7 Ways To Boost Summer Sales (And Prevent A Business Slump)
While summer is a fun time of the year, the “summer business slump” can cause real problems for a lot of small businesses, especially if sales tail off during July and August.
With the ongoing political uncertainty around Brexit deterring shoppers, coupled with changing consumer shopping habits, this is shaping up to be a tough summer for many businesses.
It doesn’t have to be this way. I’ve put together a list of the key strategies I use, both in my own business and with my clients, to boost summer sales and ward off a business slump. I hope you find these useful, and I’d love to know which ones you use.
1. PREPARE A CASH FLOW FORECAST
The only way you’ll know for sure whether you’re heading for a summer sales slump and need to boost sales is by preparing a cash flow forecast. This is something I and my clients do on either a monthly, weekly or daily basis, depending on where the business in question is at. Keeping an up to date cash flow forecast has been a game-changer for my clients.
A cash flow forecast is an estimate of the amount of money you expect to flow in and out of your business over the weeks and months ahead. Think of it as an "early warning system," a bit like the petrol gauge on the car. It helps you to identify potential cash dips in advance, giving you time to work out how to boost summer sales, build up your cash reserves and steer your business out of a potential slump.
2. APPLY THE MARKETING RULE OF 7 BY 3
The Marketing Rule of 7 is a marketing principle which states your prospects need to come across your offer at least seven times before they’ll really notice it and start to take action. It was developed by the movie industry in the 1930’s when studio bosses realised just how much advertising and promotion was needed to get someone to see one of their films.
Today we live in a noisy world and are exposed to an overwhelming volume of marketing messages. Complex, changing algorithms mean that our content isn’t always served up to our audience. What worked for 1930’s Hollywood is no longer sufficient to ensure our messages are seen. We’ve got to assume two out of every three of our marketing messages “go missing in action” and aren’t even seen by our intended audience. Hence the Marketing Rule of 7 by 3.
3. APPLY THE 11 P’S OF MARKETING
Nowadays, when people talk about marketing, more often than not, they’re referring advertising and promotion, which is just one element of the marketing mix. Marketing is about so much more than advertising and promotion. It’s also about product, price, place, purpose, people, processes, positioning, packaging, physical evidence and performance.
Complicated I know, but essential in this increasingly omnichannel world if you’re to stand out from the competition. Need help with your marketing strategy? Email me and we can discuss your needs and how best I can help you.
4. SHOWCASE SUMMER SEASONAL PRODUCTS
The summer is a fantastic opportunity to release limited-edition products and showcase these through your advertising and promotional strategy. Think about your favourite brands and how they keep their product lines fresh and reflective of the seasons. Whether it’s a summer version of a scented candle or a summer twist on your menus, there’s no end to summer-themed possibilities.
New products not an option this year? Give existing lines a makeover by taking new product photos, styled with seasonal props and summery settings. Use these photos across all your marketing channels.
5. RUN A SEASONAL MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Customers are far more inclined to engage with brands and retailers which consistently update their shop, stall, website and/ or social media to match the seasons and holidays.
Think of a summer related theme that is both relevant to your brand and your customers. The White Company is brilliant for inspiration. Last year their Spring-Summer theme was inspired by the Mediterranean. This year, the company has drawn inspiration from the souk in Marrakesh. Refresh your website, social media channels and printed materials with your summer themed product photos and share your summer story to draw your customers in.
6. INCREASE THE LIFE-TIME VALUE OF YOUR CUSTOMERS
Did you know that a customer’s fifth purchase is on average 40% larger than their first? And that their tenth purchase is 80% larger than their first?
There are so many simple ways you can encourage the kind of customer loyalty behaviours that lead to repeat business, for example:
Sending a card or gift to a new customer to say thank you.
A customer loyalty or VIP programme.
Using email to remind customers to order again with you.
7. INCREASE YOUR AVERAGE ORDER VALUE
It’s far easier to sell to an existing customer than one who is brand new. That’s why deploying strategies that increase your average order value are so effective. The average order value is the average amount of money each customer spends per transaction. You can calculate your average order value using this simple formula:
=> Total revenue / number of orders = average order value
Ways you can increase your average order value include:
Bundling products together or creating packages.
Recommending another complimentary product which other customers have purchased.
Setting order minimums for free shipping or a gift.
There’s a lot of information in this article. But if you’re serious about increasing summer sales and warding off a business slump, I recommend you make use of as many of these as possible.
OVER TO YOU
What strategies do you use to boost summer sales? Which of the strategies above are you going to use? I love reading your feedback so please do take a moment to share let me know in the comments box below.
EXPLORE THESE ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Did you miss?
The Neptune Home Spring, Summer 2019 Marketing Campaign
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