With high school and college graduations celebrations concluded, millions of Americans are turning their attention to outdoor activities. This year, Americans have celebrated the lowest gas prices in 10 years by traveling to their summer destinations by car. According to a report by the U.S. Department of Commerce, consumer spending – a major driver of the economy – has improved at a pace not seen in nearly seven years.

To add to the improvements, personal income and household spending have also increased. These figures are great news and signs of positive changes for small businesses across the country. In order to take advantage of consumer spending during summer months, here are some tips for small business owners to maximize their earning potential:

Summer-themed promotions

Take advantage of opportunities on the calendar by offering summer-themed promotions. The fourth of July, Labor Day and Back to School are all perfect occasions to promote your business. For example, many restaurants took advantage of National Ice Cream Day (July 17), while bars and nightclubs planned for National Pina Colada Day (July 10), National Daiquiri Day (July 19) and National Tequila Day (July 24). You can reward customers for their purchases by giving away seasonal items (free beach towel, T-shirt, water bottles, etc.).

Host events

Through hosting events, your business can draw customers in with discounts and special offers; they also provide opportunities to network. Mara’s Café in Fanwood, New Jersey, for example, has hosted a series of music nights this summer to help attract crowds. In turn, these large groups of people order coffee and dessert while they enjoy performances. When hosting an event, also consider what targeting your regular customers can do – foster a sense of community around your business.

Utilize cause-related marketing

While your business is busy building relationships, don’t forget to make some time to check on needs in your community. Staying mindful of local events and the needs around you will demonstrate that your company’s concerns go further than just its bottom line – something the majority of customers will be grateful for. Consider gourmet producer of gluten-free, non-GMO potato chips and other packaged snacks, Deep River Snacks, as an example. This company is a strong believer in cause-related benefits, and made a commitment to donate at least 10% of its net profits to charities.

Manage cash flow

Successfully managing fluctuations in cash flow can be a real challenge for a company, especially when dealing with the changing of the seasons. This starts with knowing what your companies fixed and variable costs are, and how the changing of seasons directly impacts them. For some businesses, the summer is when their revenues are at their highest. If this is the case for your company, take advantage of your high revenue this summer by stashing some away for those “leaner” seasons.

Stay up-to-date on the weather and local events

For the brick-and-mortar establishment, warm weather means opportunities to participate in street fairs, block parties and festivals. Outdoor events that attract summer crowds provide the perfect opportunity to set up a stand and participate. For example, on a (rare) sunny San Francisco weekend, Stork’s Skin Care promoted is sunscreen offerings via a sidewalk sign.

Plan for the future

Summer is also a great time to get ahead and favorably position yourself. Are you a freelancer currently looking for a way to make some extra residual income? Or a large firm seeking another sales channel? Consider what First American Merchant’s Agent ISO program can offer you. Our program provides each agent with the tools and knowledge they need to succeed. To learn more, contact FAM today.

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