Summertime, and the livin’ is easy… So goes the old song from “Ragtime” and it’s true if you’re on vacation down on the beach, spending the evening grilling, or playing mini-golf with your kids. However, the lyrics aren’t so true when you’re a small business owner and business slows down and even screeches to a grinding halt in the summer.

What can you do to ensure that your business survives each summer?

Dial (and Email) for Dollars

As a small business owner, you know that you and your sales team need to talk to your contacts, be it through emails or on the phone — or, more commonly, both. Robert Rains, Co-Founder and Chief Engineer of Wicked Easy I.T. uses the winter and spring to make those contacts to generate summer business. “I step up my sales activities to acquire more clients before the ‘summer vacation slowdown’,” says Rains. “I also offer discounts on project work during July and August.”

Who should you reach out to with your emails and calls? First, do not just start by buying a list and cold calling people. Just don’t. By doing that, you’re going to aggravate people and they’ll take their business elsewhere. That’s not what you want. 

Instead, use marketing automation to identify the leads who have already made contact with you and have visited your website.  For example, send a promo email to warm leads who have recently downloaded a resource from your website.  And start a call campaign to hot prospects who have visited key product pages on your website and have a higher propensity to buy.

You can also look for potential customers in your customer relationship management (CRM) system who are part of your lead nurturing efforts.  Incorporate a summer promo email into your nurture campaign as the 7th or 8th touch in the campaign, as it typically takes about 7 to 8 touches for someone to take action and make a purchase.

Staying in touch with your warm leads will help keep your business top of mind – and sales coming in the door.

Let the Past Repeat Itself

Now that you’re dialing, smiling, and emailing those warm leads in your database, it’s time to dig into your CRM for more prospects. Look back at past customers and and see who has used your services/purchased your products in the summer months of the past years. Segment those specific customers into an email list and have your marketing team create copy for an email campaign that will first remind them of your expertise and then showcase your products and services with a summer promotional price. 

Next, you can look for cross-sell and upsell opportunities.  Create a nurturing campaign for past customers that highlights compatible products and services they might be interested in.  You’ve worked hard to win those past customers, so increase customer lifetime value and squeeze more ROI from your marketing efforts with those repeat sales.


Plant Lead Gen Seeds for Future Harvest

How do you get those potential customers into your CRM to become part of your summertime lead nurturing efforts? It’s all about the lead generation. You should continually be invested in creating thought leadership to establish yourself and your business in the field; being an exhibitor at industry events; and developing social media posts that link to a landing page with a form to collect contact information, which can even be just an email address. 

When generating leads for your business, remember that the focus shouldn’t be on you and your business, but on your target audience and their obstacles.  All of this work leads to generating new leads for your company that you can then nurture.

Make Me a Match…

In order to keep your company going and bring new business in, you need to constantly meet new people. One of the best ways to do this is through local networking events, especially ones that are business-to-business focused. Not sure where to start? Check out Meetup’s B2B Networking listings and find one that’s local to you. These events are a fantastic way to talk up your business; find people who may be looking for a business just like yours or know someone who is and will serve as a business matchmaker for you; and to also get acquainted with other small business owners.

Joining a local B2B networking group can also be quite fruitful for small business owners, as group members prefer to recommend/refer the businesses of other group members to their family and friends to keep the group thriving. Some groups even offer a member the ability to take up 10 minutes of a weekly hour-long meeting to talk up their products or services in a promotional presentation to the other members to further the recommendations.

By following these tips, you’ll be living the “easy” life come summer and beyond.