Best. Summer. Ever. (For your business.)

at the seaside

As of last week, it’s official: Summer is here. But before you kick off your loafers/heels/footwear of choice and hit the great outdoors, spare a thought for your business.

All those people taking vacation days, ducking out of work an hour early to hit the beach, or even just feeling tuckered out by the heat can slow down business. Everyone’s business. Including yours.

But fear not. There are plenty of ways you can make the most of summer (and still have some time for yourself to kick back and enjoy the warm weather). Here are some of our favorites:

1. Step up your email game

Chances are, you send out some pretty standard order confirmation and follow up marketing emails. You might even send some sales/offer emails to entice former buyers into becoming repeat customers. That’s great — keep doing that!

But while you’re at it, consider switching up the content in your email campaigns. Try A/B testing different types of subject lines, or spice things up with a new design for your email templates. One idea we like: feature a positive testimonial from a happy customer — this is sure to influence others to buy.

Lastly, take a look at Really Good Emails. Put together by the kind folks at MailChimp, who handle more email than just about anybody, it highlights the best design and copy in the email world. Take a look and get inspired to improve your own!

2. Fine tune your site for performance

Once traffic starts to pick up again, you want to make sure your site is at it’s best. That’s why now is the time to get around fixing those broken links, slow-loading pages, or outdated images on your site. (We know you’ve been meaning to get around to fixing them. We all have.)

During the busiest times of the year, you’re going to want to be focusing on closing sales — not tweaking your site. Plus, broken links & slow-loading pages can deter people from using your site, harming your business. So get this out of the way now!

3. Taxes. Yes, now.

Piggy bank with sunglasses on the beach
Piggy bank with sunglasses on the beach

You know when your tax advisor is busiest? In the months and weeks (and, gulp, days) leading up to tax day.

You know when they’re least busy? Right now. It’s true. In fact, your advisor is probably sitting around at this very instant, reading an article on how to improve their business during the slow summer months.

So give ’em a call. This is the most time they’re going to have to spend with a given client, so it might as well be you. Find out how you need to spend and structure to be in the most beneficial position come March.

4. Get customer reviews and testimonials

This is one of those areas that people are always saying they’ll “get around to it later.” After all, there are so many important things that need seeing to during the busiest parts of the year: sales and customer service and inventory and shipping and…well, it just seems like there’s no time to get those customer reviews and testimonials.

Well guess what? Customer reviews are super important for your business. 61% of consumers say they read reviews before making purchases online. This means if your reviews are pretty sparse or even nonexistent, you could be missing out on over half of your potential shoppers.

The good news is, customer reviews aren’t that hard to get. If you’re using a platform like Shopify, there are plenty of apps out there that will help you collect them. But since it’s the dog days of summer, why not send a personalized email to your biggest and best customers. It may be exactly what they need to write a glowing review.

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5. Test out new promotions and campaigns

Internet banner concept

Take advantage of the quieter days and test out new ad campaigns, different email copy, and special offers. Run A/B tests to try out different discounts and see what resonates most with your customers, or try moving around your ad spend to different channels and see what gets the best response.

Some tests may perform well and others may flop, but running these tests now will give you insight into what your customers want and is likely to pay off once your peak season rolls around.

Pro Tip: Before running these tests, make sure you have the proper analytics in place so you can track every single offer and how it performs. This will help guide you when it comes time to decide which promotions to run during your peak times of the year. Check out some of these tips.

Conclusion

Summer is a slow time for many businesses, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be well spent. Smart entrepreneurs can use this time to get ahead of the competition by prepping their business to outperform in the busy Fall and Winter months. So, even if you take a couple weeks off to hit the lake or beach, don’t write off summer for your business. Remember, this is just the calm before the storm.