Kids are everywhere. Customers are nowhere.
What’s a business owner to do to keep making ends meet over the summer and please the family at the same time?
Planning for these summer slumps and using them to your advantage can change the way your business –and family—runs over the summer.
Here are some ideas:
1. Contact local churches and Christian radio stations. Find out about upcoming summer events that are of interest to your family. Consider sponsoring several of them or offering free food, products or services in exchange for setting up a table at the event or passing out business fliers. Your kids will enjoy helping out, too.
2. Get your kids involved in what you do. From the youngest to the oldest, there is usually some kind of job that each child can do to help. My 3 year old can even help me put stamps on my envelopes! Motivate them in several ways: “Mommy will be done for the day a lot faster if you help and then we can do something fun!” or you can always pay them for their time or reward them in other ways. Older kids can do more chores around the house and yard in exchange for fun day trips to the movies, water parks, etc.
3. Hold a contest for your clients and a contest for your kids.
For the clients: Come up with some kind of contest for past and present clients. Maybe send out a newsletter with a trivia question on it and the first 5 clients to respond receive starbucks cards. You could also hold a referral contest and offer a more expensive prize for the winner. Send out a mailer that asks for referrals. For each referral that becomes a client, the referrer will get 1 entry. A high dollar prize will get you a lot of numbers!
For the kids: while running your client contest, get your kids in on the action, too. The kids’ contest could be about chores, athletics, etc. On the day you pick your winning client, pick a winning child, too. Take that child on a special “ice cream date” and have them help you deliver the client prize.
4. Make sure to thank all of your clients! Consider hosting a barbecue and giving away door prizes. A simple hand-written thank you note always works, too, especially with tight budgets. A thank you card goes a long way and helps get your clients thinking about you and your business again.
5. During the really slow times, take advantage of the quiet! Work on taxes and marketing. I have made the mistake many times of waiting until the last minute to do taxes when business is always really busy during that time of year. Get caught up on paperwork and bookkeeping and take time to develop your fall marketing plan and budget. Then you don’t have to worry about it during the busier times of the year.
6. Create your client wish list. I’ve used this idea a few times in the past, but if you haven’t done so already, do some research and make a list of the clients you wish you had. Create “gifts” of some sort with your business info, samples and/or coupons and deliver them to your dream clients. Have the kids help deliver the gifts and make sure to follow up with these potential clients in a few weeks.
Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail;
take good counsel and watch them succeed. Proverbs 15:22
Until next time…
Copyright © MariLee Parrish, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved
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