Use “Leisure” Time To Build Your Business and Strengthen Connections, Part 3

With last month’s issue of this newsletter, we started a short series designed to help you look at your summer from an unusual point of view. Instead of just accepting the “fact” that the summer is a time when business slows down, we are hoping to encourage you to think about ways you can turn a traditionally “slower” time into a more productive time.

With this third issue closing out summer, I provide some practical ways to work on improving the operations of your own business during slower months.  With some strategic thinking, you can turn time you may have once considered a lull into a period of strategic development that can drive your business for months to come.

Here are a few ways you can do that:

  • Work on improving yourself and what you offer your clients.  If there’s “real” downtime in the businesses you serve, use that time to work on the requirements for that new professional designation.  You’ll be increasing the value you bring to all of your professional relationships, and you’ll be increasing your credibility at the same time.

  • Do a deep dive into how you are spending your resources, but in terms of time and money.  This might be the perfect time to examine your scheduling and whether it’s truly optimal for your business and the businesses you serve.  In addition, look closely at every expense.  It’s easy to let your business’ ongoing expenses get out of whack, and a slower time will give you the ability to reevaluate how and where you’re spending is going, and whether it makes the most sense for your operation.
  • Is there a product you’ve been considering adding to your portfolio?  If so, a slower time might be the perfect time to really analyze its potential increased revenue for your business, think through what you’ll need to sacrifice to add it to the mix, and assuming it makes sense for you and your clients, begin to map out how you’ll integrate it into your current approach.
  • Start to ask yourself some straightforward questions about your business in the long term.  Where do you want to be in 5 years or 10 years?  Is your current market the one you will be serving then?  Are your current customers the ones you’ll want to be seeing 10 years from now?  What about your office location?  Even if you’re currently satisfied with your business, answering these kinds of questions can help your business grow.  These kinds of questions also take a lot of serious and honest thought, and the summer months may be just the time to ask them.
  • Finally, think seriously about what happens to your business when you’re no longer involved with it.  Do you have a continuation plan?  Surprisingly, many producers who make a living addressing business continuation or succession plans with their clients fail miserably with their own organization’s plans.  This might be just the time to begin to work seriously toward buttoning down what will happen when you’re no longer around.

Whatever you do, refuse to make excuses about the summer months being slow.  With the right approach, you can turn the summer into three months that have a powerful impact on the trajectory of your business.

Charles Hirsch

Charles K. Hirsch, CLU
Hirsch Communications Consulting, LLC.