Small Business Column: Stay productive in the summer months

Summertime is right around the corner and it’s the season for going on holidays or staring aimlessly out the window, wishing you were somewhere else.

So, how can you keep productive in those months when it’s easier to sip cocktails in the sun than do work?

Reassess:

Have a look at the goals you set yourself at the beginning of this year.

Where are they and what has changed in the intervening months?

If you’ve taken a new direction in your business, aim for obtainable goals and give yourself a short-term strategy that takes you through the summer days.

Be time flexible:

Summer gives us the longest days of the year and everybody wants a good piece of that rare Irish weather called ‘sunshine’. So, be flexible with your staff and their needs.

For the World Cup last summer, businesses across Europe allowed staff time off to watch the games, encouraging them to enjoy the time off.

This brought productivity gains and morale boosts across some companies and allowed employees to have something to look forward to other than the weekend.

Take a holiday:

I know I know, you’re going to tell me that there is no time for time off.

However, work is just as much about the mental as it is the physical.

Being a business owner can be emotionally draining as the rollercoaster ride that is being a boss takes its toll.

Take time for yourself:

You don’t have to go halfway around the world either, just get out of the office and stay out.

Of course, you’ll probably be checking your e-mails every 15 minutes. If you delegate properly and have good staff, then you should be good to go and finish that book you started four months ago.

Hire A skip:

Fresh seasons deserve fresh starts.

Unclutter your desk and clean up the office. If you don’t need it, bin it.

Clutter loves time because it’s how you get so much useless stuff taking up space on your desk. Your environment and where you work is extremely important to productivity, so clean things up and get a fresh perspective in your office space.

Invest in analytics:

Summer months are routinely described as ‘slow’ in many business sectors. People are away on holidays at intermittent times and normal service slows. Use data to see how you can pull in more customers in the summer months and see why people are using your services.

This will be a great resource the next year when summer comes around again. You find out how to increase productivity and sales while your competitors are sipping Long Island ice teas by the pool. Never miss an opportunity to get better.

Get covered or hire new staff:

Staff will be away on and off throughout the summer, so plan ahead and make sure you’re covered when they leave. Summertime is also a great time to hire in new staff and allow them to see how the company operates. New employees can also help keep that productivity lull from happening and as you work into the Autumn months you will have people who are in their stride and not thinking about ‘where they were this time a month ago’.

Avoiding the summer downturn is important in every business. Sectors such as tourism are now all-year pursuits and summer can help you set the foundation for the future of your business. Don’t believe that the summer months have to be slow. There are targets and things you can do to help keep that slowdown from happening. Be prepared and your business will have fun in the sun!


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Wesley O’ Regan is the General Manager of Popscene in Voodoo Rooms, Cork city. Popscene opened last November and is Cork’s only themed bar that is dedicated to celebrating the best of the 80s and 90s. https://www.facebook.com/PopsceneCork/You've Been Served: Wesley O'Regan, Popscene

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