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Summer Small Business Bucket List

Check out the summer bucket list from Scorpion to learn more about how you can help your business succeed in the summer.
Caitlyn Blair

Keep Your Business Thriving All Summer Long With These 7 Initiatives

Summer is the second most expensive season of the year, next to winter when consumers tend to shell out extra cash for the holidays. Even though consumers are spending more money during the summer on things like vacation and travel, a summer slump is a common phenomenon that small businesses experience. As many customers are spending more time traveling and enjoying the weather, they may be frequenting your business less and less.

Being proactive this summer season will help keep your small business out of the financial red zone and in a place to thrive for many years to come. Here are seven initiatives to put on your marketing checklist to keep your small business thriving this summer:

  • Switch up your marketing tactics to widen your audience

One of the biggest problems that small business owners run into in the summer is the fact that their typical consumers are switching up their habits. This means they are not coming to their usual spots. If small businesses want to keep up during this time, they will need to refresh their tactics too.

If you see your sales declining in the summer, it might be time to try out some new digital marketing strategies and expand your audience. For example, if you usually stick to email marketing, you could revamp your social media pages or give SEO marketing a try. If you haven’t run any kind of promotion before, take advantage of the summer season to run a summer-themed promotion and attract more customers.

If you need some help getting started with these types of marketing tactics, Scorpion has the resources you need. Check out these “how-to” guides that walk you through the basics of these important marketing strategies:

As the season is changing, so should the tone of voice and visual aspects of your marketing campaign. Think about what your customers enjoy the most about these months and focus on those.

Some of the ways you can make your business stand out from the crowd this summer include:

  • Send out summer swag to your loyal patrons

  • Bring the vacation to your customers by infusing the feel of summer into your summer marketing initiatives

  • Refresh your graphics and language to reflect summer activities and aesthetics

  • Collaborate with another business

Customers who support your small business are likely inclined to support other small businesses as well. 57% of Americans say that their main reason for shopping small is to keep money local, and 38% of shoppers say they want to support their local community. If you can find a way to collaborate with other small businesses in the area with whom you might share a customer base, you can expand your reach during the summer months. Be sure to avoid collaborations with direct competitors. Some ways you can collaborate with these businesses include:

  • Cross-promote with their social media pages

  • Run joint giveaways on social media

  • Run guest posts on each other’s websites

  • Host an event together

  • Host summer events

Speaking of events, the summer is the perfect time to host an event and bring current as well as potential customers together. The average American is 31% more social in the summer than they are in the winter. This summer season is an especially great time to take advantage of this opportunity, as many customers will be eager to leave their homes and experience the summer they haven’t been able to for the past few years during the pandemic. Some of the top reasons you should invest in events this summer include:

  • Reaching a larger audience

  • Networking with other business owners

  • Raising awareness about your business

  • Instilling a revived sense of company pride and culture

  • Host a contest or a giveaway

Some consumers might be hesitant to try out new businesses, but there is one price tag that everyone loves: free. If you feel like you are losing some of your regular customers over the summer, hosting a giveaway is a great way to get new customers engaged with your business. This can help you make up for the lag you might be experiencing.

The way you should navigate your contest or giveaway depends on the nature of your business and the services you offer. One of the best parts about holding these kinds of contests is that you can encourage people to share your business profile on their social media pages, which will expand your reach even further.

One business that does an amazing job holding summer giveaways is a small art supply brand named OOLY. Even though art supplies are not reserved for the summer season, the company has reframed their language to appeal to an audience who is more engaged during this season. To accomplish this, they hold a giveaway in the summer where customers can win a package of art and stationery supplies valued at over $125.

OOLY is very strategic with their language surrounding this campaign and aims to get families excited for summer travel. The company has also launched an entire line of supplies designed specifically for summer travel. Although this specific action is not possible for every business, it might be helpful to consider how your services would benefit your customers in the summer and frame your offerings accordingly.

  • Target the vacationers

While some of your regular customers are out traveling the world, don’t lose out on the ones that are visiting your town! Even if you don’t think of your location as a prime vacation spot, you might be surprised at the number of visitors you have during the summer season. These visitors will often want to take advantage of the local businesses that they don’t get to experience in their areas, so don’t be afraid to market to them!

One way you can do this is to encourage customers to bring an out-of-state ID to get a discount on your services. You can show the locals some love by encouraging them to bring an out-of-state visitor so they can receive a discount too.

Of course, not every small business will be relevant to vacationers, but if your business is, make sure you are tailoring your content to match the keywords vacationers search for. This will involve local SEO tactics, including the following:

  • Optimize your Google listing to rank higher on Google maps and gain visibility in local Google search results

  • Encourage your existing happy customers to leave positive reviews on Google and Yelp

  • Weave local keywords into your content organically

  • Create location-based pages and blogs

  • Created dedicated pages for each of your products or services and use local keywords

  • Use long-tail keywords to optimize for voice search; adjust your tone of voice to be conversational

  • Create content surrounding local news stories and events

  • Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices

  • Make sure your business is listed in online directories 

  • Offer military discounts

Military discounts are a great way to honor those who serve. It also offers an opportunity to put a unique spin on standard discounts that you can offer in the summer. This season is a great time to offer military discounts because of the holidays that already exist surrounding the military. You could offer a timely military discount for the Fourth of July or Memorial Day, or you could simply extend these discounts to last all season. These kinds of discounts will help people connect with your business and will remind them of why they love supporting small businesses in the first place.

Overall, the most important task for you to check off your summer small business bucket list is to form meaningful connections with your current and potential customers. If you are able to stay engaged with those who have interacted with your business in the past, you will be on the right track to pick up where you left off when the summer ends. You will want to keep the momentum going through the summer by taking steps like the ones above, and you will also want to stay in touch with your current customers through your digital marketing efforts.


For more ideas on the best ways to amplify your small business marketing tactics, contact the marketing team at Scorpion.