Many think that summer is always a slow time of the year, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case every year. If you want more activity in the summer months, you can eliminate your summertime blues with a little bit of forward thinking and planning.
I was talking with a Member the other day (we’ll call him Bob) about how frustrated he was with his summer revenue “always” taking a dive. Bob’s mind was made up that there was little he could do during the “dog days of summer” because so many families were out of town and simply that this is the way summers always are.
The good news I shared with Bob is there are steps that can be taken to ensure your annual revenue goal is hit regardless of a dip in the summer.
One of the things I suggested he do first was to go back and check his historical tracking. What did the last five years look like? Have all summers been slow or is it just this particular summer? If you find it is simply slower this year than in previous years, check to see what type of marketing and promotional activities the firm did in previous years to generate more consistent revenue. This type of tracking is vital in order to lay out a solid marketing plan at least six months in advance to avoid a downturn in revenue in those traditionally slower months. This will tell you if you are assuming all summers are bad or if this summer is just an anomaly.
If all summers have been historically slow, even with a fair amount of marketing events scheduled, I suggest Members offset those slower months by increasing the number of activities to stack the deck in your favor. It only requires a bit more planning to decide which added activities you need to build into those months to keep revenue consistent.
Not all months are created equal when it comes to revenue goals. Some months, other than summer, can also be predictably slower due to inclement weather or other factors. Who can forget the terrible storms in recent years on the East coast? Many businesses were shut down for days. If you live in an area where weather or other extenuating circumstances can be pretty consistent factors, you need to plan ahead for those possibilities. For Bob, I recommended that he change up his monthly revenue expectation. He, like many Members, take their annual revenue goal and simply divide it evenly between the 12 months. However, that doesn’t always work if you know certain months could be lighter. Start by taking your typical revenue decrease in the slow months and spread it over the other months of the year. Then, to meet those increased monthly goals, beef up your marketing activities in those higher revenue goal months.
Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you take a vacation from all your activities in the slower months. It is important you continue with your usual activities to avoid gaps in revenue… you need to keep the momentum going. By the end of the year, you will end up with the same amount of revenue and you will not be disappointed in the results when you have a slow month — you planned ahead for it and received the results you expected.
Need a quick boost now? Fill in your calendar with a deadline oriented offer sent to your prospect database. Or, set up a steady stream of client review meetings to generate referrals and other possible work. You might also consider touching base with local organizations to do a private seminar for their employees, Members or donors. We have loads of ideas we love to brainstorm with our Members about. Shoot us an email if you would like to learn more about how the Academy helps attorneys plan ahead to achieve their revenue goals.
Director of Member Services
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
9444 Balboa Avenue, Suite 300
San Diego, California 92123
Phone: (800) 846-1555