If business is slow, the extra time you may have can be put to long term, big picture thinking and action steps that can help you do more business during the busy season to make up for the lost business during the slow season.

Here are some action steps for the invitation retailer:

  1. If you are burnt out, get cool. Take the time that you have to recharge your battery, so you can think clearer and have more energy to put into long term thinking and planning.
  2. Start thinking about 2009 now! Analyze what works and doesn’t work. Put in writing all your advertising and marketing efforts and their expenses. Ask yourself what you can try that’s new? The chances are the best new initiatives you can take have to do with building or improving your web site and then marketing on the internet targeting local customers.
  3. Be proactive about networking. What businesses do you know of that are an earlier rung on the planning ladder than invitations can you approach to recommend you. Communicate with satisfied customers, send birthday and anniversary cards.
  4. Really take a look at new products from the trade shows you attended or research online.
  5. Try to look at your store displays like a new customer would. Is your store cluttered or sloppy. Concentrate on making that first impression. Do your invitation displays show discontinued invitations? Ask your suppliers for samples.
  6. Look at your business card, sales literature and anything else that projects your image. If you are happy with it, great. Otherwise, work on improving them.
  7. Start marketing for corporate holiday cards now. Contact your invitation customers and ask if their companies buy holiday cards. Think about local businesses that might be in the market and contact them offering to lend them albums.
  8. Enjoy extra time with family and friends…. Enjoy your summer.