It’s July. The sun’s out. The weather is spectacular. A beach is calling. You’re probably thinking about a nice vacation — relaxing, refreshing, rejuvenating.

And, since most everyone else has the same mindset, it may feel a little “slow” out there…people seem a bit casual about getting in — or giving out — new business.

But wait! You own or work for a small company. Unfortunately, there’s no time off when it comes to marketing. Brand strength and staying “top of mind” with existing and potential customers rely on consistent branding and marketing efforts. Stop those efforts and you lose momentum and risk missed opportunities.

While things might not be “hopping” right now, it’s still a good time — maybe even a better time — to focus on your marketing.

Why is summer a good time to market?

You may have less competition for eyeballs on your promotion or handshakes at a networking event. And with less competition, you’ll stand out more. Plus, a little downtime can be put to good use planning future marketing endeavors.

Summer marketing plan ideas:

1. Use downtime to stockpile some blog posts including written pieces, interviews and videos — there’s nothing better than having a backlog of posts ready to go (or, if you haven’t started blogging yet, summer may be a less-pressured time to hone your skills)

2. Update your website with new content on your Blog, News Page, Projects/Portfolio, or Resources; rewrite existing web content for better SEO

Hint: Content at your fingertips! Feedly is a “Reader” app that accesses and categorizes RSS Feeds

3. Research and write long-form articles or white papers; these can be used as gated content on your website or submitted to industry publications

4. Find and file articles that your customers, prospects and social media followers would find of interest — your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google + pages will thank you

Hint: Pocket is a free app that makes it easy to bookmark content you want to revisit and share

5. Research potential Guest Blogging opportunities — find and contact industry pubs that could publish your custom content

6. Explore publishing platforms you might not use already like Quora, MosaicHub, Medium or Tumblr

Hint: Get “Marketing Mileage” out of content you create by re-purposing it on your social media platforms, in online publications like Business2Community, BizSugar and other industry-specific sites

7. Maximize your profile on LinkedIn: make it searchable in terms of the keywords you include, add Projects, update your Headshot, make new connections, comment on your connections’ Updates, published articles on Pulse and in Groups

8. Review your branding — verify that all of your company’s messaging, both verbal and visual, is consistent across all channels

9. Check out new sources of inspiration: subscribe to email newsletters, set Google Alerts, read a business book or two, find new online publications that satisfy your personal and business curiosity

10. Mine your competition for ideas — take a look at their websites and blogs, social media sites and profiles, published content, event sponsorships, organizations they are involved with, etc. What are they doing that perhaps you could be doing?

11. Meet with staff, colleagues, advisers and mentors to test marketing ideas you may have or sales challenges your business is facing. Make a sales and marketing plan about how you’re going to proceed.

12. Set goals for the second half of your business year: Introduce a new product or service? Build new website? Implement a content marketing program? Beef up your social media presence? Create a new collateral brochure or trade show materials? Tackle an ebook you’ve been hankering to publish?

Yes, we all need a break – but when we market consistently and effectively, we increase our vacation-earning potential. And the good news? Many of these marketing plan ideas can be worked on poolside or at the beach!