Today, the 21st of June, marks the start of summer as the longest day of the year. For many businesses it foretells of the long days of a summer business slump. Why? Because, for many businesses, when the summer holidays come, business development (BD) goes on holiday.
Whilst going on holiday is great, the holiday is SO over when you return and have to put in the extra time, energy, effort and, often, money to get the business back into full swing again. And for many of those same businesses, opportunities are missed because BD took the summer off.
Often, we spend more time, energy, and money planning our summer holidays than we do investing it wisely and proactively in our BD activities.
But it doesn’t have to be like that this summer. You can still go on holiday AND keep your BD going. Done right, you may even get your BD activity to where you even get ahead of what you ever expected including the competition.
Here’s a few tips how:
1. Be prepared.
Just like you plan your trip for the holidays, plan ahead for your BD activity. You can do it at the beach, your back garden, on a park bench or, yes, at your business. When you are at work, diarise regular, if not daily, BD meetings and activity – networking, follow-ups, keeping in touch etc. Diarise everything to make sure no activity gets missed. And if things do slow down (because many of your clients are on holiday AND have decided things are slower), use that time proactively to strategise and plan ahead.
2. Start early.
Ever left packing for your holiday to the last minute? Stressful, right?
Well, as the mornings are lighter earlier, use that to your advantage. Get up and get going. Beat the traffic and your competition. (Remember, “the early bird gets the worm”). With no distractions, you’ll get heaps more done in less time. (Added bonus: you may even get home earlier to enjoy that gin & tonic or that round of golf).
As is often asserted, “Sales solve everything!”
Sales are essential for your business to grow and fund further growth. Why stop for the summer? Putting your business under preventable strain sounds like insanity.
Put first things first. Prioritise your business development activity. Make it the first thing you do each day. Every day.
4. One thing!
Focus on one thing; one business development activity each day.
One thing is more likely to get done. Nailing that one thing gives you a sense of achievement; gives you a buzz. That one thing often leads to another. Success breeds success.
5. Go for quick wins.
Identify your low hanging fruit and go for that. Seek out where you know you are most likely to get success. That will create momentum for you, your team, and your business.
When you achieve that one thing, when you get a quick win (or any other), celebrate. Celebrate with your team, your clients, and your friends and family. Reward success. Positive reinforcement is a great motivator. Set goals for yourself or your team and reward accordingly. Have a picnic. A BBQ. A beach day out. Pizza in the park. Whatever. (Oh! You can invite your clients and contacts – past, present and future. They’ll love it and you get to do some relationship building. Who knows? You may even win some business whilst having a truly great time too.)
7. Keep score.
What gets measured gets managed. Whether you have a dashboard, a whiteboard, a spreadsheet, or a ‘Beach 5’, keep tabs on those KPIs. They will keep you accountable. They will incite momentum.
Now...put those tips to work and you can still go on holiday because your business development won’t be.
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