Something that I’m hearing a lot of in this online space right now is that business is slow.
Hence me recording this episode because I want to give you some ideas of things that you can work on right now in your business that is going to get you through this low season and see you come out stronger the other side.
At the time of recording this episode. We are in the middle of June 2022. And so many things have happened in the world and are currently happening right now that could be causing this slowdown in business.
We can try and work out what things are causing it but the fact of the matter is, every single business will have ups and downs. Every single business will have slow seasons and busy seasons. That is just the nature of being in business. It’s important for us to accept that this is the case and look at what we can do in the slower seasons so that we can come back stronger when things start to pick up again.
If you are feeling disheartened right now it’s important to remember that this isn’t going to be the situation forever. And if you’re newer to business and it’s your first slow period, you’re probably trying to figure out why it’s slow.
You’re probably asking yourself what have you done wrong? What are you doing differently from before? Why now? What’s changed?
It’s likely that it’s nothing you’re doing but instead a number of external factors happening that are contributing to the slow down.
Some examples of factors that can impact business are the economy, current events, seasonality, the weather, holidays and much more.
As you can see there are so many different reasons as to why business might be slow right now so please try not to worry.
The most important thing you can do is to work on your business. This is not the time to slow down with the market. This is a time to really lean in and work on the things that you’ve been wanting to work on for a while now but there just hasn’t been enough time.
In this episode, I’m going to give you a number of different things that you can work on in your business so that you can keep busy and continue to improve your business ready for when things pick back up again because they will.
1. Reach out to past clients and leads
The first thing that you can do is reach out to past clients and leads. This is a pretty obvious one, but I think it’s important to mention it all the same. It is so much easier for you to sell to existing clients and customers than it is to sell to new ones, especially if you’ve had a great working relationship with them and you produced fantastic results for them.
This should be the first thing that you do when you feel like business is slowing down. Check back in with your clients see how are they getting on.
Brainstorm additional ways of working together
You can even brainstorm some additional ways of working together depending on the work that you did together previously, and ask them if it’s something they’re interested in. Take a look at what you’ve already done for them and think of things that you can help with that they might be looking for right now.
Ask for referrals
If they particularly aren’t looking for help or something, see if they know anyone that might be and ask them to recommend you. You can even incentivize them to recommend you by creating a client referral programme.
There are so many different ways that you can utilise your existing network and your past clients and contacts to increase the sales in your business right now.
Follow up with past enquiries
Another thing that’s worth doing is following up with past leads. Have a look back through the enquiries that you’ve received, the contact forms that have been filled in, the application forms that have been filled in. Take a look and follow up with the ones that you think would be good to work with.
Just because they didn’t work with you back then doesn’t mean that they won’t. It just may have not been the right time.
These two ways are a really really great way to inject sales back in to your business. So once you’ve reached out to past clients and leads.
The next thing you should be working on is your marketing. It’s so, so important to focus on your marketing in the slow seasons in business, especially if you’re a service provider who is usually so focused on client work and you find that you haven’t got a lot of time usually to work on your business.
I am a huge advocate of finding the time to work on your business and this is something that I work with many of my clients on, and I do recommend that at least 20% of your working week is dedicated, dedicated to marketing. However, I know this isn’t often the case. So if you have been so wrapped up in client work that your business has suffered and your marketing has suffered, this is the perfect time to get back on it again. This is the perfect time to restart your marketing and to really fall back in love with marketing your business.
It’s also a great time to try new things in marketing. If you’ve been following me for a while now you will know how passionate I am about business owners having a variety of means of staying in touch with and growing your audience aka multi channel marketing. I feel very strongly that multi channel marketing is important in every single business that you can’t just rely on one single marketing channel. Especially when you’re getting to the point in business where you have been in business for a year or two.
If you’ve been in business for a couple of years and you’ve got things up and running, it is time to diversify your marketing and these slow seasons are perfect time to do that.
It might be that up until now you’ve just focused on social media marketing. Let’s say that you’ve just been focusing on Instagram. The next thing that you should focus on is building an email list.
You can use this slow season in business to really dial into your email marketing strategy.
3. Conduct Market Research
The third thing that I recommend that you work on when you are going through this slower season in business is to wo conduct market research. I am a huge advocate of market research and I fully believe it’s important for all businesses, big or small, product, service or coaching. No matter what industry you’re in market research is important.
Whilst it is something that should be done at least once or twice a year, I know that it’s often forgotten, which is why slow seasons are a great time to catch up on this.
