a dip and employees become a little more restless during the warmer months. Even company websites and online businesses see a decrease in traffic at this time of year. A 2012 report by the web analytics firm SumAll stated that gross online sales often drop 30% between July and December.
Many factors can play a role in the seasonal slowdown. Summer has historically been America’s favorite time to travel. According to Tripadvisor.com, more than two-thirds of Americans planned to take a vacation last summer. Most kids are out of school for the summer months, which means more opportunities for families to take trips. Parents also have to find ways to entertain their children. So, they go to parks, lakes, or other outdoor locations instead of shopping or discovering new services to hire. It’s not just foot traffic or website visits that slow down during the summer. You also have to worry about productivity within your business.
In today’s day and age, everyone is connected at all times. We all carry a cellphone around that allows us to text, receive phone calls, and search through social media. A study from Captivate found that workplace productivity goes down 20% during the summer. People plan more activities, so they will get antsy throughout the workday. They can’t wait to get off and enjoy their activities outside of work. Many employees in the workforce report leaving work early to participate in these events and activities.
With all these statistics, it might seem like your business will stay slow in the summer. But that’s simply not true. Commit to making appropriate changes for the season slump before it hits! If you wait until the season is upon you, you will struggle to see growth and success. As a business owner, you can rarely afford to work in the present.
If you’re unsure about how to prepare for the summer, don’t stress. We’ve compiled a list of 4 things you can do right now to be ready.
Not all businesses face a summer slowdown. For example, landscaping and lawn care services are in full force throughout summer. They even bring on additional staff to fit their customers’ needs. While you probably won’t need to hire additional support for the summer, you should still evaluate your staffing. If your business sees a boom during the warmer months, do you need to hire additional employees? If you think your business will slow down, have you suspended or closed out job applications on LinkedIn or Indeed?
Regardless of what direction you need to go, make these decisions now. You will gain peace of mind for yourself and your current team. If business slows, employees will know their hours are secure. If the business gets busy in summer, they will be glad to know extra help is on the way if needed. If you wait until summer hits to make hiring decisions, you could be in trouble.
Take Care Of Maintenance, Remodels, And Renovations.
We’ve all heard how important spring-cleaning is for our homes, but it’s also necessary for your business. Too many businesses wait until the last possible minute to make necessary repairs or renovations. Imagine if your air conditioning went out during the middle of summer. Customers would no longer be comfortable shopping, and your employees would be struggling with the heat. It might even get so hot that you have to close your store or office while the air conditioner is repaired.
Having work done in the office during the heat of summer can be extra annoying to your team. Instead, take care of vital maintenance, renovations, and remodels when the weather is still mild and can be completed before the summer.
Figure Out Vacation Time Early.
The pandemic has made people want to get out of their homes more often. With fewer restrictions, people are going to take their vacations this year. If you wait until summer to figure out a vacation schedule for your business, you will be in trouble.
Encourage your team to put in their vacation requests ASAP. This way, you can approve or deny their requests as quickly as possible so they can make other arrangements if needed. Coordinating time off ensures you have sufficient staff in the workplace to take care of your essential tasks.
Plan For The Worst.
When was the last time you took time to look over your disaster plan for your business? You need to take some time to evaluate your disaster plan so you can educate your staff. They need to know what to do if a natural disaster strikes. Many of our clients in the South must have a disaster plan in place for hurricanes. Our clients in the West have a plan for forest fires or earthquakes. No matter where you reside, there’s probably a disaster you need to prepare for.
Additionally, you also need to prepare for tech disasters. They can be cataclysmic for your business. Hardware failures, like a fatal server malfunction, malware attacks, and phishing scams, can ruin years of work. Everyone on your team needs to be on the same page. They should know whom to call and what actions to take in a tech crisis.
Continue To Prepare For Future Seasonal Shifts.
By taking these necessary steps to prepare your business for the summer season, you can prevent the slowdown from taking its toll. If you’re not preparing for each seasonal shift before it arrives, you will fall behind your competition. However, if you prepare properly, you’ll have fewer worries. Knowing all the bases are covered, you’ll even enjoy the vacation you planned for yourself!