What To Do When Business Is Slow

You’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 company, it sometimes can be hard to predict when that will occur. Here are some strategies to work when this happens to stay on track.


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 lousy wine and worse conversation. Join some topic-related Facebook groups and be visible and supportive within 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 six 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 useful contacts with and see if they are quiet 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 typically, then reconnect with your family and friends. Go ride your horse. Meditate. Go kayaking or hiking.

Clean your desk. Likely there are things wanting attention. You don’t have the excuse of being too busy to deal with them.

Take a class in sales, marketing, or business. Downtime should be used for self-improvement. There are all kinds of online courses 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 a 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’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.

Amanda MacDonald

Amanda MacDonald

Founder of Full Gallop Communications

Amanda is a marketing veteran that works with businesses on improving brand communication, marketing strategy, and creating content marketing. When not in the office, Amanda can be found at the barn with her horse, walking her two dogs on Lake Ontario or baking something carbtastic in the oven.

Contact her at hello@fullgallopcomm.com to inquire about how your marketing efforts can become more successful.

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