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Dog Days of Summer

Between holiday weekends, family vacations, and half-day Fridays, the summer is often a slower time of year, where getting the full team in a room or scheduling client meetings can be nearly impossible.

So what can a startup – where speed is crucial to success – do to survive?

Deploy your time in new ways. Time is an asset – just like capital, or talent. Look to use time flexibly and for functions outside of the often-delayed meetings. One way to optimize time is to list out what the 5 highest-impact activities may be that you can engage in. Oftentimes these are time-intensive but high-return tasks – for example, updating your CRM database, reaching out to strategic partners or mentors for a catch-up, preparing fundraising materials, or reviewing the product development pipeline for the fall – these are critical tasks that can drive meaningful growth but require the focused concentration provided by summer lulls.

Augment your team. Bringing on new hires – whether temporary as interns or permanent team members – requires significant time for recruiting outreach, interviewing, and successfully onboarding. The summer is a good time to kickstart that process – writing job descriptions, creating onboarding materials, and even reaching out to schools or headhunters. From the supply side, many people keen to change jobs are also waiting for the summer months to conclude to initiate the search process, so being ready can also help capitalize on that.

Maintain balance. At the end of the day, the reason people are away during the summer is that they need to time to relax, recharge, and gain a broader perspective outside of the office walls. So being patient with the slower pace is also important – see it as an investment in the well-being and culture of the company as a whole.

27 August 2016

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