Late summer is generally a slow season of business. People are gearing up for back-to-school and taking that last chance for summer vacation.

Since things are more leisurely, why not plan some quiet time to work on your business before the busy holiday season is upon us?

Here are five strategies to consider:

1. Assess sales patterns

Review the past 12 months to assess sales patterns. Did sales increase after certain marketing activities? Did sales decrease when you skipped making sales calls or stopped posting to your Instagram account?

What we measure, we can improve. By looking back, you can connect your results to what you did or didn’t do. Use this data to tweak your sales and marketing activities so that you can move the needle up and to the right. 

2. Review team member performance

Take a look at how you and your team members are performing in various roles. Is your assistant managing your calendar effectively? Is your project manager keeping you and everyone else on track? How is your ads manager performing?

Each person plays a key role in the success of your business. Assess their performance against their tasks and duties and plan to meet with each next month to provide feedback.

Don’t forget to review your own performance as objectively as possible.

3. Nurture customer relationships 

Reach out to your biggest and most loyal customers with words of gratitude, uplift and encouragement. Send a card or an inspirational book to let them know how much you appreciate them.

Personal touches go a long way toward strengthening the relationships that form the basis for repeat business.

4. Plan your 4th quarter

Assess your key performance indicators. This should include things like sales goals, product launches, promotional campaigns and so forth. The goal is to end this year on a high note.

Planning out important milestones in advance helps to clarify your goals so that you can focus on those most important. This also helps eliminate low-value activities.

5. Take some me-time

The days are getting shorter. Take some time for rest and rejuvenation. As an entrepreneur, you most definitely need it.

Set your email to auto-respond or delegate someone to monitor your in-basket. Turn off the phone for everything but the most urgent calls.

Build regular vacation time into the cycles of your life and business. It’s a gift to give yourself, and your business will likely be better off as well.

Let’s Talk About It!

Sometimes, we get so busy in the day-to-day of leading our businesses that we don’t see the forest for the trees. While these tasks can be performed during any month, late summer is perfect because of the slower and more relaxed pace.

What do you think of my suggestions? Did I miss anything? How do you use the slower months to prepare your business for the coming season and beyond?

Send questions and comments to I love hearing from you!

Donna Maria is the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, a nationwide trade organization offering classes, training resources, and product liability insurance to small business owners. Click...

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