I think you can probably see a theme now. The things that you have neglected in your business are the things that you need to be working on during these slow seasons.
So why is market research important to your business?
Market research helps you to understand your audience and you can then use this information to adjust or enhance your current offers. It’s also a great way to come up with content ideas, which is perfect if you’re feeling a little uninspired with content creation and let’s face it, we’ve all been there.
How to conduct market research
Let’s just touch upon how you can do this very quickly. One way to do market research is via your email list. If you do have email subscribers on your email list, then a great way is just to send them a link to a short survey and use it to find out more about your audience, what they’re looking for, what they’re struggling with, what they want and what they need.
Another way to do it is through social media. If you haven’t got an email list and you are just using social media as your marketing platform right now, you can still conduct market research. Social media has so many different tools for market research especially if you use Instagram stories. You’ve got polls, you’ve got quizzes, you’ve got question boxes. It’s also a really good way to start interacting with your audience as well.
Another way to do market research is through market research calls. You could reach out to existing clients, people who have responded to your polls on social media and those who have responded to your survey.
Market research calls great because you actually get to speak to your clients, potential customers and your audience and find out what it is they are wanting, needing and struggling with. You can then use this information in your business via your website, sales pages and marketing and update them with the actual language that your ideal clients are using.
Another way to use the information from your market research is by adjusting your offerings accordingly. Perhaps you have noticed that within the research that you’ve done, there are common things that are coming up and you don’t necessarily have an offering that addresses those particular areas.
If it’s something that you know you can help with but you just don’t have a specific offering for that area yet you may want to create a new offering or simply adjust existing ones.
This leads perfectly on to recommendation number four of things to do when business is slow.
4. Create ‘Quick Win’ offers
Something that I’m noticing a lot of and it’s been a theme for a couple of years now is that business owners are leaning into heavily into what I call quick win or intensive offers instead of longer, more drawn out packages. So for example, if you are a branding and website designer, and you offer a custom branding package, a custom website package and a longer branding and website package but you haven’t got anything shorter, these short intensive offers can be a great addition to your product suite.
Something that you might look at adding are VIP Days.
VIP days are a great thing to introduce into your service-based business and it’s an offering that means your clients can receive a quicker win rather than waiting 12 weeks for a longer offering.
They can work for all industries, from brand and web designers to social media managers to copywriters to virtual assistants.
People want things quickly especially when we are living in an instantaneous world where if we don’t have to wait for something, we’re not going to wait for it.
So if you can come up with a way of offering your clients a quicker result without compromising on your level of service and on your deliverables and your beliefs and your values, then this is a really really fantastic way to not only increase sales, but to give your audience what they are looking for.
5. Create Personal Projects
Something else that you can do is set aside time to work on your own personal projects. Personal projects allow you to tap into your creativity without having the brief of a client. This is the precise reason I love my Showit website template shop.
I love having an avenue that allows me to be creative without the brief of a client and this was even more applicable when I had my branding and website design business. I loved having that additional sort of outlet where I could go away and I can create things on my own terms and personal projects are a really great way to do this.
You can do personal projects in all types of different industries. Tap into your own knowledge, expertise and creativity and create some personal projects. Have fun and experiment with different things and if you wanted to, you can then use these in your portfolio as well which is another great way of helping with your marketing.
6. Fine-tune your systems and client experience
The last thing that I want to talk about is fine-tuning your systems and client experience.
When you first go into business, there are so many things to think about. There are many things that you need to set up, create and do and we often just kind of do things as we need them without creating any systems or templates. And then the busier we get, the more messy things can get and it becomes a bit of a headache. This is why if you’re finding that business is slower right now, updating your systems and client experience can be a really effective way of utilising your time.
Have a look at what you’ve got in your business that you can create systems and templates for. What can you automate?
Also, have a look at your client experience as well. Go through your entire client experience from start to finish and see if there is anything there that you can improve so that when business picks back up again, you’ve got a wow-worthy client experience ready to go.
Check out the Clarity & Confidence Minimind
The Clarity & Confidence Minimind is a program for Online Service Providers who are ready to go from stuck and overwhelmed to clear and confident in their business.
During the 12-weeks, we will go over the 4 P’s of marketing – Product, Pricing, Positioning and Promotion to ensure your business is set up for sustainable success.
It’s my mission to provide you with complete clarity and confidence by the end of the 12-weeks so that you are completely clear on the steps you need to take to achieve the goals you have for your business.