What to do when business is slow

what to do when business is slowYou’ve been busy as all get out at work for a few months but now… it’s halter class slow. Nothing is coming in your inbox, your social channels are quiet, the doorbell isn’t dinging. Your business probably has some built in slow times before or after holidays or during the cold months. If you have a newer business, it  sometimes can be hard to predict when that will occur. Here are some strategies to work when this happens to stay on track.

Dos

Look for opportunities to present at an upcoming conference – leverage your knowledge and show you are the leader in the area with your expertise. And hey, it’s a great day to get over that fear of public speaking. What doesn’t kill you…

Look for new networking opportunities –  Not talking about the weekly random business people mix that is available in most places with bad wine and worse conversation.  Join some topic-related Facebook groups and be visible and supportive with the comments. Get on LinkedIn if you don’t have an account yet. There are active and related special groups that you can join to find others looking for what you do.

Use the time to plan – If you have been lax about marketing for a while, it has likely caught up with you. Write down where you need to be visible for the next 6 months. Then get started on making that happen. Look back at which activities brought you the best/most business. Are you still doing those things?

Write. Post content about your services/products and how people have benefited from them. Then share them even further on all your channels.

Experiment with a new social channel. If you know you have a younger audience, try Snapchat for a few weeks and see how it goes.

Brainstorm for some new and different promotions. If you are a retailer, offer your best customers a bonus if they refer a customer to you. Put a new package offer together.

Pay attention to what is going on with your competitors. Are they busy or slow right now? Reach out to the ones that you have good contacts with and see if they are slow as well. Maybe it’s not you.

Co-market with a related group. Partner up and have some fun with a joint reach effort.

Volunteer.  Spend time with some kids in need or help restock the local food pantry. You’ll feel better being productive, even if for someone else’s benefit.

Refresh your product photos. Use the same filter treatment on all of them and repost them.

Check your website performance and SEO.  There may be something that is preventing your site from coming up in the returns.

Self care.  Use this time to hit the gym and get some sleep. If you work lots of extra hours normally, reconnect with your family and friends. Go ride your horse. Meditate. Go kayaking or hiking.

Clean your desk. There are likely things hiding and waiting for attention. You don’t have the excuse of being too busy to deal with them.

Take a class in sales, marketing or business. Down time should be used for self-improvement. There are all kinds of online classes available for a small fee. Try this Udemy course offered by marketing guru, Seth Godin, for only $27. Read those business books that you never seem to have time to read.

All of the above should give you good place to get moving and stop feeling stuck. However, there are a couple of things that I would NOT recommend doing in this situation.

Don’ts

Don’t pull all of your advertising. I’ve seen companies do this when their quarterly numbers are lower than expected.  When things are slow, stay the course with your ad plans. Killing those only gives the impression that your company isn’t doing well, you disappear further off the map and your visibility gets worse.

Don’t panic. Carry on smartly.  Breathe. Stay focused.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Amanda MacDonaldHi, I’m Amanda!  As a life-long equestrian, I understand the importance of keeping our horses healthy, happy and well-appointed. I’m also a marketing consultant who helps equine and pet businesses refine their marketing strategy to attract more pre-qualified customers. Unlike non-equine agencies, I understand your business and your ideal customer before creating your strategy.

And with over 15 years of experience in marketing, I can help you to translate that shared goal into a brand that drives sales. I’ve mastered marketing strategy, branding, website production and digital media marketing, and led successful teams to bring it all together.  So it’s a pleasure to offer my services and knowledge to those who make my life more enjoyable, and to bring new products and services to others to keep our horses happy and healthy. Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn!

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