Service-oriented enterprises may find business to be slower than usual during the summer, when many customers go on vacation. What should you do with the downtime? How do you cope with the unsteady cash flow?
Here are a few tips for what to do while your clients are on holiday:
- Take a vacation, too. As an entrepreneur, it can be tough to get away from work completely. The best time to take a break is when your clients will miss you the least. Before you head off, take stock of your current projects and delegate any tasks that need to be handled in your absence. Once you’ve finalized a plan, tell clients that you’ll be away and that you won’t be starting any new projects until you return. (Of course, you’ll want to bring a smartphone or laptop with you, just in case.) For more tips on taking time off, check out ISBB’s “Small-Business Owner’s Guide to Taking a Vacation” infographic.
- Look ahead. When you’re not consumed by customer demands, it’s easier to focus on strategies that will further your business goals. Conduct market research to see what’s new and exciting in your industry, and start plotting or revising your business’s long-term objectives. Consider writing a detailed business plan to help you follow through with your agenda.
- Look inward. Use downtime to focus on internal projects you’ve been meaning to work on for months, such as creating blog content or presentation materials, redecorating your shop, or writing a job listing for your next hire. If you’re seeking new clients, you could also use spare time to put together new marketing collateral and identify the best people to target.
- Focus on your bottom line. If your cash flow is unsteady during the summer, look carefully at your budget and analyze where your profits and expenses come from. Consider whether cloud-based services could replace more expensive equipment, and re-examine your vendor relationships to see whether better deals are available. Making sure that your business is spending wisely will help you prepare for ebbs and flows.