There comes a time in every small business owners life, when business runs slow.
Depending on your business, this may be near the holidays, summer months or an entirely different season. It can be a nerve-wrecking time and cause quite a few doubts in your ability to run a business. But, I promise you, every business has seasons.
When first starting out, a slow season can cause additional pressure. You don't know when to expect a slow season and you may not be able to prepare financially. As your business grows, you'll be able to project the ebbs and flows of your business and learn to embrace them.
Until then, there are a few things you can do to tame your worry, foster community and find a few clients.
1 | Spend time working on your business
One of the best things you can do when business is slow, is spend time working on your business. Often, we spend hours pouring ourselves into the businesses of our clients that we forget to make the time to work on our own businesses. So, there are a few things I always recommend to business owners during a slow season.
Evaluate web design and strategy
Your website is your businesses home-base and if it isn't serving your clients or your business, take the time during a slow season to re-evaluate a few key aspects.
Consider how your business works from the eyes of a user. What information do they need, how easy is it for them to access, does your website flow naturally?
I created a free web design audit to help you, check it out below!
Is your website saying what you think it is?
This web design audit will guide you through examining your current website through the eyes of your ideal client to ensure you're communicating exactly what you want with your audience.
Set and analyze goals for the future
One of the best ways to invest time in your business is to create goals for the future.
Maybe you want to start offering courses, bring on a team member or sell products. Set aside this time to get creative and dream big. How can you serve your clients best? How can you serve your family best?
Take this time to invest your energy in the growth of your business.
Related: How I set and keep business goals
Foster community and build connections
When business is slow, it's a great opportunity to foster community and create business connections. This helps you position yourself as an expert, grow your business and create long-lasting relationships and there are a few simple ways to start doing this.
Join relevant Facebook groups
One of the best ways to create business connections, is through relevant Facebook groups. Facebook groups are designed around fostering community and asking questions. Set aside time to answer questions, give advice and share helpful feedback.
The more people see you offering genuine help and guidance, the more people will remember you and consider you for their future projects. It's the perfect way to begin the like, know, trust factor.
Attend networking events
Consider attending networking events.
Although I love the digital world and it's ability to connect people all around the world, there is something that goes so much further about seeing a person face-to-face that makes you trust them.
Try attending a few relevant networking events to find business friends and prospective clients. Come prepared with a good attitude, business card and your elevator pitch.
Use social media
Social media was originally created to allow people to be more social. Unfortunately, the business-mindset has skewed this perspective.
We focus so intently on the type of content we want to share that we don't get to genuinely connect with people online.
Spend some time commenting on accounts that inspire you, check-out your followers accounts and message people privately to grow the connection further.
Spend time re-connecting
If business is slow and you need to start tapping into some more money streams, there are a few things you can do.
Email past clients
One of the biggest mistakes people make is not following up with past clients. If you've worked with a client in the past and have never followed-up you could be leaving thousands of dollars of income on the table.
I recommend following this general timeline to check-in with past clients. Follow-up at the 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 12 month marks to foster the relationship, remain relevant in their minds and offer additional services.
Connect with family, friends and past co-workers
You are likely able to help your family more than you think. Friends of friends is one of the biggest contributors to getting a business off the ground in the beginning stages.
Share about your business online, email a few people or invite them to follow-along with your journey. People are always more willing to support you than you might expect.
Get out of the house or office
Whether you work from your home or in an office, take this slow period to step away.
Getting out of your work environment can do wonders. It free's you up to get creative and enjoy a few of the perks that working for yourself brings. But, it also gives you the opportunity to work near people in your shoes.
Hit up a coffee shop, a shared work space or anywhere that people in your community get together to focus on work. You can connect with people you normally wouldn't and possibly pick up a new client or friend.
What do you do when your business is in a slow season? I'd love to hear your tips in the comments!