As a business owner, you expect ups and downs as you run your company. There will always be busy times and slow times. However, it’s important to make sure the slow times don’t drag the business down into failure.
Slow times often mean less revenue, which can make new initiatives tricky. One strategy that’s essential is to put money aside when things are busy so that your company can make it through slower months. You’d do something similar in your personal life if you have a windfall and wanted to prepare for tougher times.
The good news is that when business is slow, you don’t have to just wait it out. Instead, take action by doing one of these five things.
Boost Your Marketing
If things are slow, the first thing you need is more revenue. How can you boost your sales and bring in new leads? By marketing!
Effective marketing uses multiple channels to reach out to your ideal customers. Think about where your target market spends most of their time online, and see if you can improve your marketing on that platform.
Maybe this is the time to learn more about Facebook ads, invest in search engine optimization (SEO), or sign up for a new social media platform. Whatever you do, make sure you’re reaching out to your target audience using messaging that is relevant to their needs so they know you really get them.
Consider a New Product or Service
When business is slow, it’s the perfect time to start strategizing about the future of your company. What new products or services would your customers love, but you just haven’t had time to develop or implement?
For example, a lawn care company might create a new annual lawn service package that includes many of the a-la-carte options already available, and give a small savings for the bundle. When customers purchase the annual package, you have guaranteed business all year. No more relying on a customer to remember to call you each season!
You can also start offering something completely new that complements your current services. The truth is that when business slows down you finally have time to think through how your business can improve and grow. Take advantage of it and maximize your long-term success!
Review Your Business Processes
When there’s a rush, you don’t have time to think about how things are done — they just have to get done. During a slower period, you can step back and reflect on your actual business processes.
What concerns do employees have that you can address? Can you streamline the customer experience? How can you increase the number of reviews you get from customers?
Taking time to refine your business operations can help you do even better during the next rush. It also helps you retain talented employees because they see their concerns being addressed and the workplace becomes better.
Your frontline employees are the ones who know best what procedures need fixing. Talk to them and take action!
Use Down Time to Avoid Burnout
Some companies have an expected slow period — for example, a swimming pool servicer might not have much to do in January. If you have periodic slow business, take advantage of the time to rest and avoid burnout.
For example, you might decide that your employees can take a week off during the off-season, or you might use a business slowdown to take a personal vacation. Even if your slower period isn’t predictable and seasonal, it’s OK to use a slow time to rest.
Occasional business slowdowns are to be expected and are not a reason to panic. Instead, take a breath, take a break, and return to your business refreshed and refocused.
Learn Something New
As a business leader, you can’t afford to stop learning. A slow period in your business is a great time to take a course or read a book that can help you improve your management skills, business acumen, or knowledge of your industry.
Many classes are available online for free or inexpensively, or you can get a variety of business books from the library. Ongoing learning doesn’t have to include a Master’s degree from a university. Taking short amounts of time to read something new or discover insights into your industry can make all the difference.
Is Your Business Slow?
If you’re going through a slow time in your business right now, you don’t need to panic. Some companies have seasonal slowdowns, and others just have unexpected slowdowns. The key is to use the extra time to take action and make things better.
If that means improving your marketing, don’t feel like you have to do it alone. At Local SEO Search, we have a passion for helping owners of small and medium-sized businesses position their company online and excel through inbound marketing.
If you’re interested in learning more about what we can do for you, contact us today!