If you are reading this you have likely experienced a time when business is slower than usual. It happens to the best of us. How do you feel when it happens? Do you feel anxious?
Rather than allowing your heart rate to increase, feeling worried and stressed, see it as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to increase your own productivity, put some systems in place, connect on a deeper level with your current customer base and set yourself up for the next wave of success.
Think about it – It may be just the time you need to step back and view your business with fresh eyes and renewed determination.
Here are some things to do when business is slow so that you don’t lose your place in the fast lane:
Write or revisit your business plan
Business plans do not have to be pages and pages of complicated statistics. It is a good idea to have a one-pager that demonstrates your key goals and mission for your business. The $100 Startup has a free template for you. If you do not have a business plan already, then go ahead and create one. If yours is a bit outdated consider updating it.
Doing this can make you and your team more productive going forward because it will help you revisit your “why.” Remembering why you started your business and why you do what you do is motivating. This new enthusiasm and clarity will be felt by your potential clients and customers and could even bring in more business.
Nurture your current clientsBefore using your time to look for more business, assess how you are treating your current customers. Have you touched base with them recently? Have you asked for their feedback and recommendations? In the online world of social media, personal recommendations are the best way to get new customers.
If you treat your current customers well, they are more likely to put a great word in for you to their friends and colleagues. How can you nurture your current customers? Glad you asked. Here are a few ways, but feel free to brainstorm on your own:
● Send handwritten notecards
● Respond to questions on social media
● Create a free offer that provides value
● Share your knowledge and talents expecting nothing in return
● Adjust your content to meet your customers’ biggest concerns
Create systems to run smoothly
One of the most productive things you can do when business is slow is to put some systems in place. Systems can make your business run so much easier. The problem is that it takes some time initially to create and implement them. But, now you have some time so make use of it. Decide what systems you need for your particular business.
Do you need a social media strategy, a content strategy, a sales funnel? Do you need an automated email follow up system? If you need help, you can outsource the system creation process. There are some professional virtual assistants that can help you create the systems that will work for your business and teach you how to implement them.
Whether you choose to do it yourself or outsource, get some great systems in place so, when business does increase again, you are prepared. A system for contacting past customer could help reduce the slow times by keeping your business in the minds of customers regularly.
Organize your space
Do you have a stack of papers you have been meaning to file? Random documents all over your computer’s desktop? It’s time to complete all those pesky tasks that cause your physical and digital space to be less than efficient.
Start by eliminating what you don’t need. You will be surprised how many things you have in the office that you do not use. This will clear up some space for you to organize what is left. Now create a plan for incoming information, where you will put it and how you will handle it. If you have a plan to deal with items as they enter the office, you can prevent clutter from building up in the first place.
You may also want to consider redecorating. A fresh coat of paint can really improve a space. Do a little research on color psychology to choose a color that will give your office a productivity boost. You could also get new furniture or rearrange your current furniture for a better flow. Add some plants and see how fresh the space feels.
Grow and educate yourselfRead a book, take an online course, connect with a mastermind group. When business is a bit slow, and you have your space taken care of, it is time to do some work on yourself. As Jim Rohn has said, “Work hard at your job and you can make a living. Work hard on yourself and you can make a fortune.”
Personal and business development is a lifelong job. The more you learn and grow yourself the more you will have to offer to everyone who interacts with your business.
Learn something new. Create a swipe file of books, podcasts, online courses, and articles that you would like to participate with. Then you will have a ready reference of information to dive into when you get a little extra time.
Ready to get productive the next time your business is slow? I thought so. Be sure to bookmark this post so you can reference it in those slower times. Create a plan and revisit your goals. Refresh your space and learn some new skills. Do this and your business will thank you.