For many small businesses, the summer is a slow season. Employees are taking time off, and with the drop in attendance it can be tempting to just kind of coast through the season. This year, use the down time to increase your startup growth in ways you may not have time for during your busier seasons.
Here are three ways to grow your business this summer:
Hosting a social media contest is a great way to build your followers and, additionally, a great way to get to know your customers. Don’t be afraid to get creative! You could have your customers submit photos of themselves with their favorite product of yours, you could have them caption a comic, or write humorous haikus. The point is to combine an element of your business along with the creativity of your customers.
The more appealing the task and prize, the bigger following you’ll get! The prize you offer to the winner could be anything from one of your top products/services to an Apple iPad. Be sure to blast the contest on all social outlets and remind your audience every now and then when the deadline is approaching. Just remember: keep it fun, get the word out there, and show off the winner.
If the summer is a slow season for you, take advantage of the time by having your sales team go through some additional training. According to business mentor and Forbes writer Siimon Reynolds,
“How much time should you spend on sales? Well if you’re running a new business you should devote at least 80 % of your day to it. If you’re an established business you should spend at least 30% of your day on the sales process or connecting with customers.”
Every small business owner knows that sales are the primary driving force of a business. And yet, in the chaos of running a business, proper sales training can often fall by the wayside. Whether you choose to bring in an expert or talk to your sales team yourself in a more casual setting, take the opportunity to brush up everyone’s sales skills.
Some important points to hit: how to come off as genuine people and not salesmen/women, how to create reoccurring customers by creating lasting relationships, and how to close with a customer who’s on the fence.
Depending on the type of product or service you provide, your local farmers market can be a great place to introduce your business to the community. Another viable option is taking out an ad in the local paper.
Even if your business isn’t dependent upon local foot traffic, building a community fan base is a valid strategy. Offering a local discount may be in your business’s best interest, especially in the beginning when you’re just trying to get your brand name out there.
Customers get a sense of pride from giving their business to locally owned shops- capitalize on that where you can.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com. MyCorporation is a leader in online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, providing start-up bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent, DBA, and trademark & copyright filing services.
MyCorporation does all the work, making the business formation and maintenance quick and painless, so business owners can focus on what they do best. Follow her on Google+ and on Twitter @mycorporation.