For a large number of businesses and professionals the summer months bring with it a downtime for their industry. As the kids come home from school for the summer and your summer routine takes hold it might be difficult to feel productive, especially if your business cycle is typically in the middle of a natural downswing in the summer.
Try out these five tips to keep your productivity as high as possible while the summer months take over.
1. Review your KPI’s for the year
Every business has their own Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that they should be tracking on a regular basis. The problem with KPIs is that you might track them diligently, but when it comes to the end of the month, quarter, or year end, you rarely evaluate their impact on your business over time.
Take a day or two this summer to go over your KPIs and the data gleaned from them. Is there one KPI that stands out as a need? Should you include or remove KPIs? These indicators are important to how your business develops moving forward. Take the time to make sure they are working for you.
2. Shorten up your work day
The days simply seem longer in the summer. The sun is shining and from your desk chair it might seem like you’re missing out on everything going on outside your office. In turn, this keeps you permanently distracted from late June to the end of August. Your 8-9 hour workday can feel like a long march, even if you love your work.
To combat this feeling try shortening up your work day to 6 hours during the core business hours of the day a couple days a week. Studies have shown that a strategically shorter workday does not significantly impact productivity and can, in fact, over time increase overall productivity.
3. Take the time to think about blue sky strategy
What if you knew you couldn’t fail? What would you do to help your business? That’s blue sky thinking. Sometimes you get so bogged down in your day-to-day work that you don’t have time to think BIG. You need to be able to ask the question, What if?
Is there a new business line you want to tackle or a new role you think needs to be filled in your company? Blue sky thinking will enable you to take a step back and bring innovative ideas to the table to push your business forward. You can’t do the same thing day in and day out hoping growth will suddenly happen. Take those ideas and strategies and refine them into actionable plans this summer.
4. Start developing a content marketing plan
Content marketing is arguably the most impactful marketing strategy available to businesses and organizations no matter their industry or sector. Content marketing is also one of the most time intensive forms of marketing making the summer a perfect time to develop a plan.
Start by identifying your target audience and determine what type of information they would want to know more about. If you are having difficulty figure this out, ask your current clients for some inspiration, then determine which platforms your content will best live on (i.e. video, blog posts, infographics, etc.) and this too depends on your clients.
Next determine a marketing channel for the content to be distributed over such as email, social media, SEO, Google Adwords, or print media. Finally, be sure to implement tracking mechanisms in order to later figure out how your content is doing so you can then go back and tweak your content for maximum impact.
5. Reconnect with business contacts for casual setting meetings
I know you’re busy. You meant to set up that lunch meeting with one of your clients or vendors back in March to see how everything is moving along and either because you were swamped or your contact was, you never quite got around to meeting. Now’s the time to reach out and set something up.
Your ability to develop and maintain your business contacts is of the utmost importance to long term business success and the summer is a perfect time to reconnect and even build new connections. For example, you could dedicated every Wednesday from now until Labour Day as the day you spend lunch out of the office and grab a bite to eat with a contact or friend.
In the end, it’s the summer so try to mark off time to relax and have some fun in order to recharge for the rest of the year.