By: Samantha Scott, APR
It’s been said that ‘time flies when you’re having fun.’ Has the first 6 months of 2015 been fun? It’s certainly flown by. As we face the second half of the year, what’s on your marketing to do list? Do you have things that didn’t get addressed and need to before the end of the year? Are you on track to meet your goals? Let’s review a few key things you can do now to set yourself up for success in the latter half of 2015.
- Assess Your Progress
What have you accomplished? Before you can create your grand plan you need to know what’s been done. Take stock of your/your team’s efforts. This can also be a boost… it’s easy to forget the little victories, but they all add up. This could be getting your social media set up, kicking off a new newsletter or just working on internal communication systems.
Also review what’s changed… Market trends, competitors, new communication channels, etc. A lot can change in 6 months. Does your original plan still address every component? Or do you need to revise?
If we’ve met or if you’ve heard me give a presentation then you’ve likely heard me say, “test and measure everything!” If you haven’t been measuring your efforts (leads, web traffic, sales, audience size, etc.) do a quick assessment and make a plan to do it every month moving forward.
By tracking progress you can determine if your efforts are making the needle move or if you need to try a different approach. Compare against the same time last year and track month to month. Use Google Analytics to determine the health and performance of your website and use statistics from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other channels (provided for free!) to monitor those efforts.
3. Take a break.
This is the easy part. Take a vacation and enjoy yourself. Rest and relaxation is key to keeping your passion fueled and to ensure creative ideas continue to flow. In fact, according to The New York Times, studies have shown taking vacation increases productivity! When was the last time you took a break and didn’t check emails, answer work calls or think about your to-do list? Maybe it’s time for that Bahamas trip you’ve been thinking about…
4. Work ahead.
Most businesses in Southwest Florida are slower in the summer… You can certainly (and should) take a break with some of that time, but most of us can’t take the entire summer off. With a little more time on your hands you can get ahead of tasks that you might neglect later in the year when you get busier.
Write a few blogs and store them away. Research those vendors and new communication channels you’ve heard about. Start putting together your holiday promo plans. Don’t forget, Halloween promotion starts in September and that’s only two months away! Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, etc. will be here before you know it. Use your resources now to prevent stress and missed opportunities later.
5. Educate yourself and your team
Another opportunity to use your summer time wisely… Set aside time for learning, seminars and webinars. Educate yourself and help your employees develop their skills and knowledge. In the summer when it’s hot and time drips by like molasses it’s easy to let your team’s momentum slack. Give your team a “pick me up” and coordinate market training.
For example, Jeri Church, owner of Salon Adrian, uses this tactic to keep her team sharp and their skills (and shears) sharper. She uses the summertime to host in-salon training sessions and send stylists to conferences and seminars out of state.
6. Reward your loyal customers
We’ve reviewed things you can do internally, but we can’t forget your customers! Summer might be slower, but it can still be a valuable time of year. Don’t forget to take care of those customers that live here and patron your business year-round. Consider offering specials just for them. Not only will you get more traffic/sales, they’ll feel rewarded which is never a bad thing!
Enjoy your summer and use these 6 tips to make the rest of 2015 the best third and fourth quarter you’ve ever had. And if we can help, just let us know!