Summers are slow for many shop owners. So your business is slow. Does that mean it’s time to panic? Of course not. Sometimes it’s seasonal. If you own an ice cream shop, winter probably isn’t a peak time of year for you.
Ask any successful business owner and she will probably tell you her business has seen slow periods. And she probably makes good use of her downtime too!
Remember the busy part of the year? The time when you were scrambling to keep up and wondering how you would get it all done? Well, you’ve just been given a gift: spare time! Time doesn’t pay the bills, true. But time well spent is bound to pay off.
I use this time of year to stock up on packaging materials and goodies for my customers. I also use this time to catch up on reading, building connections and updating my shop‘s inventory.
Consider making a checklist. If you haven’t blogged for your business in ages, this may be a good time to start. Get a dedicated notebook and make a list of blog ideas. Create a media kit to build your business and expand your connections. Read up on helpful blogs and books such as The Seller Handbook and the Guide to Businessy Goodness.
This month, I took advantage of great sales from VistaPrint and MOO. I was super excited to get MOO’s sticker book. Stickers with photos from my shop? How perfect is that? I seal shipping envelopes with label stickers that also feature photos from my shop. I’ll never be too old to love stickers.
I send little extras to my customers – postcards, gift tag bookmarks, bonus notepads or some combination of those. I think opening an Etsy purchase (and all purchases, really) should feel like opening a gift. That’s why I use rescued tissue paper in a rainbow of colors and patterns to carefully wrap most of my notebooks. And I tie everything up with twine. I’ve stocked up on everything this summer.
This downtime has also been a source of inspiration for new items for my shop. And that inspiration is all thanks to these extra moments to read, recharge with naps, have conversations with awesome new (and old) friends, collaborate on new projects, etc.
How do you take advantage of your downtime?