Forget the beach body, is your business summer-ready?

Never mind being beach body ready (because let’s face it, mine isn’t and never will be), I’m focused on toning my wobbly business abs into six packs for the Summer ahead. Are you?

Traditionally, summer can be a quiet time for businesses. But if you think like I do, then you certainly won’t see that as an opportunity for taking afternoons off with a 99 ice cream and a flake! In fact, I am sure you’re probably busy planning ahead for these sunny months, as you know how much that can boost your business – whether you work by yourself or have employees.

Keep doing what you’re doing – but sign up to my 9 step ‘business abs’challenge to get your business in shape!

  1. Give your customers some TLC

The run-up to summer is a splendid time to nurture your best clients. Let them know when you’ll be open for business over the summer. Phone them, drop them an email or use social media to keep them up to date with any developments. And, if you can, spend quality time with your most valuable clients.

  1. Bag some new clients

Not all your prospective clients will be away over the summer. Your competitors might be out of action over the holiday period, so why not take advantage of that? Now is a good time to get your marketing in shape. Take a look at your website. Could it do with updating? And the lead up to the summer period is the perfect time to plan your social media calendar and revamp all your other marketing material.

3. Plan, plan and plan again

Speak to your staff and get your holiday calendar planned and co-ordinated so that there are no nasty surprises. Ask your staff to draft handovers, if you need to get someone to cover for them. Make sure their holidays fit in with the contract you have with them. Do a risk assessment plan and write training material for times when key members of staff are away and, if you have to, replace them with interim staff.

  1. Get the summer team in place

If you work for yourself and want to take a break, plan ahead and think about taking on temporary staff or hiring that first employee. Make sure you get everything right for this: sort out contracts and and make sure you train staff to do their job.

  1. Keep the money coming in

Managing cash flow is vital. Contact your clients and find out who’s responsible for payments during the summer to make sure you’re still going to get paid. And always invoice as soon as you can.

  1. Don’t feel guilty about taking a holiday

As Thomas Edison so eloquently put it, ‘genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration’ – and I don’t remember him ever saying that the latter couldn’t take place on a sun-soaked beach, far from the office!  So, take heed. Here’s a depressing thought for you:according to a study by Aldermore last year, more than 50% of bosses took less than 5 days off a year, and staggeringly 21% took none of at all!

Seriously, I get it. Work is your baby, but don’t be a slave to it. A holiday will give those batteries a much-needed recharge, meaning you’ll come back to business with a bang. Whether it’s a break abroad or just time to chill at home with the family, you’ll return strong, motivated, and ready to smash some fresh goals (because we know the wheels never truly stop turning).

  1. Have a digital holiday

You’re so used to being busy, there’s a danger you’ll be checking emails, tweeting and texting throughout your holiday. If you want to come back re-energised, you need to take a break from your phone.  Set aside time each day to check your emails rather than doing it all day long! Evenings are a good time, so you’re not thinking about work all day. Let your staff know what time you’ll be online if they need you. And tell them that you only want to be contacted in a genuine emergency.

Or why not, take the ultimate challenge and leave your phone home? Gazillionaire Simon Cowell has ditched his mobile phone entirely, so surely we can shelve ours for a mere couple of weeks……Indeed, Apple has just this week unveiled new features which aim to improve digital well-being, including helping users control how often they use their phones. So take the hint people, and turn it off!

  1. Learn

Stop and have a think about how you could strategically utilise some quiet Summer time for your own personal professional development. What leadership and development needs might you personally have that you could upskill?

9Take care of you

Most importantly – relax and enjoy a well-deserved break from all your hard work. When you return, you’ll be primed to keep on prospering.

You are your business, so why not give me a call oremailme to talk about how I can help you build the professional and leadership skills you need in order to continue growing your business

And if you feel bogged down and need a hand with holiday staffing needs, why not drop me a line. I use a nifty planning portal that may be just what you need to help streamline and simplify your HR business planning, giving you more time to bring in new clients and cash flow.