Actually, this is the time of year when we all should be working the hardest to ensure a successful year. There's plenty to do.
Showrooms need to be revitalized. Take a look at your store. Walk through the doorway as if you were a customer. What draws your immediate attention? Is it a confusion of samples everywhere? Is there a clear path leading you into the showroom and past product displays? Are the walls covered with the same displays that have been up there for years? This is a fashion industry. Customers want to see what's new—products, styles, fabric prints and colors. Speaking of color, now is a good time to get some fresh paint on the showroom walls. If your store looks the same as it did two years ago, it's out of style.
Inventories need to be purged and restocked. Take a look at what is left on the shelves. What lines didn't move well over the past several months? This is a good time to get rid of them. Summer sales are staple events for many retailers. Ask your supplier sales reps for any new product information. Chance are there are new products or updated features on existing lines that will help them sell.
The slowest part of the year is the best time to market and promote your business. (The busiest part of the year is also the best time to market and promote your business!) Now is the time to get your newsletter (printed or electronic) off the "To-do" list and into customers' hands. Internet-savvy retailers can work on updating their Web sites with new photos and information. It's also a great time to start a direct mail campaign. The more times you get your business name and services in front of potential customers now, the more likely they are to think of you this fall when they are planning their next remodeling projects.
When it comes right down to it, there may be no better time of the year than now to lay the foundation for more and bigger sales in the months ahead. Get busy. There's no better cure for the summertime blues.