8 tips for what you can do to improve and grow your business when it is slow.
Sometimes when you own your business, slow days happen. These are the times to embrace and to push to be better. My business is hourly driven so when things are slow, I don’t get paid. On these days, I need to learn, to research, to contact, to engage. I fully admit, I have some idle days, but here is what I do to improve myself and make that time more valuable to my business:
- Take a course to improve a skill or learn a new one: One of my local chambers is offering a three-day retreat to hone photography skills. I am totally looking into that! LinkedIn Learning has a ton of courses and many certifications. Adapting/learning different skills of a trade is always good for business.
- Work on your website or social media presence: There are days where, because I help other people build their brands, I tend to let my own presence lag. This is the best time to freshen things up and put fresh work out there for people to discover.
- Join a network or work on the one you already have: Whether on LinkedIn or over Zoom or just an email to say hello, work on your network of clients and business partners. An old colleague told me once, “connect with one person a day, and you’ll do just fine.” They were right, it is about rapport and connection.
- Join local groups: This year I decided to look into some chambers and business councils. Just a warning though, look into what these groups stand for and believe in before you give them your money. Most try to be pro-business, but some lean certain ways when it comes to politics. To each their own, but you want to join groups that you feel comfortable associating your business with.
- Clean up your work space: If nothing else, I clean up my paper work, post-it notes, and random work supplies. Working in a clean space makes me feel like I have myself together and can do this business thing.
- Catch up on bookwork: I don’t know about you, but it is my least favorite thing about owning my own business. It is a necessary evil, and it must get done. I force myself to keep up with my bookwork because when the task gets bigger and bigger, the more I want to ignore it!
- Look into conferences: I know conferences can be expensive, but did you know some big conferences are FREE for their virtual events this year? Example: Adobe MAX is free this year!!
- Research what is trending in your trade: All professional services, trade services, retail services, etc. go through trends. What’s hot, what’s not. I try to find out what it is that people are looking for when it comes to what I offer. Maybe there is something I can do to start a trend or stay on front edge of what is out there?
These are just a few ways I try to keep myself busy when work isn’t constant. It is good to have some time to work on business strategy. For example: I used to blog all the time and then things got busy. The slow days help me hone my writing skills amongst many other things, and I just had enough time to blog for the first time in almost a year. Most weeks, I like to be busy and humming right along, but idle times help me improve my skills (writing for one), work on my own brand, research other ways to offer my services, and ultimately grow my business.
Don’t feel bad about the down times. Embrace them, they will make you better in business. It will help make your company grow.