How to maximise your takings during the summer holidays

Summer is arguably one of the best times of the year for retailers. A combination of sporting events, warmer weather, bank holidays and happier customers are all reasons to feel optimistic about increasing your sales. In fact, over three-quarters (77%) of UK SME retailers expect an increase in sales this summer, with sales expected to rise on average nearly a third (29%), according to the Royal Maili.

But the months of July and August can go by alarmingly quickly if you’re not properly prepared. Success in business is all about planning ahead. So here are a few tips on how to maximise your revenue during the period.

Review your goals

Business plans are a key pre-requisite for growth and success. But they’re not meant to be set in stone. By reviewing your objectives and goals on a seasonal basis you can be more agile and responsive to changing business conditions. So consider setting targets for sales or new business for the summer, revisit your pricing and formalise a new sales strategy for the period.

It goes without saying that to do so, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of your finances: including how much your business is spending, borrowing and generating in revenue. If you’re not happy with the level of insight you have into your business, there are many commercially available web-based tools which can help by recording and analysing financial data in an easy-to-digest way.

Increasing numbers of small businesses are also looking to fast, flexible cash advances to help them meet seasonal demand. Worldpay Business Finance offers sums of up to £300,000 based on your card takings history with Worldpay, with no interest, fees or hidden charges.

Stage an event

Even if you’re primarily an online business, events are a great way to build awareness of your business and drive sales. Make it fun, original and true to your brand. There’s a great opportunity to appeal to parents looking for an excuse to get the kids out of the house. Plus, the warmer weather gives you more options in terms of outdoor events.

One possibility could be to create a special ‘national holiday’ relevant to your brand. It’s a great way of promoting your business as a key part of the local community.

Make those offers seasonal

Whilst heavy discounting during the summer can be a double-edged sword, you can certainly make the most of the changing seasons by driving customers to particular items. Products like sunglasses, summer clothes, iced coffee or BBQ supplies are perfect for the summer. But even if there’s no immediate link, a bit of creative thinking could help you design some compelling seasonal promotions. Your focus throughout should be on adding value for the customer rather than slashing prices, and profits.

Tap the tourism pound

Summer is the season of holiday-makers, from the UK and overseas. So be sure to appeal to a potential influx of new shoppers in the area, especially if you’re located in a tourist hotspot. The weak pound has made the UK an increasingly popular destination for travellers from Europe, the US, the Middle East and China. The number of Chinese visitors to the UK has increased 150% from 2012-2017 and spending grew 32% last year compared to a 26% rise in 2016, for exampleii.

To capitalise on this potential tourism windfall, consider offering ways to improve the payment experience for visitors. You could offer additional payment methods like China UnionPay credit cards, or Dynamic Currency Conversion, which displays the transaction in real time in a shopper’s local currency. Also consider displaying the tax-free shopping price on your goods, and if possible have multi-lingual staff on hand.

Spread the word

It goes without saying that all of the above activities can be enhanced with the right communications strategy. That means engaging with customers and prospects on social media, via email marketing, and possibly even by sending press releases on forthcoming events to local media. Update any profile pics on your social accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc) to a seasonal image. Ensure posts are timely, relevant and consistent with your brand and tone.

You can use social media to promote your business and specific seasonal items or upcoming events. Special summer-themed competitions and giveaways can also help drive interest in your business.

We’ve already had a scorching start to the season. So keep the heat turned up with these handy tips and have a successful summer.