Summer is finally here; and while our customers are planning family vacations, businesses are feeling the summer slump. Trendy boots have been traded for dollar bin flip flops and 20-pound turkeys have been replaced by $2 hot dogs. The growing season where less is more and life slows down.

A slowdown season in business is the world’s way of giving business owners an opportunity to sit back, reflect, and plant the seeds to grow their businesses in the months to come. Here are 5 ways to grow your business this summer.

1- Evaluate your business.

Most of us have a fiscal quarter or two in the books by now, so it’s a great time to take a look at our plans and goals. What’s working? What’s not working? There’s nothing wrong with changing things up a bit. It’s better to make a positive change mid-stream than to keep doing more of the same, especially if it’s not working or getting you any results.

Pour a glass of lemonade and make a side-by-side list of annual goals vs. results. We’re halfway through 2019 so you should be seeing some ROI by now.

2- Assess your staffing needs.

Take notice of how your employees are benefitting your company. Are there any who are working too hard while some aren’t working hard enough? Are they being compensated fairly? Even if you’re self-employed, or a one-man band, it’s important to assess your workload every now and again. Are you overworking yourself? Could your business grow if you hired an assistant?

Consider a summer intern. There are plenty of college students who are seeking summer internships and plenty of teenagers looking to put a few dollars in their pockets this summer. On the flip side, if an employee takes a week-long vacation this summer, and business continues as usual, it might be time to assess that position’s value.

3- Refresh your website.

Now is the perfect time to refresh your website BEFORE the holiday season hits. Give it a new look NOW so your customers will be familiar with navigating through it by fall. Change is always easier to deal with when you’re not feeling the pressure of holiday deadlines.

While you’re relaxing on the deck this summer, take a minute to look at some of your competitor’s websites. How does yours compare? Does it need a facelift or at least a summer glow? As you’re updating your site, make sure to update any marketing materials to match the new look of your site. You should also update the bios and cover photos on your social media profiles. Customers like consistency.

4- Organize a summer social.

There’s no better time than ice cream and watermelon season to host a customer appreciation day barbeque! Everyone thanks their customers during the holiday season with Christmas cards and fruitcakes, but customers actually enjoy a little appreciation in the summer too. Besides, it’s far less expensive to get your brand on t-shirts and visors than jackets and stocking hats!

Get out the sunscreen and plan a baseball outing for your customers or host a summer cook-out. And be sure to provide them with promo koozies to remind them of the great time they had on your dime, each and every time they use it!

5- Create a summer special.

Everyone expects Black Friday specials in November, but an unexpected summer special (not Christmas in July, full of last year’s holiday leftovers) on items that make everyone’s summer season even better would surely be a hit! You want your customers to see the summer special as a special, not a clearance event. Don’t sell them last year’s throws in June. Offer a seasonal product that’s relevant. You could even go one step further and throw in a free promotional item for next season!

Try offering a free collapsible cooler for this fall’s tailgating with the purchase of every full-size summer cooler purchase. Let your customers know that your customer service goes beyond the current season.

Everything happens for a reason, or so they say. We NEED a slow season like summer in order to stop and smell the roses, and take time to really water and nurture our businesses so they can grow and thrive the rest of the year!