Small business owners get to take a vacation too, right?
I asked a few Constant Contact customers how they’re spending their summer and while most are working in some vacation time, they’re all still squarely focused on growing their business.
Here’s what these 4 small business owners had to say when I asked them what they’re doing on their summer vacation.
…Continuing to grow my email list
Lynn Wettach, Show Director of Holiday Art Shows, Inc., based in St. Augustine, Florida, takes a “working vacation” to Upstate New York and Connecticut, where she visits with family. “Even when I’m vacationing, I’m growing my email list” says Lynn. “I’m always meeting with new artists about our upcoming juried art shows and I gather their email addresses and contact information.” Fall is Lynn’s busiest season, so she does a lot of planning in the summer months to prepare. “I work on attracting new exhibitors, planning our advertising and marketing campaigns, and doing some design work. This year we’re trying something new — we launched a crowd-funding project with Indiegogo, to raise additional funds for our shows.”
…Introducing a new line of gourmet sweets
The summer is also busy for Victoria Wallins, Owner of Essentia, a retail shop with an eclectic mix of home décor, clothing, and jewelry in Wellesley, MA. She’s introducing a line of gourmet sweets to her shop. “I’m launching an email campaign, announcing the addition of these high-end, uniquely packaged sweets, using the tagline ‘Candy and Eye Candy, Essentia has it all.’ In fact, our first email just went out.”
Local events are also playing a key role in her marketing. The Essentia team just participated in Wellesley’s July Jubilation and Summer Sidewalk Sale where they offered sample tastings of the candy. They’ll be doing the same at an upcoming Taste of Wellesley event. Even though she’s having a hectic summer, Victoria is still managing to spend some family weekends up in Vermont.
…Publishing a fiction adventure book series
Jason Miles and his wife Cinnamon, Owners of Seattle-based Liberty Jane Clothing (maker of American Girl Doll clothes and patterns) are headed to Victoria, British Columbia for some well-deserved R&R. “If you’ve never been to Victoria, you really ought to go. It’s amazing,” shares Jason. When they return, Jason and Cinnamon will focus on expanding their revenue lines by scaling up production of physical clothing items. For the last few years they’ve been primarily focused on selling digital patterns. They will also publish a fiction adventure book series for tween girls, based on one of their design collections, The Outback Libby Collection. It’s interesting to note that email has played a key role in Jason’s book endeavors. He recently self-published Email Marketing Power, which went to #1 on Amazon in the e-Commerce category, thanks largely to the email lists he used to promote the book. He makes a point to say that his email lists were not large (around 1,300 people) but were of high quality. “You can see dramatic results, even with small lists.”
…Dyeing yarn and prepping wool
Things might slow down a bit during the summer at Iron Horse, a yarn, fiber art supplies, and handcrafted gifts store located in Natick, MA. But that doesn’t mean owner Deborah Smith slows down.
Smith says, “No one thinks about knitting and weaving in the summer.” Similar to Victoria Wallins, Deborah is participating in events to bring people through the door, like the recent Art Walk sponsored by Natick Center Associates. She also hosts summer classes and workshops, which she promotes through email. “I email newsletters twice a month that include a section on upcoming classes. We recently started supplementing those newsletters with a quick email focusing on one upcoming event, and we’ve had great success, sometimes even doubling our class attendance.” As for vacation plans, Deborah says (tongue somewhat in cheek), that she’ll be dyeing yarn and prepping wool for processing.
One thing’s for sure — there’s never really a “slow” time for small business owners. Keep up the great work and make this summer one the best.
If you’re looking for tips on maximizing your time during the summer (or any time of year), check out this Fresh Insights post: Top 10 Summer Time-Saving Tips.
What are your summer plans? Tell me them below.