The summer months are not the best time to run “sales” unless you have a business that benefits from the back-to-school season. Here’s what you should be doing to promote your business instead of offering discounts.

Summer is the time to strengthen the foundation of your business.

Take a close look at your business from the eyes of a prospective customer or have an expert give you an evaluation. Is your website conveying the right message? Are you offering sufficient service to justify your price structure or are you forced to offer discounts on a regular basis? Dealing with these questions will yield long term benefits.

If you need a promotional gimmick to generate sales, your business lacks a necessary ingredient to keep it going. Bad sign. If you can’t make sales without cutting price, your business is in trouble.

You need to improve your offer and your service. Enhance the value of your offer, don’t cut the price.

Cut Advertising and Improve Marketing!

Do not let your marketing die. Marketing is not advertising! Marketing is all the things that work together to produce sales. Advertising may be a piece of your marketing plan, but advertising alone isn’t marketing. This isn’t a good time of year to spend money on advertising.Cut back on your advertising and do things that will help your business that do not carry cost.

Write an article for the local paper
Make a video for your business
Improve your website (Look AND Message)
Update your LinkedIn profile
Write a couple of blog posts
Conduct a survey of your sites useability (More on that later)
Evaluate your business for weaknesses
Clean up the place

All of these will do as much for your business as an expensive ad. All of these things will build the foundation without cutting into your margins.

Education! Read a book or take a class. Smarter people make better decisions.

If there is money in the budget, get some training for your people. Professional development training gives a huge return on investment.

We’ve only got a week left in this month. Let’s use this time to set up a great August!

Chris Reich, TeachU
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