by Maiko Sakai
Summer is slow for my business…”
I hear this a lot from entrepreneurs.
If this is you, I’m glad you are here because this post will help you take full advantage of the slow time. Instead of just feeling anxious or simply letting this opportunity slip away, you are going to be super productive!
I like anything simple. If you are like me, you would agree that a simple system or checklist allows us to take immediate action with clarity.
This is no exception. 21 items may sound like too many, but it’s broken down into 3 different categories. If I did my math correctly, this means there are only 7 items per category. Super easy!
That’s not all.
Most of these can be done anywhere, with or without WiFi. If you decide to pack your bags and go away with your family or friends, you can still do some of these.
Imagine what an immense impact you can create in your business this fall & beyond by turning a summer slump into a super productive summer!
Hope you are fired up!
How does taking the entire month of December off sound to you, for example? Fabulous, I’d say!
It’s totally possible.
The key to accomplish this is to start planning right now. By doing so, you are mentally prepped to make your shorter Q4 highly profitable.
Or, you don’t have to take all of Dec off. The point is this is the best time to reassess your overall business.
- Conduct a realistic Q4 revenue forecast.
- Find ways to either extend, renew, or upsell your current business offers to keep Q4 packed with meaningful projects.
- If you are considering podcasting, writing a book, or starting a YouTube channel or anything that requires consistency to help your business grow, start planning & making batches now to kick-start the new year with enough content.
- Sit down quietly and assess whether your annual goals align with your ultimate business vision and create quarterly milestones that’ll help you & your team achieve them.
- Plan your meetings with your accountant, insurance agent & attorney to bring them up to speed with your business goals.
- List who (or what roles) you need to hire that would help you save time & get there faster.
- Set aside the initial investment for those hires in Q4.
I’d do more networking if I had more time!”
If you’ve said this to yourself once or twice before… well, this is your time!
Granted, many people go on vacation during this time, but that would be an excuse for you not to do it. Let’s be honest, not all of your contacts go on vacation exactly at the same time.
Building relationships & building trust take time (as they should). So, why not kick-start now?
Having time on your side is the ultimate leverage you can have when it comes to meaningful networking and sales.
Because you won’t come across desperate or pushy.
- Send hand-written thank you notes to customers, friends & past clients.
- Create a list of customers and vendors you want to send gifts to during the holiday season. Set aside funds for it (budget it). Imagine all you have left to do in late November is to simply execute the plan?
- Go down your contact list & send a quick note (email or messaging or… If you are ambitious, a short video).
- Take a long lunch with some close peers. Their summer schedule may allow them to leave early on Fridays.
- Create a list of people you want to talk to about doing business in Sept.
- Create a list of 50 people you’d die to meet. Be audacious. This will push you to get better with keeping your network fresh!
- Ask for testimonials from your past & current clients. Also, ask for permission to create case studies you can use to promote your business in the fall.
Consolidation / Clean-up
When no one bothers you…, OK maybe not no one, but when you have fewer distractions, it’s much easier to focus on decluttering tasks in your business.
- Digitize & get rid of papers.
- Merge or ditch accounts where it makes sense, such as personal your Twitter account & business account, your personal Instagram account that’s not doing much, etc.
- Create backups for important docs, written content, images, videos & sort them in a way that’s intuitive & discoverable.
- Consider incorporating tools to manage your email inbox better.
- Review monthly recurring expenses & cancel the ones you don’t use.
- List a handful of tasks you can delegate & create standard operating procedures preferably with video instructions.
- Get rid of unused apps on your phone & review your notification settings.
Doing these 21 tasks will make you feel more in control of your business. No doubt you will be much less overwhelmed when your phone starts to go off in the fall.
Also, here’s the bonus. When you immerse yourself in doing meaningful work, surprise business opportunities start popping up right in front of you. Be sure to share your success stories!
Maiko Sakai is an NYC based business growth strategy consultant a.k.a. secret weapon, confidant, advisor & silent partner to her 7-figure clients who are visionary entrepreneurs, founders, and CEOs with the desire to build a high-functioning, profit-generating machine.
As a self-proclaimed “Queen of Counterintuitive Strategies,” she provides effective but not-so-conventional strategies to boost sustainable profitability for her clients’ businesses by utilizing both quantitative & qualitative assessments.
Originally from Yokohama, Japan, Maiko considers herself a New Yorker, loves ethnic foods of all kinds, and is a sucker for ultra-contemporary design & exotic houseplants. She earned her MBA from Johnson School of Management, Cornell University.