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14 ways to get ahead during a summer slowdown

A lot of business owners experience a bit of a 'summer slowdown' as everyone heads off on holiday. Our tips outline how you can use this slower time of year as an opportunity get ahead of the crowd -- and your competitors.

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14 ways to get ahead during a summer slowdown

  1. 1. Clear Books Must reads | June 2015 14 ways to get ahead during a summer slowdown Over the next couple of months, many businesses notice a bit of a summer slowdown as everyone heads off on holiday. There’s no need to sit around twiddling your thumbs though. Instead, why not try some of our tips to get ahead of the competition before it’s back to business as usual in September.
  2. 2. Clear Books Must reads | June 2015 3. Have a summer clear-out Traditionally, the arrival of daffodils nudges us to sort out old stock, receipts and give everything a good spring-clean. However if you didn’t get around to it this year, it’s not too late! You might even discover some old notebooks full of long-forgotten but ground-breaking business ideas at the bottom of the wardrobe. 1. Attend summer school While we’ve associated summer with ‘holidays’ since school, when you’re an adult it can actually be a great opportunity to learn something new. Whether it’s simply reading in the garden, catching up on some webinars, or signing up to a course online or at your local college, it’s a great time to gain new skills to help your business. 2. Exercise outside Both your body and mind need to be in sync to function at a high level. Make the most of the light evenings and milder weather to do something active outside: go for a walk, run, hike or cycle. Studies have shown that your brain has its best ideas when at its most relaxed so, you never know, you might come up with that ultimate product idea at the top of a mountain or swimming at your local lido.
  3. 3. Clear Books Must reads | June 2015 4. Leave your comfort zone Good weather gives us a fantastic chance to try new things in a new environment. As we all know, the UK has few truly ‘good’ days, so when you spot the sun come out, stimulate your brain by going out and trying something different. Perhaps you could get involved in some arts and crafts, go to a park on the opposite side of town, or volunteer as a dog-walker! Anything to shock your brain into looking at the world from a new perspective. 5. Get your paperwork in order Get ahead of the crowd and prevent last-minute panicking later by getting your books in order. Whether it’s tackling a box of receipts, starting your tax return or updating your contacts, the quieter summer months are a great time to catch up on your admin and organisation tasks. 6. Refresh your business plan In addition, not only is it summer, but it’s also halfway through the year, giving you a great reason to check your progress against any goals you set back in January. You can update and amend these as needed, as well as creating new ones to take you through to Christmas.
  4. 4. Clear Books Must reads | June 2015 7. Travel to get new inspiration for your business Of course, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Travelling to a new place, even if it’s just to the local countryside, can help generate ideas and give you a new point of view. If you want to keep it work-related, you could combine your travels with an industry conference in a new city or country. 8. Host a networking event outside For those who can’t get away, you could consider taking advantage of everyone’s sunny disposition by organising a few informal business drinks at a local pub, park, or even in your own garden if that’s appropriate for your business. Just make sure you have a backup ‘undercover’ option in case the clouds come out! If you don’t have the time or resources to host your own event you could make it your mission to attend others that you wouldn’t usually — try to make at least one new and useful contact per session.
  5. 5. Clear Books Must reads | June 2015 10. Check in with your staff Bond and chat with your staff by treating them to a boat ride or something else outdoorsy and stimulating. You could also go for a picnic, barbeque or have a game or rounders. A change of scenery will do everyone the world of good! 11. Revitalise your diet January is traditionally the time when people embark on new diets and fitness regimes. However, it makes much more sense to overhaul what you eat in summer when more fresh fruit and veg is in season. A good diet can save you money, as well as being essential for a quick brain — helping you get ready to take on your competitors with renewed energy in September. 9. Meet your bank manager Banks tend to also be a bit quieter over the summer, so make the most of this by booking an in-depth appointment with your business manager. You can be the first to know about new offers or products and also pick their brain about all things financial while you have the time to implement new ideas.
  6. 6. Clear Books Must reads | June 2015 14. Work in the garden And finally, if you work in an industry which doesn’t slow down much over the summer then at the very least, take the opportunity to get some vitamin D and take your laptop and a cold lemonade into the garden or to your local park!     13. Update your social media accounts On a similar note, when was the last time you gave your business’s social media profiles a once-over? Go through them all with a fine toothcomb and make sure they’re up-to-date, that all of your information is correct, and that you’re presenting the best image of your business possible. You should also take some time to follow or ‘like’ new and interesting people. 12. Tailor your marketing to the season You could also take some time to review your marketing materials and give them a summery twist. To make it worth your while, you could offer a seasonal sale to refresh stock and generate interest. Perhaps there’s a particular demographic that only needs your product or service in the summer — such as parents with children on school holidays.