Every business looks different during the summer. While it’s common for many to slow down at this time of year, others get busier. Either way, it can be a tricky season to get through, which is why preparing for seasonality in business is vital!
There is something about the warm weather that has a ripple effect. You may experience an actual drop in business due to seasonal supply and demand shifts. On the other hand, this slowdown may be more perception than reality, as employees struggle with productivity and you juggle staffing and vacations.
It largely depends on your industry and location. Winter sports shops that slow down in the summer may focus on selling outdoor and camping supplies. Meanwhile, landscapers, summer camps, golf courses, wedding venues, and tourism businesses are at their busiest.
Regardless of where your business falls, there are many ways to compensate for these seasonal effects. Check out these actionable strategies to plan for a successful Q4, thrive through the summer slowdown, and prevent your lead generation from drying up.
We mentioned it above, and you already understand that the season affects every company differently—there’s seasonality in sales and in operations/productivity. Whether yours is slow or booming during the summer, this time of year presents unique business challenges.
If you’re experiencing decreased sales, your primary concern is managing lead generation and cash flow. Understanding your seasonality in business is crucial. You might’ve seen significant profits during peak season, but poor cash flow management can get your company in hot water. Effective marketing campaigns and sales strategies coupled with proper finance management are vital.
Most businesses will also see a summertime slump in employee productivity. The hot, sunny weather can affect motivation, as many employees daydream about being outside and going on vacation. Research by Grasshopper Group found that 25% of office workers feel their productivity drops during the summer, and 63% cut out early.
They also found that indoor and outdoor temperatures play a role in productivity. In fact, productivity decreases when the office temperature rises above 73 or below 68 degrees. And 46% thought the office was too hot or cold, causing dissatisfaction and discord.
And as employees take summer vacations, you have less help throughout the season. You want to give everyone their hard-earned time off, but staffing becomes complicated. Ensuring you have coverage and your team is cared for is a balancing act.
Wondering how to deal with seasonality in your business? This slump is the perfect time to implement new sales-boosting strategies and plan your fourth-quarter strategy well in advance.
Draw customers in with unbeatable offers. Consider what older products you want to clear out with a killer deal or hold a summer sale event. Or, create seasonal offers that speak to what your customers want and need now. You can plan attention-grabbing specials by remembering upcoming holidays and occasions, from the Fourth of July to National Ice Cream Day to back-to-school promos.
Perhaps deep sales aren’t in the budget right now, as you can’t afford to cut your business’s profits. Instead, brainstorm how to add more value to your products and services. Is there an easy add-on that doesn’t cost you much time or money but would elevate the customer experience? For example, a tech company with a subscription-based app might offer a free month for those who sign up in August or refer someone to their service.
Lean into that seasonality in business! Even if they’re on vacation, your customers probably check their emails and stay active on social media. So focus on these channels with timely, eye-catching email and social media campaigns. You can even use geotargeting in your social ads to show customers the most relevant offers based on where they are and when.
Create a social media giveaway to generate hype and engagement during your slower sales season. It’s a great way to continue growing your social media following, build relationships, and collect user-generated content. For example, a pet supply retailer might invite people to share cute photos of them and their pets doing their favorite summer activity. Or a nutrition and fitness business might ask clients how they stick to healthy meals while traveling.
Now is a great time to assess your budget and whether you’re on track to hit your revenue target. Are there expenses you can reduce or eliminate? Vendors to reconsider? Products or services that aren’t meeting goals? You may even need to adjust your sales goals or overall budget.
Take advantage of this downtime by planning and creating all your Q4 content in advance. This also gives you plenty of time to put contingencies in place, like what you’ll do if these sales go better than expected. Consider if you’ll restock products or extend services.
Many B2B leads spend Q4 researching services and products for Q1. How can you engage them in a timely manner and give them exactly what they’re looking for? What can you offer as a lead magnet? It should be educational and valuable, like a free guide or ebook that helps prospects make a buying decision—ideally, one that leads back to your business. So always end these with a call to action directing them to your solution.
When was the last time you did a data cleanse? Take advantage of your team’s availability by refreshing your CRM and contact list. That means removing duplicates, correcting formatting errors, and filling in missing information. This process should also include updating data, such as demographics, social media handles, and email addresses. Data cleansing can help boost your efficiency and productivity while driving effective sales and marketing.
The summer slowdown is also the perfect opportunity to perform existing client outreach, starting with your best clients. Which clients make up the top 20% of your business? Call them now! You could both upsell and ask for referrals. Next, contact your hottest leads, including those who:
Get face time with your potential and existing customers by hosting live events. These could be in-person or virtual, from product demos to free webinars and courses. Hosting educational and value-building events will strengthen your trust and authority with your target audience, allowing them to experience your brand and products/services first-hand. They’ll get to know your brand now, so even if they don’t buy immediately, you can warm them up for future purchases.
These are all powerful business growth strategies for overcoming seasonality in business and preparing for Q4. However, executing them can be difficult when so many employees are out of the office—especially if your company is busy in the summertime. If that sounds familiar, it’s time to outsource!
Hiring a call center can help ease the pain of the summertime slump and set you up for a successful Q4. Whether your employees are on vacation or your team is overwhelmed and busy, your call center can pick up essential tasks, such as sales support, customer service, and lead generation.
Outsourcing sales and customer service to a call center benefits your business by:
This allows your team to focus on nurturing customers further down the funnel, business growth strategies, and fourth-quarter prep.
Managing seasonality in business, particularly the summertime slump, can be challenging regardless of how it impacts you. Between balancing a high volume of business, keeping clients happy, and ensuring staff don’t get overworked, a summer rush can be chaotic. Meanwhile, finding new opportunities and motivating your team when business is slow and the weather is warm offers unique difficulties.
Instead of giving in to this stress and pressure, take this opportunity for growth and planning. Collaborate with your team to find creative ways to boost sales now and plan for a solid fourth quarter. After all, many customers make important buying decisions at the end of the year. Consistent, effective, and timely marketing and sales strategies will ensure you’re top-of-mind when it comes time for them to pull the trigger.
Handling this internally with an already light and/or overwhelmed team is daunting. But partnering with an outsourced call center is an excellent way for any business to ease the burden on their team, save money and time, step up their business, and prepare for a stellar rest of the year!
Learn more about Chameleon’s comprehensive call center services and how we can lighten your load during the summer or any time of year.
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