If you're like me, you're ready and waiting for summer! I love spending time out in the sun, traveling, and taking a much-needed break. But it's important that we're getting our business ready for summer. Summer typically means a slowdown in our business so we want to use this time to set up for success. In this episode, I'm talking about ways to prep your business for summer so that you can relax while still growing your brand.
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Welcome to Strategy for Creatives: Business Minus the Bullshit. Whether you're new in business or find yourself in a season of change, get ready to build a strategy, create an action plan and crush those goals. I'm Sasha, host a strategy for creatives. And I help female led businesses grow their brands in authentic, measurable and meaningful ways, without the stress. There's no sugar coated here, I'm serving up real tips and actionable steps you can take to help get you organized, get off the path to burnout and grow your brand like a boss. So go ahead, pull up a chair, grab a notepad, and let's talk business. Welcome to Strategy for Creatives: Business Minus the Bullshit. I of course, am your host Sasha. And before we jump into this week's topic, I wanted to talk really quickly about a special project that I have been working on with two friends of mine, Sara and Devin, that I'm super excited to be able to finally announce on the podcast. If you're part of the Strategy for Creatives Facebook group you already know about this, and you may have seen it pop up in the email if you're on the email list. But I am super excited to announce that I have launched along with Sarah and Devin, the Boundless Audio Podcast Network. What is that? What is is a podcast network? What does it mean? I'm super excited. Of course I love podcasting. I have two podcast shows myself, this podcast and the Swirl and Sip podcast. But the boundless audio podcast network is essentially a community of podcasts, and it is going to be home and it already is home, to diverse shows with women at the lead. The network supports shows that are culturally conscious, and are strong allies and advocates for creating spaces for voices within marginalized communities. We showcase an assortment of shows with a wide range of topics, everything from marriage and comedy to business and entertainment. And if you are part of the network, we will help pull together resources, there's training and the support that you need to run a podcast and get it heard. There are going to be advertising opportunities and a lot of fun, educational pieces for podcasters. It is something that I'm truly passionate about. So if you want to learn more about the Boundless Audio Podcast Network, you can visit the website at boundlessaudionetwork.com. Now let's get into the show. This episode, I wanted to talk about getting your business ready for summer. Now I know it is still the end of April. And if you are in the DMV area, April has been an extremely rainy month. Of course we all know April showers bring May flowers, but for me pretty much as soon as May comes I don't even wait for Memorial Day. May for me means summertime, it means it's the beginning of the summer. It's warm weather, I'm ready for a vacation. In fact, we have several planned this season. And I'm super excited and looking forward to it. But what does that mean for our business? How do we get our business ready for having a successful summer. Because summer for a lot of people also means vacations,. It might mean a slowdown in purchases, it might mean trouble in getting people to respond via email or even getting clients in the door. So how do we set our business up for a successful summer. a lot of these are going to be action items. And I'm going to be talking about ways that you can set your business up not necessarily ways to generate more income in your business, but really just how to prep your business for summer. So the first thing that you want to do is decide on what your schedule is going to look like for the summer. I have a pretty set schedule that I work during the week. I essentially am at my desk from about 8am in the morning till about 5pm. I, of course have a day job. And so I go back and forth between my business pretty much during that time all day, Monday through Friday. Most Mondays or every other Monday, I don't have to work at my day job. So I spend that day kind of catching up on what I have to do for my business and my clients. But it's a pretty set schedule. I don't really check in on the weekends. And I don't work after five if I can help it. Now, what does that look like for the summer? Now for me, it means that there are going to be times where I'm going to be unavailable. I am going to be taking a lot of trips that begin on a Thursday or Friday. And I won't be coming back until on Monday. And that's just because of my husband's schedule. So decide what your schedule is going to look like for the summer. Is it going to be the same as you traditionally keep it during the other months of the year? Or are you going to start your days a little earlier? Wrap up a little bit earlier? Are you going to not work one day during the week? Are you going to have a four day work week? Think about how much time you actually want to commit to your business. And so that will help you figure out how much time you have available so that you're not over committing yourself to any projects that might come up over the summer. And you still have time set aside for whatever summer means to you. Whether that's vacations, relaxing, getting things done around the house. Figure out what what your schedule is