Summer time doesn’t need to be a shutdown period for SMEs

August is here and many people in the UK are happily planning their escape route to warmer climates. For small business owners, the prospect of the summer holiday period is slightly more complicated and instead of planning how to keep hand luggage weight at a minimum, many are working up strategies of how to stay efficient and profitable.  Here are four top tips on how to make the most of your time at work when the sun is shining.

Tip 1: Make a plan and make it count

Everyone knows that planning is key to success, for the summer time, this is really key. The trick is to plan in advance for any surge or decline in demand for your products or services. Project and account management tools can help with this. From a monetary perspective, tight management of costs and cash flow is imperative for the success of a small business, so make sure you review your spend against forecast regularly and adjust if necessary.

Tip 2: Embrace the cloud

When your team, business partner or customer isn’t in the country or on holiday it can be difficult to finalise decisions. Take advantage of low cost collaboration technologies for improved project management, better workflow, better management of invoicing and knowing that employees and partners have immediate access to critical business information and documents when they need it. Ensure you have the option for easy video conferencing to help you connect with overseas partners, contractors and customers during the quiet summer period.

 Tip 3: Take advantage of your free time!

The summer period may be quiet from a project/client perspective, so take the advantage of more time to invest in R&D. Take a quiet period and turn it into productive by conducting R&D that can help to reveal if there are other areas into which you could diversify or ways in which you might improve your current offering. You might also want to catch up on your administration tasks, or review business goals and strategy for the year ahead. The important thing is to use the spare time wisely so you’re set for H2!

Tip 4: Boost up your marketing efforts

Like Tip 3, the summer provides much needed headspace to review marketing plans and understand if you need to consider new markets, demographics, or marketing channels. It also provides time to develop content and analyse customer reviews/feedback and journey’s, that can to reshape engagement strategies.