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Author Biography:

Stephanie Taylor Christensen  is a freelance writer who covers personal finance, career, health,and small business news. She is the founder of Indebtedless and Om for Mom prenatal yoga in Columbus, Ohio. Connect with her on Twitter.@STCWriting or www.stephanietaylorchristensen.com



6 Ways to Use Summer as a Business Strategy
By Stephanie Taylor Christensen Friday, July 8, 2016
You don’t have to be in a seasonal business to leverage summer as a business strategy. Here are six simple ways to use summer to build morale, improve sales, and enjoy life as a small business owner.
 
Banish indoor meetings. Now that we live in a mobile world, there’s no reason to hold an indoor meeting in the summer. Aside from the fact that walking meetings can help you reach your recommended 30 minutes of physical activity a day under the Department of Health & Human Services guidelines, researchers have foundthat brief exposure to sunlight can provide enough Vitamin D to ease depression, and reduce the likelihood of cardiovascular illnesses and diabetes.

Additionally, research by Dr. K Anders Ericsson at The University of Florida reveals that humans are most productive at any task when they take a break every 90 minutes. Encourage your staff to embrace summer as the perfect reason to step away from the screen every hour and a half, enjoy the weather—and be more efficient as a result.
 
Learn from younger generations. Social media can help you build relationships with customers, drive online traffic, and reach new prospects, but a social media strategy can be time-consuming. In fact, Social Media Today reports that the average small business owner spends six hours a week on social media marketing activities, and invests between one to three hours a week creating blog posts.  
 
Summer is the perfect time to learn from the real online marketing masters: College students who are full of knowledge, and in need of a job while on summer break. Not only do many of today’s college students not remember life without mobile devices, they’ve grown up surrounded by the Internet and social media. Consider hiring summer interns to support your businesses marketing and web needs. You’ll provide them an opportunity to build their professional marketability, while your business benefits from their expertise in online communications.
 
Get involved in your community. Summer means farmer’s markets, outdoor events, and festivals. A presence at such events can help you build brand awareness for your business, reach new prospects, deepen relationship with customers, and become better connected with other local entrepreneurs. Increase your sales potential with tools like mobile payments that allow you to securely process customer credit and debit card payments for purchases at remote events. Bring functional promotional items to hand out to booth visitors to increase the likelihood that attendees notice and remember your business name and logo.  
 
Provide entertaining demonstrations. Summer camps, churches, libraries and the local media often need summer-themed programming to entertain families while school is out of session, and daylight hours are plentiful. Simple demonstrations on how to make summer-scented bath bombs, lip glosses and balms that soothe sun-drenched skin are all relevant to summer and conducive to audience participation. Offer to provide brief educational (and entertaining) demonstrations to local media outlets and at community groups. (Don’t forget to bring packaged versions of the products you demo to sell once the show is over!)
 
Market your items with summer in mind. From days at the pool to nights at an outdoor concert to summer vacations, backyard barbeques, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, weddings and back to school, the opportunities to package products in summer-themed kits are endless. Feature them on your website and on social media to make customers aware of them. Market them as limited-time only, and create sweepstakes and giveaways that invite social media users to help you promote your summer products. 
 
Take a vacation. Research shows that even brief getaways make you a more effective business owner—and a happier person. In fact, clinical psychologist Francine Lederer told ABC News that breaks of just 24 hours have a “profound” impact on motivation and psychological health. Take time to stop working, and enjoy the summer, even if only in small spurts. Business won’t come to a screeching halt—and it may even become better for it.


 
 
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