Business Owners have good times and bad times. It’s important to test your idea out, have a good support team, and work really hard–consistently. If you are doing that and feel like you need a little boost or are experiencing a slight down time, consider thinking of your down time as an opportunity to prepare for future business. One of my clients runs a successful restaurant in a college town. Their lag time used to get them down. It’s hard to be okay with less money when everything is stretched thin already! They learned that the summer was a great time to focus efforts on their catering business which they hadn’t had time for during the school year. After one summer of doing that and being “patiently consistent” (my term), their next year was record income!
Here are some ideas for your business:
Focus on: All the projects you haven’t spent time on. 🙂 Some ideas: CRM, email segmentations, automations, software, clean up timecards, processes, taxes, hold the quarterly meeting you’ve never held (you can call it a bi-annual meeting 😉 ), work on negotiating lower rates as your purchases have risen to deserve a discount for bulk rate.
This may seem daunting but re-visit a project here with fresh eyes. Do a little new research to bring it back up to speed, and get working on it as quick as you can before you talk yourself out of it. Twenty minute increments can get an amazing amount of work done! If it’s a project like a CRM, you may be able to do a simple version of it right away and then have an assistant trained to do the tedious steps after you’ve figured out how you’d like it to work best.
Focus on: Email subscribers, prospective clients, past clients, clients who have slowed down in purchases, comment in different social media groups, admin work that’s been put off, etc.
We all know there are those prospective clients/customers who have signed up for something but never reached out to us when we responded (or maybe we never responded). Take some time to reach out to them personally and offer them a freebie for taking interest in your company. They may not remember signing up but a freebie will put them on the positive side and then they’ll remember the product they were interested in buying from your company. **Extra mile: Personal touch for current clients-arrange to share an additional product with current clients at a special “current client discount.” This could be a free treat or discount off of a product you know they can use. Think of something that’s not a big deal for you to give away and use it as a marketing tactic to remind customers that you are thinking about them.
Focus on: Marketing new products, test marketing, sponsoring events, attending events, signing up for events, advertising, collaborating with other companies, gaining more knowledge/research for your trade/industry, etc.
If there’s something you’ve been curious about creating, take time to market test it during the slow time. Sign up for outdoor fairs to share your new idea, or your current ones, give small gifts/freebies for filling out a survey about it. This is the right timing to test out adding onto your business too, not when it’s brand new but when it’s been established and you happen to have a lull. Re-examine your marketing and targeting approach too. Are you sending the right message to the right people that will actually buy your product (sometimes this is a different group than the people you want to sell to).
All in all, don’t give up. Whether times are slow or good, a boost will come if you take care of these 3 areas and keep consistent with your marketing and social presence. Before you know it, prospective clients will be reaching out to you nationwide, and you’d be surprised at how many past clients are happy to hear from you and were just trying to get to their follow up list as well.
Best of Business to you!!
Emily Gerber has a degree in Business Management, Minor in Sociology and is halfway done with her MBA. She is the CEO/Owner of Gerber Business Solutions LLC, a “one-stop shop” for small businesses offering coaching, consulting, and temporary administrative assistance with any marketing, process, and technology issues they may be facing. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or check out Gerber Business Solutions.