small business saterday

Warm months are usually a time where revenue can plateau or even decrease unless you run a business that is in demand during the summer.

The cyclical nature of business is especially true for bloggers and online business owners who experience less engagement while people are out enjoying the sun.

The good news is that fall is right around the corner which can bring a resurgence of traffic and opportunities.

Here are ways to prepare for it now:

Switch Over to SSL

SSL or a secure socket layer is a security measure that encrypts data between a server and browser.

Websites that have SSL activated begin with https:// instead of just http://.

Here are some benefits of having SSL on your website:

If you haven’t yet activated SSL, you may want to do that now before business starts picking up.

Reach out to your web host for details on how to move forward.

My web host is Bluehost, and tech support helped me activate SSL earlier this summer. One thing to be aware of is the switch can take several days because old links need to redirect to the new URL.

Your site may even experience down time, so it’s smart to do this before you get a rush of traffic.

Raise Your Rates

Now is the time to review your contracts and decide on new rates if you’re planning on raising them for existing clients next year. 

It’s best to give your customers notice of an increase months in advance. This way they have enough time to agree to the new rate, to counter with another offer, or to terminate the contract.

Reviewing your pricing strategy before Q4 will give you ample time to send out increase notices.

Do a Massive Website Audit

I’ve taken advantage of the summer slump with a much-needed website redesign that should go live before September.

You may not have the time (or need) to redo your entire site this month, but you can improve some pages or even update content. A website theme change or new professional photos can freshen things up as well.

You can also go through your most popular posts and pages to improve SEO.

If you have many years worth of blog content, consider going back through your archive and omitting mentions of specific dates and past events. This is a simple adjustment that can make your older posts more evergreen and relevant to new visitors.

Follow up with Projects That Stalled

It’s easy for negotiations to halt and projects to fall to the back burner during summer vacations and holidays.

You’ve probably gotten many “out of office” auto-responders in the last few months, right?

Try reconnecting with prospects you were courting before the summer slump.

You may have a better chance of catching people in the office now plus new opportunities may pop up that you can tackle before year end.

My industry (personal finance) is pretty predictable. Each year, new assignments come up around September when school starts and people are getting back into the swing of things.

Switch into high gear now if you also experience high demand in the fall and winter so you can earn enough income to ride out another slow summer next year.

Final Word

Summer slumps can be a drag, but instead of panicking embrace it while you can.

A lull in business is a good time to reflect and make changes in preparation for another busy season.

Taylor K. Gordon is a personal finance writer and founder of Tay Talks Money, a personal finance and productivity blog on hacking your way to a happier savings account. Taylor has contributed to MagnifyMoney, The Huffington Post, GoGirl Finance, Madame Noire, and The Write Life.

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