For a business owner, vacation time is precious yet precarious. There’s no denying you need a break from the daily grind. But if you leave at the wrong time, even for a few days, you risk missing out on opportunities or losing business to competitors.
However, that’s no reason to panic and abandon your travel plans altogether. With a little strategic scheduling and some proactive tactics, you can take a trip at the most opportune time and enjoy every minute of it.
Everyone goes away in the summer, right? That’s exactly why it might not be the greatest time to think about closing your business for vacation. If this doesn’t seem to make any sense, think about it for a minute.
It’s summer. People are traveling to your area. Your competitors are off in their favorite vacation destinations and not paying much attention to marketing or sales. This could be a golden opportunity for your business!
Of course, there are exceptions to this principle. If your work is seasonal and you get most of your customers during the fall and winter months, you might as well take a trip in the summer when business is slow. The same goes if the majority of your customers tend to take advantage of the nice weather for their own vacations all at the same time.
So, how do you decide on the perfect moment to dial things down and enjoy a relaxing getaway?
You should be able to find a few days or weeks when being absent from your usual post won’t mean losing out on the chance to grow your business while the competition is preoccupied.
Once you know when you’re going to take a break, it’s time to buckle down and develop an action plan to capitalize on everyone else’s vacation time. Other business owners in your niche won’t be out of town for long, so you need to think and act fast.
Is there a marketing tactic or growth plan you’ve been putting off? Something your competitors’ customers want that they can’t get until vacationing business owners return? Sales or customer data you’ve analyzed but haven’t applied? Now is the time to move forward.
With your competitors slowing down or temporarily closing up shop, customers aren’t getting as much marketing content delivered to their inboxes or social media feeds. Even if other businesses have scheduled some automated messages, they can’t do anything spontaneous like run flash sales or give out “today only” coupons. The lack of inbox and news feed clutter makes your ads more visible, which can boost impressions and increase conversions.
It’s also a good time to consider setting up passive revenue streams, such as condensing some of your best content into an e-book or getting into affiliate marketing. These endeavors can bring in extra money for your business whether you’re there or not. Establishing them now means you’ll have revenue coming in even when it’s time to head off on vacation.
What’s the whole point of doing all this extra work when you could be lying on a beach somewhere with a glass of iced tea and your favorite summer reads?
More market share.
Remember, your competitors aren’t around. Putting off your small business vacation gives you the chance to reach out to their customers without opposition and corner the market on the tourist travel and increased foot traffic in your area. There are two key ways to do this: marketing and expansion.
To maximize marketing, research your competitor’s audiences. Determine where they intersect with yours and if there are any segments you aren’t reaching but should be. Put a twist on your regular marketing messages to highlight the fact that your business is open and active, and strategically target your ads to new, relevant groups. Push this content out across your social media platforms to create buzz around your brand and bring people in the door.
Marketing this way overlaps with expansion as you connect with a wider audience. While you have their attention, it might be a good time to introduce a new product or service or introduce alternative ways of accessing what you already sell. Subscription packages or VIP access add an air of exclusivity your competitors can’t beat if you offer it first!
It’s not always a great plan to push your vacation into the future in favor of putting your nose to the grindstone. If there’s one overlooked truth about business owners and vacation, it’s that they need more! Fourteen percent of people who run small businesses only take vacations once every two to three years. However, studies show consistently logging 50 or more hours per week kills productivity.
How do you know when it’s time to take a break? Here are a few warning signs:
Be on the lookout for these signs in yourself and your employees, and don’t feel guilty taking time off if you’re all feeling a little frazzled.
If you decide you can wait to step away from your business, then do everything you can to capitalize on your competitor’s absence. By offering better value than your competitors, you can take the first step in gaining a competitive edge and increasing your customer base. Whether you refinish your current location, improve your current product line, offer a new product line, or make a different move, growth is on your horizon.
The Business Financing Advisors can help you access the capital you need to make it happen right away! Rather than waiting for the end of the vacation period, we can help you access funding in less than 24 hours. Get started right away by filling out our 60-second application!
National Business Capital & Services is the #1 FinTech marketplace offering small business loans and services. Harnessing the power of smart technology and even smarter people, we’ve streamlined the approval process to secure over $1 billion in financing for small business owners to date.
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Matt Carrigan is the Content Writer at National Business Capital & Services. He loves spending every day creating content to educate business owners across every industry about business growth strategies, and how they can access the funding they need!