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5 Tips to Propel Your Small Business Forward During the Summer Slowdown

08/05/2014 09:54 pm ET | Updated Oct 05, 2014

Summer is a challenging time to be in business. Decision makers are on vacation, proposals are put on hold and prospects want to wait until the fall to get started on a program. It can feel like everything has stopped and that can have a negative impact on your motivation, productivity and overall morale.

The good news is, because everyone else is experiencing a summer slowdown as well, this is an optimal time to build serious momentum in your business. We have 5 more weeks until summer is over, school is back in session and everything returns to "normal." Here are 5 tips to stay motivated, get more done and propel your business forward the rest of the summer:

1. Change your schedule.
We all want to be outdoors and having fun during the summer so change your schedule to reflect that! Start work earlier so you can leave earlier, get more work done in the evening, or move things around so you can take Friday off. Plan key activities during your most productive hours. One of the primary benefits of being a small business owner is that you get to make your schedule, so take advantage of that!

2. Delegate or outsource more.
Chances are you're taking on too much work anyway. This is a prime opportunity to delegate more of your work to your team and consider outsourcing some tasks to a virtual staff or temporary hire. Taking those "to dos" off your list frees you up to get some R&R, focus on new products or spend more of your time on revenue producing activity, without working more hours.

3. Use technology to be at the office less.
With smart phones, tablets and practically unlimited Wi-Fi, you don't have to be stuck in the office to get things done. Work outside, head to a cafe or work remotely. Not only will this improve your morale, but changes in scenery will also give you a much-needed boost of creativity. Plus, who knows whom you will meet who you are in a new environment?

4. Get one of your "to do's" done.
Select a project or to-do item that has been hanging around forever and use the summer slowdown to get it done. For example, a slow period is the perfect opportunity to update your website, take a course, get certified in something, write an eBook, create a training program, evaluate your business results or update your marketing plan. If you are in a service-based business, the next couple of weeks is also a great opportunity to set up strategy sessions with prospective clients to generate interest in your services.

5. Take time off.
If you haven't already, take a vacation or a couple of long weekends and totally unplug from your business for a few days. Taking a break from your business will allow you to get rejuvenated and actually boost your productivity and creativity when you return.

As you can see, the dreaded summer slowdown doesn't have to be a bad thing. It can actually be a period of great growth for your small business -- as long as you use it to your advantage.

I want to hear from you! What have you been doing to take advantage of summer's slowdown? Leave your answer in the comment box below!

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