Anyone who’s experienced a summer in Tucson knows the seasonal exodus that occurs each year, leaving the city a virtual ghost town. While locals tend to enjoy the sudden shift to peace and quiet, the slow season isn’t ideal for members our local business community, who often suffer dips in the summer. As a result, many businesses are forced to reduce their hours, while others choose to close their doors for the season.
But Tucson business owners don’t need to simply accept that the season will be slow. Summer can also be a good opportunity to strengthen your foundation as a business and brand. With some planning and foresight, you can find success by taking advantage of Tucson’s unique summer season.
Here are a few strategies to consider as summer approaches.
Develop Your Marketing Plan
The slow season gives your business the perfect opportunity to set marketing strategy goals for the rest of the year. This could include elevating your brand marketing through videos, blogs, or refining your social media voice. Creating a strong social media presence allows you to communicate more directly with the public and helps to establish your identity as a brand.
Reward the Locals
Everyone needs to be part of something, especially in a tight-knit community like Tucson. Summer is your chance to directly market to your local clientele – those who are loyal year-round – and develop those relationships during the slow season. While the students and winter visitors are out of town, you can make locals feel special by offering sales, new products or limited-time menu options. Summer can also serve as the ideal time to experiment with new ideas, involving your diehards in the process and making them feel valued as an important part of your business.
Invest In Your Community
Many businesses want to be more connected to their communities but can’t find the time during the busy year. The laidback Tucson summers give you an opportunity to make good on your desire to give back. Organize a group volunteer day at a local shelter, participate in a community cleanup, or a similar opportunity where your team’s resources are best utilized. Being active in the community won’t only make you feel good inside. It will also help create group cohesion, allow your employees to meet new people, have new experiences, and become more ingrained in the community.
No matter how slow it gets in the summer, you can be sure that other businesses are sharing your pain. Why not team up? You can package services with other businesses that deal in the same industry but perform different tasks. For example, if you run a catering business, connect with local florists, DJs, or photographers and offer packages for weddings and other events. With Tucson being such a close business community, you’ll often find that it’s more beneficial to cooperate than compete.
There’s no magic wand that will suddenly pack the city throughout the summer months. Since business will inevitably slow down, you should always plan ahead to account for the drops. If you use this time as an opportunity to improve your operations, develop your brand, and support your community, you can to keep your business in good shape through the slow season. Stay cool everyone.
Mike Trueba, CCIM is Vice President, Business Banking for Vantage West Credit Union, a $1.9 billion financial institution, which serves a growing Membership of nearly 150,000 via branches across Arizona and online channels, as well. Vantage West offers consumer and business banking services, and is federally insured by NCUA.VantageWest.org