going to look like for the summer. You also want to consider any vacation time. I just talked about this. So if you guys want to know about my vacation plans, my husband and I and Stokely actually just got back from a small little trip last weekend. We'll be taking a trip in May just my husband and I. In June, we're taking another family trip. We don't have anything scheduled for July and then August, we're also going to take a family trip to Puerto Rico. So clearly, we have a lot of trips. We love to travel. Travel is important to us, it's part of how I destress. We also a lot of times during the summer, even if they're not vacations per se, we spent a lot of time at the beach. It's right down the street from my house. So that's an important part of how I set up my time. So consider any vacation time that you have in your business, or if you have team members what their vacation plans are. Because if you're planning on taking a couple of weeks off, or a couple of days off in your business, you want to make sure that your business is set up for you to be able to take that time and step away. Make sure that you're leveraging any team members that you have. Make sure that you know when they're out so that way you can plan for them not being there as well as them planning for you not being around. And this is the perfect time, now before the season starts, it's the perfect time to set up and start using automated systems, so that way you have things functioning, so you can go on these trips, and you can take time off and not feel guilty about it. It is the perfect time to start automating those emails, let's schedule our emails out in advance for the next couple of months. You don't have to do it all at the same time plan at least a month in advance, get all of May's emails done, then when June comes or the end of May get all of June emails done, schedule them out, plan your content so that way you can take time off and those emails will still go out without you having to lift a finger and you don't have to worry about it when you're on vacation. Consider doing things like that when you're in your onboarding process as well. Do you have it set up that you can onboard clients without you really having to be there? Can they get their contracts? Can they get their invoices? Can they give you whatever they need to get started on their projects, with the caveat being that their start date might be a little delayed because you have time off. Think about those systems that you have, or that you should have and can put in place in order to make your business run more smoothly. While you're taking the time off. You also want to have a plan for anything that you'll be launching or promoting over the summer. If you are especially a product heavy business summer, of course is a great time to start getting those products out. But you want to start doing it now. We buy for summer beginning inlate spring. By the time summer is actually here. If you go to places like Target, you'll realize that they're actually starting to sell fall things. So summer, when it comes to promoting products starts early. Figure out what you're launching over the summer. If it's a product or a service, how are you going to be promoting it, and then put that plan in place and set it up now. So that way, you're not scrambling to do it while you're on vacation, or while you're out of the office or while you have set time set aside for your family figure out that launch plan now put it into place. So that way you're not worrying about it once the summer actually is here. I also suggest setting up evergreen content. Evergreen content is not season or time specific. It's something that can get done once and that you can use over and over again. you might see this a lot of times for things like webinars where they're pre recorded, You can launch it and have a sale or put it out there and you actually don't have to do anything. You only have to record it the one time and then it becomes evergreen, it's always relevant to your audience, you can put out a page where people can register, and they'll get instant access. If you want to create evergreen content, now is the time to do that. Record that live webinar or record a series of videos or a course that you can do. Take the time beforehand to prepare so that way you can automate it and deliver it all summer long. Evergreen content, outside of the summertime, is great to have as just a residual income. It's an easy way to have something that can earn you money without you really having to do anything over and over again. You only have to do it the one time; it can't be a little bit labor intensive the first time; but you only have to do it the ones and then it's something that's going to keep serving you. So consider creating evergreen content as a way to just get residual income during the summer months, but also all year long. Again, I talked about this earlier you also want to think about automating any services or offers that you have. Things that can generate revenue in your business during the summer and you can do them from an automation or systems perspective. So again, are your contracts set up so that way, you don't have to actually write up and type up a contract. You can just hit send and your potential client will get it, they can sign it, they can pay an invoice. Having your offers autumn made, it frees up a whole bunch of time so you can focus on the things that you really want to do during the summer months. Now, especially during the summer is when you want to leverage or grow a team. If you don't have a team right now. If you've been considering outsourcing, the summer