Are you Surviving Summer While You Grow Your Business?
Summer = sunshine, play, trips, cold drinks and kids. In my house, that means kids around pretty much ALL of the time.
Let’s face it – the minute our kids’ schedules change, our schedules change too.
How can we keep our businesses humming and continuing to grow as our schedules change and focus shifts? How can we continue to bring in income without having to be as connected and as hands-on as we are throughout the rest of the year?
Here are three key strategies to help you earn more, work less and stay sane this summer.
1. One word: Marketing
If you do nothing else this summer, the one and only non-negotiable aspect that must happen is marketing.
Why? Because even if you’re not selling, even if you’re not creating, even if you’re not available – you can’t afford to lose visibility within your market.
Your entire summer marketing can be automated, you don’t need to touch it daily, but it absolutely must happen.
- Prewrite and schedule your blog posts to go live every few weeks during the summer.
- Preschedule social media updates to ensure you don’t lose your visibility to your audience.
- Prewrite and schedule your touches to your email list to keep yourself visible and top of mind. Stay in your customers inboxes. Build credibility and continue to share value.
You don’t need to make offers, you don’t need to do big launches, you don’t need to be running at 100% – but you do need to remain visible.
Keep marketing. Pinky Swear?
2. Bring In More Support
When you decrease your availability to work – but still have fulfillment commitments, you have one of two choices: either outsource more of your work or outsource your kids.
By outsourcing, you will definitely do more profit sharing (your costs will go up), but your available time to play will also go up. Since we know how valuable your time is – it makes sense.
One of the biggest challenges my clients have over the summer is childcare. This is one area where a little bit of planning and a dash of creativity can really pay off, both in securing work-time and keeping more of your income. Here are some ideas for “creative” childcare that I’ve come across:
- Babysitting co-op. There are about 19 of us in our neighborhood co-op. Everybody gets 15 tokens when they start and as I look after kids, I earn tokens, and if I need somebody to look after my kids, then I spend my tokens, and not once does a dollar change hands. So that’s one creative childcare option. See if there is a babysitting co-op in your area.
- Kid swap. Another creative childcare idea is to swap kids. Find a friend who is in a similar predicament, or even a stay-at-home mommy with a new baby who needs a couple mornings off per week. Take her kids on Monday and Wednesday and she can take yours on Tuesday and Thursday. This is a great way to get some quiet time for things that need done for work without breaking the bank.
- Mother’s helpers. Babysitters can be pretty pricey. What about hiring a middle-schooler from your neighborhood or a niece or nephew or friend of the family who just wants something to do in the summer and wouldn’t mind making a few extra bucks? For a fraction of the cost of a sitter, you could hire a younger child to perform scheduled activities with your kids, within your reach, such as coloring, snack time, or movie time, while you get a couple hours of work in.
- Call in those favors. Last, but certainly not least—all those people who are always saying, “Oh my gosh! I’d LOVE to babysit for you sometime!” It’s time to call in those favors from friends and family members who would just eat up time with your darling children.
3. Work With Purpose.
Ensure you work with purpose. What does this mean? It means when you sit down, know exactly what you are going to accomplish. Priority is those tasks with maximum impact. Be clear on your boundaries when it comes to when you will work, when you won’t work, and when your kids and family will have your undivided attention. And then stick to those boundaries. You will be much more effective and engaged when you set those limits up ahead of time.
I’m curious – how are you staying sane this summer?
Leave a comment with your best tips for surviving summer while you grow your business!