In an ideal world, business would be plentiful all year round. So much so, that you’ve got so much business that you’re needing to hire more people, be selective as to what you say “yes” to, and reinvest in your infrastructure to keep things moving. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, especially for small businesses. We go through ups and downs where business is booming and you can barely keep up to dreadfully slow months where anxiety begins to creep in. We’ve all been there, you’re not alone.
We wanted to share with you 7 things you can do when business is slow that can help propel you to less and less slow seasons, and more profitable ones. The first task to be put on the back burner is working on your own business when things are busy. Instead of feeling upset or worried about business being slow, change your mindset to now I finally have time to work on my business to attract my dream clients.
1. REVIEW YOUR OFFERINGS
This is a great time to review what your business is offering and whether it’s connecting with your ideal customer. Consider the feedback you’ve gotten from past clients, poll your followers on social media, and listen to what is and isn’t working. This could mean adding or removing items from a service package, providing prospective clients with a free download that leads into a sales funnel, or pivoting and offering something brand new that you’ve gotten numerous requests for.
2. ORGANIZE YOUR BUSINESS
Thankfully we’re Type A creatives that thrive on organized systems in place, but we know that isn’t the case for everyone. We can promise you this though, taking the time to organize your business will pay dividends in your efficiency and client experience. Spend some time organizing your business files, assets (i.e. photos, design files, client files), and your systems.
We shared 7 apps we use on a daily basis in our business that help us achieve an effective + efficient system that allows us to maximize our productivity on a daily basis.
3. REVIEW YOUR CLIENT ONBOARDING PROCESS
Every 6 months or so we review our client onboarding process to make it better and better each time we bring on a new project. From the moment they inquire with us on the website to our initial discovery call followed by a custom proposal and then leading into the project organization, it’s all designed with the intention to give our clients the absolute best experience. We want them to feel special from the onset with top-notch branding and communication that feels seamless, exciting, and that they’re a priority. Most potential clients (and existing clients) just want to feel heard, so ensure that every touch they experience along the way is positive, clearly communicated, and easy to navigate.
4. INVEST IN YOUR BRANDING AND/OR WEBSITE
Having some downtime to work on your business is the perfect opportunity to finally spend time on or invest in your branding and/or website design. It might feel slightly counterintuitive to spend money when business is slow, but if you reframe your mindset around it and look at it as an investment into your business, then the outcome should help propel you toward your business goals.
You. Are. Not. Wasting. Your. Money.
I’ll say it again, you are not wasting your money if you intentionally invest in your business in areas that you have defined as holding you back from the goals you have set forth to achieve. This doesn’t mean spending unwisely, but rather strategically reviewing what’s working and isn’t working and then hiring a designer who aligns with your vision to bring it to life.
What could this look like? Let’s say you’re an interior designer who desperately wants to attract higher-end, luxury clients but your branding was quickly created in Canva 3 years ago and your website was DIY just to get something up. It’s been working just fine, but it’s no longer attracting your dream clients. You feel that a luxe client will visit the site and immediately tell themselves, “No, this woman isn’t the right fit for me.” And the truth is, that’s how a lot of business goes — we base it on an instant impression that either intrigues us or repels us.
If that’s what it feels like, then investing in your business to attract higher-paying clients will pay dividends in just a few clients! Position yourself in the market for what you want.
5. STRATEGICALLY PLAN YOUR CONTENT CREATION
Say goodbye to the days of snapping a quick photo on your iPhone to get a post up on Instagram. Take this downtime to review what’s working on social media, what are your followers enjoying, and what do they seem to not care so much about, and then strategically plan out your content creation. One of the most effective ways to do this is by batch content creation — schedule a 4-hour block of time two times a month to produce all the content you need for that period of time. Not only will the content be on target for what your followers want to see (because you reviewed your analytics and know what’s working), but you’ll actually spend far less time on social media when you aren’t flying by the seat of your pants.
Another effective way to do this and to maximize your time, energy, and money is to plan a 4-hour brand photography shoot. This content can be used for social media, website updates, newsletters, and new marketing collateral that you’re building after reviewing your current offerings. Genius!
6. JOIN A MENTORSHIP GROUP OR HIRE A BUSINESS COACH
What would it look like to commit to learning and growing from other like-minded individuals for a few hours a month? Could joining a mentorship group or hiring a business coach be the thing that reframes your mindset into a happy and profitable one? Learning from others who are walking in the same shoes as you can be immensely helpful to (a) feel like you aren’t alone and (b) offer suggestions for solutions that work. Your ego needs to step aside and acknowledge that sometimes it’s ok to ask for help.
7. GET OUT OF THE HOUSE AND NETWORK
Ever since the pandemic, it’s really easy and really comfortable to work from home, but that comes at a price. We aren’t affording ourselves the opportunities to meet new people, connect with other entrepreneurs, or sit next to a woman at a coffee shop who just so happens to need the services you offer. What seems more effective — hoping that your ideal client sees your Instagram post or meeting someone in a coffee shop where you strike up a conversation to learn more about them, what they do, and how you could be of help? I’ll take the cost of a $6 latte on my chances of converting them into a paying client versus the latter.
As photographers, one of our most effective ways of meeting new people is working out of the house and putting our camera on the table. Oftentimes it’s a conversation starter and next thing you know, you may have just made a new friend or hopefully a new paying client!
Just remember, a slow season is just that … a season. Embrace it, learn from it and relish the fact that you now have time to work on your business to take one step closer to your dreams.
Hey! We're Kristin + Christina
Our passion is taking the creative reigns to give you more time and energy to focus on the areas of your business that excite you and truly light you up.