Navigating Business Growth through the Summer Months

Today, we’re diving into an essential topic: business growth over summer. We’re calling this our “Summer Success Campaign,” and for good reason. Typically, summer brings a noticeable decline in activity, what we refer to as a “trough.” While it’s not quite as severe as December’s dip, the summer trough is considerably long and disruptive.

Understanding the Summer Trough

At NEST, we’ve identified that summer can significantly disrupt businesses, so much so that we budget for a noticeable drop in our numbers. If our numbers drop, it’s likely that you’ll see a decline too. But we’re not settling for that this year, and neither should you.

We’ve invited some stellar guests to join our discussion today—they are clients who have managed to not just maintain, but significantly grow their businesses over summer. We’ve examined their statistics over several years, and unlike the usual trend, their businesses rise during this period. Let’s find out how they defy the odds.

Meet the Guests

Before diving into strategies, let’s introduce the clients joining us today:

  • Ricky from Essex: Teaches kickboxing and self-defense.
  • Ian from North London: Primarily teaches Jiu-Jitsu in Essex and North London.
  • Paul from Solihull: Runs the Combat Sports Centre, teaching kickboxing, boxing, and mixed martial arts.
  • Sarah from Leicester: Runs GNR8 Academy and Phoenix Judo Club, teaching boxing and judo.

These guests run sizable operations, some even ranking in the top ten of our clientele. They aren’t small businesses keeping afloat; these are thriving enterprises with a high potential for growth or decline.

The Importance of Summer Stability

Maintaining stability over summer can have a pivotal impact. If your business declines over summer, you’re starting September from a lower point. Conversely, maintaining your numbers gives you a head start and allows for accelerated growth come September.

Strategies for Marketing over Summer

Consistent Advertising Campaigns

Question: How do you market your school before and during the summer period?

Ian: “My focus is more on keeping existing students over the summer holidays rather than increasing numbers through advertising. I do run occasional promotions to encourage friends to join, but not much more than that.”

Paul: “I up my ad spend by 20% in July and maintain it through to the end of August. While the immediate numbers might not grow massively, the bump in awareness has a significant payoff in September.”

Sarah: “We run a ‘Fitness for Summer’ campaign targeting adults eager to get fit for summer. This starts in May and offers short courses at a discounted rate, which often leads to long-term sign-ups.”

Creative Promotional Activities

Creativity can set your marketing apart. For instance:

  • Paul: “We sponsor a local summer festival with wristbands featuring a QR code for our club. This increases awareness and results in numerous pre-taster session sign-ups.”
  • Sarah: “We target fitness enthusiasts with specific short courses. Once they’re through the door, converting them to long-term members becomes a smoother process.”

Innovative Retention Strategies

Beyond attracting new members, retaining existing students is critical. Here’s how our guests manage this:

Summer Camps

Ricky: “We start advertising a month before the summer holidays. Always, we encourage members to bring friends, boosting attendance.”

Paul: “We host ‘games days,’ allowing kids to bring a friend or a relative, while parents appreciate the break. Additionally, game days create a fun and engaging environment.”

Sarah: “Combining classes during low-attendance periods makes them more fun and interactive. We also introduce an attendance guidebook that rewards students’ attendance with small prizes, like T-shirts and pens.”

Ian: “Offering to freeze memberships for a small fee keeps parents happy and retains students, ensuring they come back post-holiday.”

Key Takeaways for Business Growth Over Summer

Consistency: Keep your advertising active and create waiting lists to fill in for any possible drop-offs.

Effective Communication: Engaging with parents and maintaining strong relationships can enhance word-of-mouth promotion.

Proactivity: Start marketing early and don’t hold back. The work you do now sets the stage for a successful September.

Innovative Promotions: Consider sponsoring local events, offering short courses, and genuinely engaging activities.

Retention Programs: Offer summer camps, adjust syllabuses for added fun, and reward attendance.

Recap and Final Thoughts

Consistency, clear communication, and early proactive measures are the trifecta for summer success. Utilise local opportunities and tweak your offerings to maintain engagement. Think of summer not as a lull, but as a unique opportunity to innovate and refine your approaches.

Keep the Momentum Going

We want to express our gratitude to our panellists for their invaluable insights. Remember, the summer slump is not an inevitability—take action, innovate, and ensure your business thrives.

Here’s to a successful summer and beyond!

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