Summer is usually a slower time for online business owners. Kids are out of school, clients are on vacation, and people want to enjoy the sun. So how do you prepare for the summer slowdown... and how do you get ready for the client slam once fall comes around?
The key to preventing or handling a summer slowdown is simply knowing one is coming. If you've been in business for more than a year, look at past income and projects. Did you notice a dip in the summer? If so, start planning now if you want to fill your roster.
If you're worried about a lack of work, start making connections now. Pitch yourself to podcasts, commit to virtual summits, or just email your network of friends and peers. Just keep in mind, you don't want to OVERdo it on the client bookings — because clients will eventually come back from their summer shenanigans.
Create a micro-offer.
Create a "micro-offer" — something that is short and easy to complete. For web designers, it might be a website audit. For coaches, it might be a quick 1-hour training. Just think about ways you can drum up more work without overloading yourself once fall comes around.
Make sure you're letting current and potential clients know about this micro-offer, by sharing it via email, conversations, social media, etc. You can even offer your current clients a discount or referral fee if you want!
Budget for future seasons.
Once you know the cycles of your business, you can figure out when you'll have a ton of client work and when you need to be prepared for a bit of a slowdown. Budgeting money on the good months can help cover any extra expenses or income you don't make in the slower months.
Have a contract.
If you're on a retainer, or have a set fee per month, make sure payment information is in your contract. This protects from slower months and reminds your clients that you're providing value all year round. If you work on a project or hourly basis, you'll want to make sure that you fill up those slots by letting clients know you have availability! You may even consider changing your contracts and fee model to stabilize your income.
Remember: Slower months for them doesn't necessarily mean you're working less. In fact, you may even find yourself able to work on projects that have been put off, or to think deeper about a project than before.
If your business has a summer slump, try not to panic. We know it can be scary when you're responsible for all your income, but we promise: If you do everything we just mentioned, your business will make a comeback. You may even find that you can handle the slowdown financially because the other seasons of your business support you.