by Cherylyn Harley LeBon | Featured Contributor
Memorial Day is over and summer is right around the corner. If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, it is important to make plans for the summer slowdown, which is a time when clients are on vacation; you need to juggle your family’s fluctuating schedule; and you can hopefully get some rest and prepare for the fall. During the summer months, I make an effort to reduce the daily “hustle,” but I also take advantage of the slowdown to do some extra planning.
Here are some of my tips for surviving the summer slowdown:
1. Clean up your email and marketing lists. Contact information constantly changes. Try to add social media information when possible. It can provide useful tips on potential client’s latest projects, travel, or other interesting tidbits.
2. Take some classes or update skills. There are always webinars and online courses available. Local community colleges and universities offer four-week and six-week courses.
3. Review your wish list of business development potentials—low, medium, and high priorities. Many businesses are more relaxed in the summer, so take advantage of the down time and make an effort to network and connect with new business contacts.
4. While I am a big fan of light reading in the summer, I also enjoy time at the pool and beach with helpful business reading. Here’s what is on my list:
• David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell. I have been trying to read this book all year. I have read all of Gladwell’s books and I do not want to skip this one.
• The Little Red Writing Book: 20 Powerful Principles of Structure, Style and Readability by Brandon Royal. We could always use some improvement.
• Extreme Productivity by Robert C. Pozen. Another book I have been trying to read all year.
• Growing Grateful Kids: Teaching Them to Appreciate an Extraordinary God in Ordinary Places. Well because, sometimes mothers can use all the help we can get.
• Stopping: How to Be Still When You Have to Keep Going by David Kundtz. This one was highly recommended by my coach. No doubt, easier said than done.
5. Make a conscious effort to shut your eyes and have some quiet time for 10 minutes every day. If you get into the habit this summer, you might be able to continue when you are back to a full schedule in the fall.
No email, no talking—just shutdown. If all else fails, try this site: http://www.donothingfor2minutes.com/. Hint: it lets you know when you fail.
There is no magic formula for surviving the summer. I reinvent the playbook depending on client demands, family schedule, and travel. This summer, I decided to cut back on in-person meetings and do more Skype and conference calls. Whatever you decide, surviving the summer slowdown can be productive, yet allow you to catch those extra breaths you have been missing all year.
Cherylyn Harley LeBon is a lawyer and public affairs executive with almost 20 years of experience in Washington, D.C. and is the President and CEO of KLAR Strategies. She provides grassroots/coalition development, strategic counsel, and media strategy to corporations, trade associations, and non-profits.
She has worked as senior executive in the federal government and as a Vice-President of Public Affairs for a national trade association where she directed media and communications strategy; health coalitions, and corporate partnerships. Additionally, Cherylyn served as a Senior Counsel with the U. S. Senate Judiciary Committee was responsible for judicial nominations, the Department of Justice oversight, and civil and human rights.
She writes about policy, business and legal issues for a variety of publications and serves as Co-Chair of Project 21, leadership network with the National Center for Public Policy Research. Cherylyn is a regular guest and commentator on nationally broadcast radio and television programs.
Cherylyn was a Research Guest and Lecturer at the University of Bremen Law School in Germany and has lectured across the U.S. and Europe on American business, leadership, and policy issues. She was formerly an adjunct public policy professor with the Washington Center in Washington, DC. Cherylyn is a 2013 graduate of Georgetown University’s program in Executive Leadership Coaching.
Follow her on Twitter @HarleyLeBon