Summers, Recessions and Business Growth

Remember grade school? First day back after Labor Day? First assignment was always, "How I spent my summer vacation...

I grew up in a construction family and what that meant was that like farmers, landscapers, and many others, summer time was prime work time. Summer prime time means that while some went to the beach, others worked 12-16 hour days to take advantage of daylight.

I talked with a business owner yesterday that just got back from a week plus rafting trip. He's got stuff to do before he goes on a fishing trip in two weeks and he's got several other recreational activities planned for the summer. How can he do this and still own and run a successful business in his 30's?

Here's what I think.

  1. He knows that he gets no vacation from late December to mid April because that's his busy season.
  2. He knows that his clients expect him to be very attentive to their needs during the first few days of every month.
  3. He focuses on growth. He spends way more time working on his business than in his business and it's more than lip service. Finding and getting new clients, keeping them forever and delighting them to the point of evangelization is his daily focus.
  4. He only hires employees that agree and that he can count on to deliver.

How are you going to spend this summer? Chasing prospects that don't want to be bothered during their busy season or chasing prospects that don't want to be bothered at the beach? Nurturing leads that don't want to be nurtured? Are you gonna spend the first few weeks after Labor Day getting back in the groove or are you gonna be set up to have a 4Q14 that's bigger than all of 2013?

Why the title? Some business owners and salespeople go through a 'mini-recession' every summer. They struggle, try to sell the wrong stuff to the wrong people and get behind with their goals, but summer, like recessions can be used to your advantage. Companies that cut costs during recessions often wind up going out of business. There's a saying that goes, "You can't grow sales by cutting costs." The companies that double down, invest, work smarter pick up the business that others lose and emerge bigger, stronger and more profitable. You may already know that Elaine and I have a house on a golf course and a house at the ocean. What you may not know is that both of those houses were bought during recessions. When everybody else was cutting costs, we were working smart and getting bargains.

What's in store for you this summer? Want to change your circumstances? Do you want to 4Q13 to rock?

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