So here we are – after a blazing June, this really is the Summer. Peak Season for some businesses….but a rather frustrating period for many others. As a small business owner, maintaining any kind of continuity can be challenging as you deal with the fact that, with holidays in full swing, both your staff (even if that’s only you!) and customers simply aren’t around as much. And those that are may well be focusing their minds and money more on enjoying the fleeting opportunity to get out and do the kinds of things we mostly don’t get the chance to do here in the UK for the other ten months of the year than on whatever it is your business does for them.
It’s not just your customers that are on holiday, but your business contacts and suppliers too. Business networking events and training opportunities also tend to thin out over the summer. Frankly, unless you are in the business of selling summer (or something very weather dependent) almost everything that involves other people slows down to snail’s pace…and that can include your business progress.
So, as a small business owner, how do you keep your business flowing and productive during these summer months?
The most obvious first step is to get ahead on things that can be done in advance: if you write regular blogs or other social media content for example, get writing and have some content stock-piled to take you through the first part of the Autumn.
Then think about things that you do relatively infrequently: perhaps annually or quarterly, and make a point of getting these things done over the summer. If you’re a limited company, could you use the summer to get your financial paperwork in order ready to do your annual company accounts perhaps?
But one of the most useful ways you can turn any summer lull to your advantage, is to use it to spend some time on your business rather than in it for a change.
With a clearer diary, taking a day out to spend it reflecting on what is going well and what needs some attention can help you re-focus and set yourself some clear new objectives to achieve in the second half of the year. So that rather than just bumping along until you do your annual end-of-year goal setting for next year, you arrive at that point in great shape. It’s an opportunity to really look at what you’re doing and how you’re doing it, to work out what you want to change and what improvements you need to make, and to think about what you can do differently over the next six months to ensure you’re really enjoying your life as a small business owner.
With that in mind, I offer you ten though-provoking coaching questions for small business owners to help you think about and progress your business this summer: perfect for taking to a sunny corner somewhere with a lovely notebook, a couple of Sharpies, and a glass of something cold!
What do you want your business to be famous for?
What is your business like when it is at its very best?
What’s the most important thing to you about what you do?
What does your business do really well?
What are you dissatisfied with at the moment?
If you could go back to January and give yourself some business advice, what would it be?
How do your customers and your competitors see your business?
How satisfied are you with the progress of your business, on a scale of 1-10? What would you need to do to make that a ten?
Imagine reaching Christmas and feeling really happy and excited by what you’ve achieved: what will you be looking back on that has created that sense of achievement?
What three words sum up how you want to be as a business owner over the next six months?
I hope some of these help you make the most of the summer period to start driving progress and growth in your small business over the next few months. If you’d like some more tailored coaching support and challenge to develop your business, I have space to take on new business coaching clients from September, as well as a few spots remaining in my autumn term Bird Table™ Business Development Groups in North West Leicestershire.
I’ll also be running a special workshop for women business owners in conjunction with LoveLBG in August, to help you develop a simple, effective business plan for your business – you can book your place by clicking here.
I’d love to hear from you. But most of all, I’d love to work with you to help you become the business owner you want to be, running the business you want to run. Contact me for a free consultation to get the ball rolling!