I have a love/hate relationship with summer, as many business owning moms I chat with seem to. On the one hand, our loves are all home for the summer. Days are spent by the pool, you’re a regular at the park, playdates fill your calendar, because everyone is so stinkin’ happy to be able to get out of their houses (here in Chicago everyone is near bonkers by the time spring hits because cooped up kids are not fun). On the other hand, your business still requires as much attention as it did during the school year, when you didn’t have friends tempting you with fun plans constantly and kids complaining about being bored every .o2 seconds. Summertime should be fun, so here are three ways to increase summer sales without being stuck inside staring at your computer all day!
As I write this, it is currently 96 in Chicago. Which means it feels like 182 because the humidity is out of control. Summer has arrived, y’all!
While I don’t love leaving my house on days like this (my hair resembles Mufasa’s mane after about 3 seconds in the humidity), I love that summer makes everyone want to be out and about. Who wants to be stuck inside working when the sun is shining?!
While there are plenty of business related tasks you have to stay on top of during the summer that will have you sitting at your desk instead of driving ’round town with your windows open as you belt out NSYNC’s greatest hits, there are ways to take your summertime marketing strategy to the streets so you can enjoy the sunshine, and encourage others to do the same!
1. Network Like it’s Your Job (because it basically is)
One thing I absolutely love is walking around cute neighboring towns. I am in my element when I’m walking on cobblestone, an ice cream cone in my hand, shopping bags from local business owners hanging from my stroller.
Summer is made for exploring! Plan some outings with networking in mind.
Perhaps a new ice cream shop opened in your town this summer. Go introduce yourself to the owner! Write a blog post about it. Take some pictures. Talk with them about offering a special discount for your clients.
When you’re hitting up local shops, talk with the owners! Make it a point to say hello, to get to know them, to introduce yourself and what you do. So much of business is pounding the pavement and creating genuine connections. Plus, when you’re a solopreneur that spends most of her time working at home, chatting with other business owners can feel like a dream!
When you hear that a new business is opening, go peek in. If a local business is having a customer appreciation night, mark it on your calandar and go!
The fun thing about being a mom that is running a business is that there is a special kinship between you and other moms that are doing the same. Chances are, there are a bunch of work at home moms in your area, so seek them out! Post in local FB groups, ask around at the playground, and put together a playgroup where work from home/business owning moms can come together and support one another. Maybe you’ll become so close that you can take turns letting one mom leave so she can get some work done in a quiet house while her kids stay with the group. Wouldn’t that be grand?!
While you don’t want to be sleezy and meet people with the sole intention of boosting your business, networking is best when it’s intentional. Allow those relationships to grow, and be genuine in your want not only for your business to succeed, but for everyone’s business to succeed. If you network with that as your goal, intentionally placing yourself in a position to network with another business owner is nevery sleezy!
2. Increase Summer Sales with Outdoor Events
Who doesn’t love a summer BBQ?! Man, they’re my favorite.
While we’re on the topic, here’s my favorite summer party recipe. It’s always a hit and you should totally make it this summer. You literally just mix it all together, grab some tortilla chips, and it’s a party in your mouth.
- 16 oz Sour Cream
- 1 can corn, drained
- 1 can black beans, drained
- 1/2 packet of Hidden Vally Fiesta Ranch dip mix
Recently, one of my clients, Niki from Niki Jones Photography teamed up with a local doula company for a Mother’s Day picnic. It was a free event for families, where they provided light snacks and a portrait for those who attended. The doula company is striving to build a supportive, down to earth community for women in various points in their childbearing journey, and this event was a great way for them to connect with local moms while bringing them together to mingle! Niki took pictures of the families and they couldn’t have turned out any more adorable!
Are there a few business owners in your area that compliment your business? Think about how you could team up and promote one another by hosting an event this summer!
The great thing about BBQ’s and picnics is that they don’t have to be super expensive. A local forest preserve with some grills available for use is a free venue, as is a park with some picnic tables!
Teaming up with a local business owner is a great way to expand the reach of your event, and meet some people you may never have crossed paths with otherwise!
Similarly, hosting a customer appreciation event over the summer is a great way to mingle with your past clients and meet some potential new ones!
Same thing, find an outdoor space you could use, and plan a BBQ or picnic that you can invite your clients to to thank them for choosing to work with you! Encourage them to bring friends and family, and make it a fun few hours out. Plan some games for the kids, and put together branded goodie bags for the kids to take home with them (this doesn’t have to be expensive!). Bonus: families walking by will wonder what all the fun is about and you may meet some new clients that way, too!
The cornerstone of summer is having fun while getting your tan on (just don’t skip the sunscreen, kay?). Eating hot dogs and watermelon slices is a total cherry on top. Combine these things and you’ll increase summer sales in no time!
Sound like a fun idea, but feeling overwhelmed by the thought? Tell me what you do in the comments and I would love to help you get some ideas flowing for an event!
3. Summer-ize Your Branding
When I was a photographer, I would create special summertime care packages for my clients, and they were always a hit!
When we arrived at the session location I would give my clients a bag with a bottle of water with a branded logo in place of the regular brand wrap on it, would include goodies to snack on for the ride home, sunscreen, chapstick, a hair brush, coloring sheets and crayons for the kids, and a Starbucks gift card for the parents. I also inclued a sheet about ticks and how to check for them because those creepy buggers are no joke guys.
It was something I only did in the summer, and that small gesture often went a long way!
What can you do to summerize your branding a bit?
Perhaps you could go to a local ice cream parlor and buy a bunch of free scoop cards, so you can give those to your clients (if you buy a bunch the owner might even give you a discount on them!) to enjoy a free treat on you.
If you send them a product in the mail, include something summer-ish with it as a bonus. Maybe some cute hair ties, water balloons, or mini beach balls. You can get so creative with this, which is what makes it fun!
When you go above and beyond for your clients, they remember it, and want to tell all of their friends about their experiances.
The most important thing to remember is if all you do is meet expectations, you’re not giving anyone anything to talk about. People are most likely to tell people about you when you didn’t meet expectations, or exceeded them.
Bonus: Check That Summertime Schedule
If you want to increase summer sales, you need to put the work in. No slacking off because your kids are home and you just want to have fun and be on break with them.
Sure, you can shorten your working hours and shuffle things around. I totally do that; summer is the time I slim down my business and look at what I need to do and what I can let go so that I spend less time working and more time with my kids.
My oldest and I have enjoyed 12 summers together, which means we only have six left before she’s an adult. That is terrifying. Make the most of your days with your little ones, because before you know it they’ll be big ones!
Creating a schedule, and sticking to it, is SO important in the summer.
The more organized and intentional you are, the easier it will be to get your work done so you can go enjoy your family.
Want some tips for dominating summer break? Go check out my post on just that over at Vivid and Brave!
I know that summer can be hard. You’re trying to schedule so many things, if your kids are in sports that’s a whole job in itself, and God forbid your children are ever bored. The more fun you make your business over the summer, the more likely you are to increase summer sales! You’ve got this, pretty momma!
What is your biggest struggle when it comes to running your business during the summer months? Shout it out in the comments (and remember to ask if you want some ideas for hosting a par-tay!)
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