5 Tips for staying motivated as a small business owner during the summer
Being a small business owner and maker during the summer can be a challenge. I have 2 young children, ages 8 and 5, and trying to find the balance of keeping them entertained during the school holidays, whilst also enjoying the warm weather (albeit here in the UK that is not a worry this summer it seems!) and managing your business can feel overwhelming. However, it is definitely possible to find that balance between work and fun. Here are some valuable tips on how you can stay motivated during the summer break.

1. Set clear goals

Start by setting clear objectives for your business during the summer. This might even be recognising that launching a whole new product range during the summer isn’t viable in the time you have, and so instead you’re going to focus on gaining new followers, or marketing your existing products more. Set the goals on what works for you and your business, for example, if your business is more seasonal such as weddings which are more prominent during this summer period then setting goals of fulfilling orders rather than keeping your Instagram up to date is of course more key. You can also set longer term goals of what you want to achieve after the summer is over, which will help keep you focused whilst enjoying family time in the sun.

2. Find your routine

Creating a schedule for your day which incorporates dedicated time for working on your business will help you to stay on task and not get distracted. This could look like, after breakfast you spend an hour answering enquiries and emails, before spending the rest of the morning with the kids. Then after lunch you work on your orders or new product lines before switching off at 3pm to get some late afternoon sun. If you’re anything like me, you may also find that working in shorter periods keeps your focus. I can get bored or distracted if I am doing the same job all day for hours at end, so working for an hour and then taking a break or doing another job can help keep you focused. Again, the important step is to set a schedule that works for you and your lifestyle. 

3. Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise!

With limited time during the summer, it’s important to prioritise. If summer is your busy period, then prioritising making orders should be above staying on top of your email marketing list, however in contrast if summer is usually a slower time for your business then getting prepared ready for the Christmas holiday season preparing new stock and for market fairs might be more of a priority. Create a to-do list and rank the most important ones first. By focusing on high-priority tasks, you’ll stay on top of essential work that will keep your business moving whilst still giving you plenty of time for summer activities.

4. Don’t bet afraid to ask for help and delegate

If the summer period is a busy time for your business, don’t be afraid to delegate if you need it. My previous business was working as a calligrapher for weddings where I made hand lettered signage and wedding decor. The summer was my busiest period, but also with 2 little kids to entertain it was challenging to say the least. I soon recognised I needed help during the summer, whether that was asking for help with the childcare for a day a week, or hiring someone to prep the wood ready for building the signs. You could even consider hiring a virtual PA who could handle your enquiries for you whilst you make your orders. If budget is an issue, consider if you have any friends of family who may be willing to help you out. 

5. Make sure to make time for yourself

Planning time off for yourself is as important as planning time for work. Whether it’s a couple of days off a week, or only working in mornings and using afternoons to play with the kids, be sure to schedule time into your diary to relax and enjoy the summer period. You could adjust your order processing times to allow for time off, or popping your shop on holiday mode temporarily if you’re taking a week away. Just don’t forget to let your customers know off any changes in processing times or temporary shop closures. We can’t pour from an empty cup, so making sure we have time to recharge our batteries will ultimately help us keep on track and our business growing, as well as help us with our mental wellbeing long term. 

 By using each of these 5 strategies, it is possible to find that healthy work-life balance over the summer period, however, if you ever feel like you are struggling, reaching out to friends or fellow creatives who understand what it’s like to run a small business in the holidays can help. If you’re not already a part of the group, why not come and join our free Facebook group for creative makers where you can ask for advice whenever you need it. 

Enjoy the rest of your summer,

Jenni x