Well it looks like summer is here and what that should mean for small business owners is getting more customers into the door. While people are out enjoying the weather what should to small business owner do this summer to attract some of the money people will spend.
1. Make a splash on social media. You’ve been meaning to learn how to use one of the many social-media sites — such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter — for your business, but you’ve just been too busy.Read original story here.
Use these slower summer months to spend some time figuring out which ones are right for you. Be sure to check out some of the many tools that make ongoing management of your social media activities easier and faster, such as HootSuite or Roost.
2. Network like crazy. All those backyard barbecues, softball games, and pool parties you get invited to are potential networking events, especially when they involve more than immediate family and friends.
If you’re not getting many invitations, check out what’s going on in your community. Try going to a Meetup group, Chamber of Commerce mixers, even neighborhood chili cook-off. Be sure to bring your business cards, mingle, and have a good elevator pitch ready so people you meet can easily remember what you do.
3. Update — or launch — your website. If you’re like me, your website is outdated, but you haven’t had the time to freshen it up.
Perhaps you don’t have a website at all.
Summer is a good time to give your website a facelift. It doesn’t have to be extensive, but make sure you have all the newest — and correct — information. Perhaps you want to add some e-commerce functionality, so customers can buy directly from you. And check to see that it looks good on mobile devices, too.
4. Turn those business cards into gold.I know you’ve got a stack of business cards from people you’ve met, but they’re not doing you any good lying around your desk.
Yes, I know they take time to enter into a database. But, hey, it’s summer. It’s the perfect opportunity to get all these contacts into something like Salesforce or PipelineDeals. At least enter their contact info into your digital address book in Microsoft Outlook or Gmail.
If you have a ton of cards, like I do, you might want to buy a digital business card reader. They work fairly well now.
5. Start a simple e-mail newsletter.I’m a huge fan; I’ve got a monthly newsletter of my own with business tips.
They’re easy to create and manage, and they keep your name as well as any specials or news in front of prospects and customers. Once you have names in a database orMicrosoft Excel file, it’s easy to import them into a simple newsletter program.
Or you can just enter the info into the e-mail newsletter service.
We use Emma, but other options include include Constant Contact; Vertical Response; and a free or inexpensive one that many small-business owners use, such as Mail Chimp. If you’re very ambitious, you could even write 12 newsletters in summer and have monthly newsletters ready for the whole year.
6. Tackle a project. We all have a wish list of projects we would like to take care of someday.
You may have some new products or services in mind to develop, a new marketing campaign, organizing inventory, or cleaning out a back room to turn into an office.
Summer is a good time to take care of at least one of these. You’ll feel a real sense of accomplishment if you do.
While all these are great ideas, with it being summer and all including a customer loyalty program as a way to keep the happy customers coming back is another great idea.
The best way to this is to engage your customers on the device they never leave home without, their mobile phone. By building a database of your customers mobile phone numbers and sending them special offers and discounts that ordinarily they would not get is a great way to build loyalty into your business.
This can be done by enticing them to text (example Text Fries to 555444 to get free fries with your next meal) your keyword to your shortcode and now you have permission to market to them directly on their mobile device this summer.