is actually a great time to bring people on board, because it does tend to be slower in the summer months. You can get new people onboard it, they can pick up things and then they will have the opportunity to do them while you may be out of the office. But also, while it's a slower time. You can also work with your team on what kinds it can be done in advance, how they can automate things, things that they can do to help turn what you already have into evergreen content. So utilize a team if you have one. Also, again, remember when your team might not be available and factor that into what needs to get done so that way, you're not scrambling because one of your team members was supposed to do something, or you thought that they were going to be able to do something, but unfortunately, they're out of the office. There are also a couple of things that you can do internally in your business that can help you just get ready for the fall and the winter months ahead. So again, summer tends to be a slower time of year in terms of sales and business. So use this as a time to reconnect with your past clients, reach out to them touch base, see how they're doing, and just put your business in the front of their minds so that way, if they're thinking about utilizing your services, again, you've already created that touch point. They remember working with you again and they're more likely to come back to you whenever they need your services. It's a great way to drum up new business in the slower months. You also want to start preparing for tax season. Now I know tax season literally just ended. April 15th was not that long ago, and we are about a year away from taxes being due again. But it's a great time to set your finances up so that way you're not scrambling come tax season next year. You can use this slower time of year and your business to get ahead on getting those important files organized, maybe meeting with a tax advisor who can help you figure out if your business is optimized the way that it should be. For example, in my business, I realized after I did my taxes this year, that I was not set up appropriately for the amount of revenue that I was be bringing in. And so I had to readjust. I met with my tax guy, we talked about the best way to reorganize my business. And so now I'm set up better for this coming year. So come tax season next year, I'm not being hit with a huge tax bill. And so now is the great time to start prepping your business for tax season for next year so that way, you don't have to pay taxes out the ass either. Or at least it's not unexpected. As always revisit your business goals. Summer downtime is a great time to make sure that you're still on track to meet your long term and short term business goals. Figure out what you can do during the summer months when it is more downtime. Maybe instead of doing real heavy client facing work, you can do some more of that CEO, back end work and set your goals up. So that way when fall and winter calm, you're really ready to push ahead when people are back into the mindset of business. Update any of your social media profiles. Make sure all of them are up to date with the latest information, point them to that evergreen content where you can get that residual income. Point them till you're out of offices when you're going to be unavailable. Let them know what your schedule is looking like so people can understand when you might be in and out of the office. And then lastly, use the summer as a time to update your skills. Just learn something new to help you perform your services or help you create new products better. There's nothing wrong with continued learning. I'm a big advocate of continued learning and the summer is a great time to take advantage of that. Maybe there's a conference you can go to in a place that has palm trees and a pool and well you can have a little vacation and do some business learning as well. So think about ways that you can update your skill set during the summer months. So that way again, when the fall and the winter come along, you're better prepared to deal with those new clients coming in. Now I am a big big proponent, of course, you guys know this of a work life balance. I take my summer very seriously. I don't like to work a lot when it's nice outside. I like to enjoy the season. I like to be outside as much as possible. If you ask my husband, he will tell you that pretty much the day that it starts being 70 or above, I am begging him to do something outside to go... let's go to museum, let's go walk around the zoo, let's take a trip somewhere. I love the summer. I live for the summer months and I don't want to be bogged down or held back because my business isn't set up for me to be successful. So if you feel the same way if you want to enjoy your summer with family and friends and travel and do the things that you want to do, set your business up for success. Automate things and plan your business in a way that you are not chasing or feeling stressed out because you did not prepare. The best way to win During the summer season is to prepare now, so that way you can spend the summer in the sun. Are you ready to uplevel your business? Join the five day be your own CEO challenge. All the details are available on the website at www.by-sasha.com. If you liked what you heard, make sure you rate and review. It really helps other people find the show. And of course, following subscribe on your favorite podcast platforms. Want to follow me on social? I'm on Instagram and Facebook at Strategy By Sasha. Make sure you tune in next Tuesday for more business tips. Part of the Boundless Audio Podcast Network