It’s summer. Have you noticed that your phone doesn’t ring anymore and your email count is down? You can’t get hold of many business owners? Out-of-office messages are epidemic?

According to Tom Hall, in an on-line article by Karen E. Klein, “Some small businesses shut their doors—or mentally check out—during the summer. But companies that do so will leave new business on the table” Hall, a serial entrepreneur and principal of Tucker/Hall, a crisis communications company in Tampa, Hall recently co-authored a book, Ruthless Focus: How to Use Key Core Strategies to Grow Your Business, with leadership expert Wally Bock. Hall spoke with Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein about the importance of pushing business forward and avoiding the summer doldrums. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow.

Karen E. Klein: It feels like a lot of small businesses don’t get much work done over the summer. Is that impression outdated?

Tom Hall: It should be. It’s a psychological issue: People save up mentally for vacation and start focusing on vacation a week or two early. When they get back, they’re mentally on vacation for another week. So a week’s vacation turns into a low-productivity month.

Karen E Klein: What’s the alternative?

Tom Hall: Summer is a great time to jump your business ahead. If your clients and customers are all taking a break, take advantage of the slow market and get yourself ready for the fall.”

My tip for summer marketing?

Make those calls anyway! Isn’t it nice to know that when they return from holiday, they will hear your voice when they return, see your name on the message pad or at the very least, know you emailed them? Be sure and follow up again a couple of weeks later.