As a business, you never want to hear the words ‘wow, it’s really quiet at the moment’ but sometimes, it’s an unavoidable reality. Clients stop spending, you get less walk-ins through the door or you feel like a mouse on a wheel; pitching, pitching, pitching but nothing seems to be coming off. Sometimes though, the quiet times can be seen as a welcome relief. A chance to catch your breath or go on that overdue holiday. The key is to foresee and plan for these times. After all, we’ve all got bills to pay right?
You’ll never hear a business owner say ‘I’ve got too many clients,’ ‘I wish people would stop calling me’ but sometimes no matter how hard you try, business just slows. And while you can’t possibly plan for all contingencies, there are things you can do to mitigate these periodic slow-downs.
Here’s our top tips:
Analyse and get to know your business cycle
Is your business seasonal or have you noticed there’s a particular month that always seems quieter than the others? Analyse the peaks and troughs and get to know these patterns in your business. Understanding your business’ cycle will allow you to plan for the down times i.e. keeping cash reserves to ensure enough cash flow etc.
Easy to say, not so easy to do, especially when the bank account dwindles and you still have business obligations and expenses to pay. It’s important not to let the panic set in. Look at the bigger picture and use the down times to your advantage. Take that overdue time off. Enrol in courses to up-skill yourself or look into a new marketing campaign to bring in new leads.
Never underestimate business planning. Look at conducting 6-month interval planning sessions to set you up for the year. Create client hit lists, forecast, set goals and establish your marketing strategies. This will help mitigate or completely eliminate the dreaded quiet times.
Think Differently & Be Flexible
During the quiet periods, is there something else you can do? A different revenue stream? Don’t be scared to try different things. Think outside the box. Just make sure you’re still focused on your core business as well.
Be smart with your marketing strategy
Do you know you’ll be quiet during June? Why not offer a special discount/offer to attract customers? Offering discounts, a free trial or something similar might not only see your usual customers return but could attract new ones altogether. A real win win.