When business is slo

 

When business is slow, business owners can take time to plan and engage with the community.

Like most places, Tucson is a little more relaxed in summer. It’s the time of year when the University of Arizona campus takes a break from the buzz. 

It’s when winter visitors head north for a break from the heat, and local families head west or south of the border for a taste of the ocean.  

The pace of life, in general, just kind of slows down. While that’s great for kids on summer vacation, it’s not so great for business owners. 

Many Tucson business owners certainly see a slide in activity during Tucson’s quiet summer days. Despite its drawbacks, a seasonal lull doesn’t have to be a total loss for business owners. 

There are ways to embrace it, capitalize on it and plan ahead to busier times when business picks back up to its usual speed.

Here are five tips on how to stay ahead of Tucson’s dog days of summer.

Plan. The advantage of navigating a slower time of year is that it provides business owners a chance to plan ahead. And, for those who already have planned ahead, it’s an opportunity to evaluate how those plans panned out and make any necessary changes. Any owner running a seasonal business, or running a business in a seasonal town, needs to establish a fiscal plan for the slower months. 

Once that’s in place, owners can use the downtime to analyze the success of tactics they’ve employed during the busy season.

Modify invoicing. The Small Business Administration suggests that business owners who experience seasonal ups and downs should consider modifying invoicing procedures with clients and suppliers. Outbound invoices may require partial payment upfront to help ease cashflow issues and deter troublesome payors. Conversely, the SBA recommends that owners negotiate more flexible payment terms with suppliers to navigate the months that aren’t as robust.  

Gather reviews. Hubspot, the world’s leading inbound marketing and sales software company, suggests business owners cultivate customer reviews and client testimonials for use during the slower months. Business owners can post new testimonials and reviews to their website and across their social media channels as a way of staying top of mind with their customer base.

Don’t go dark. Marketing pros agree it’s important to avoid taking a sabbatical from social media channels during a seasonal lull. It’s important to stay engaged on social media. And, the downtime may even provide business owners a much-needed opportunity to venture into and launch a new social media platform or leverage other marketing opportunities when media deals might be available.

Engage with locals. Despite being slower during the summer months, Tucson businesses aren’t empty and shuttered, by any means. Summer offers a chance to connect and earn additional loyalty from the locals who choose to stay and embrace the Tucson summer. It’s a great time of year to offer deals and savings to those who support a business year-round, much like the popular “Summer in the City” discount program, sponsored by local media outlets and Visit  Tucson. 

(Editor’s Note: Rene Almazan is a senior vice president for Vantage West Credit Union, a $1.5 billion financial institution in Arizona, which serves a growing membership of nearly 135,000. Vantage West serves its membership via online channels and branches across Arizona, offering consumer and business banking services. Vantage West is federally insured by NCUA. www.vantagewest.org)