No matter how busy you are, you can always to do more to attract new business. Here are some business-boosting tips for July and August:
1. Create a summer promotion. Offer a two-for-one discount on your best-selling product or service. Give coupons to your best customers and ask them to give them away to people they know.
2. Do something good for the community. Set an example as a company that cares about community service. Collect and distribute school supplies to needy children before school starts. Put them in a bag or backpack featuring your company logo and contact information.
3. Give your employees a half day off to do something good for the community. There are all sorts of summer clean-up and public gardening projects. Call the United Way or your city council to find a good one.
4. There's still time to hire a summer intern for a few hours a day. Students need experience and cash. I'm sure you have projects that a student could help you with, including updating your data base or backing up your computer files.
5. Join a professional or trade association and sign up to attend a national or regional meeting. Successful business owners are always scanning the competitive landscape. Don't operate your business in a vacuum.
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Summer is a great time to do all those things that you don't have time to do during the rest of the year. Consider hiring a student or summer intern to dig into a few of these projects:
- Conduct a short customer survey. Call your top clients and customers and ask them what they like and don't like about doing business with your company. Find out if they plan to expand their product lines or make an substantial changes.
- Review all your accounts receivable. If people owe you money, send them a cordial, but firm letter requesting payment. If you don't get a response, stop doing business with them or require cash up front.
- Check out your competition. Successful small businesses never operate in a vacuum. Go shopping--in person or online. Order products, check them out and return them.
- Review your staff. Create a new organizational chart and ask everyone to submit a written job description. You may be surprised at the gap between what you hired people to do and what they actually do all day. Think objectively about the mix of talent and personalities. If someone is affecting morale, schedule a performance review and start documenting, in writing, areas that need improvement. Don't be afraid to fire people. There are millions of talented people who need jobs.
- Update your website and dream up some new marketing angles. Do what you can to bring in new customers.
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