You’re sitting there staring at your screen. Yesterday you made 10 sales. Today…nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. You’re racking your brain wondering what to do. Maybe read a book? Surely there’s something to do when business is slow. You’re in luck. I’ve drawn up a list of 15 productive things you can do when business is slow. Check them out below!
1. Learn to sell
Learning to sell is the most important skill in any creative’s toolbox. It can literally make or break your business. When business is slow, speed it up by learning to sell. The best way to approach this is to pick one type of selling, master it then learn another. You can apply it to your product descriptions, blog writing and your ‘About Me’ landing page. I highly recommend Neville Medhora’s Kopywriting Kourse if you’re just getting started.
2. Collect feedback
You’re sitting there. Wondering where you went wrong. The easiest way to find out is to ask! Start collecting feedback from your customers to find out where their pain points are. Set up a quick survey using Typeform, and email out the link to your customers. Here are some examples to get you started:
– What scent would you like to see in our next candle line?
– What theme or pattern would you like in our next collection?
By asking questions like this you can uniquely position your business to dominate that niche.
3. Analyze your data
Data is the new currency. It is literally a goldmine sitting on your servers. If you run an ecommerce store e.g. something like Shopify or Etsy you’ll have access to your entire customer list. Export all of your customer details making sure you include customer emails (check to make sure you have permission first). Go to Facebook Audiences through Facebook Ads Manager and create a custom audience. Once you’ve done this you can analyze the characteristics of your audience using Facebook’s Audience Insights tool! This is super powerful because you can also use it to retarget your customers on Facebook!
4. Work on your Blog!
Ahh the mighty blog. Your business’s blog is an incredibly powerful tool for establishing credibility and influence. People love getting stuff for free. The easiest way you can do this is by giving them free information….so start blogging! If you’re struggling to come up with ideas check out Bloglovin or Pinterest for inspiration.
5. Create new products/product lines/services
When business is slow it’s a brilliant opportunity to start creating new products or new lines. Think back to all those times customers asked “Do you make..X?” or “This would be awesome in blue!”. This is instant validation that your new concept or product has a market. Following this route when building new things increases your chance of success as you already have customers for it. If you don’t have any ideas floating around I highly suggest you read James Altucher’s post on how to become an Ideas Machine.
6. Network with other creatives
It can be lonely when you’re building your empire. So while it’ slow why not take the opportunity to meet some other creatives. It’s great to interact with other people who are striving for success. They become your friends, your confidants and sometimes your business partners. Check out networking for creatives at Meetup.
7. Write a business Plan
Amat Curam Victoria. Victory Loves Preparation
Quite possibly one of my favourite quotes of all time…because it’s so true! We often get caught up in working in our businesses but don’t get time to step back and work ON the business. Take the time to write a business plan. It doesn’t need to be hundreds of pages. Start off by listing your SMART goals at the top of the page, below that write down how you’re going to achieve those goals. And finally write down how you’re going to track your progress AKA your KPIs. Business Plan DONE.
8. Find new sales channels
When business is slow, make it fast by finding new places to sell your products or services. There are literally hundreds of places to sell and to network with potential customers. Just start testing them out to find out which ones work for you. If you sell handmade products try approaching retailers as a wholesaler. If you design amazing things online check out Creative Market. Maybe you create luxe clothing why not check out Wanelo.
9. Develop new skills
A lumberjack is wandering through the forest with a blunt axe. He has to work harder and longer than his friend who just went and got his axe sharpened. Learning something new allows you to sharpen your axe. There are plenty of great skills you can pick up online. Some to check out include basic design skills, learning to build your own website or trying out a new craft technique. Think broad, the skills that you learn don’t always need to be specific to your niche. Branch out. Learn something new.
10. Take some Zen Time
Must. Do. More. Work. It’s important to work hard to get what you want. But it’s just as important to relax to get back in the zone. Zen Time, as I like to call it, is any activity that allows you to clear your mind and get a little headspace. For some this might mean meditating. For others it might be going for a run or working out. Every now and then I get my Zen Time by jumping on a train with some headphones on and a good book and I just ride it out to anywhere. Zen Time could be anything, it’s all about finding that activity that resets your mind.
11. Take a customer out to coffee
Becoming great friends with your customers is an absolute MEGA win. For one thing it’s great to speak to your customers. The other added benefit is that by taking some extra time to talk to them you can turn them into a promoter for your business. The greatest way to build your business is by word of mouth. Taking the time to build great relationships with your clients is a great way to increase the chatter.
12. Focus your social media
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr. There is literally an unlimited number of social platforms you can use to build your brand. It can be a little overwhelming when you’re trying to figure out where to start. Best advice: pick one and master it. If you’re trying to distribute your content across multiple platforms check out Later, it’s simple to use and allows you to get your content out there. Also…if you’re looking to learn more about building your Instagram following you should check out my Instagram course, IGTRIBE.
13. Learn how to advertise
Never before in the world of business have you been able to sit in your lounge room and access billions of customers. Becoming a master of an advertising platform like Facebook Ads or Instagram can literally triple your business overnight. If you’re looking for a low cost option try giveaways to influencers or bloggers. There’s a whole bunch of courses out there that you can take and on the plus side…if you have a great product; advertising comes easily!
14. Sit back and Reflect
It’s easy to lose focus of where you’re going when you’re so busy working away on our businesses. Just like it’s important to sharpen your axe, it’s also important to sit back and reflect. Whilst it’s good to do this when business is slow it’s useful to build this into a daily routine. Set up a morning journal, be grateful, write down your monkey mind thoughts, and ten ideas.
15. Tweak your website
There are some small tweaks you can make to your website that will reap HUGE benefits. For one, make sure you have a brilliant About Us/Me page. Take your potential customer down a journey and show they what you and your brand are about. The second easy tweak is to make sure you have an engaging banner. Try Canva for your next design, it’s simple to use and FREE!
When business is slow just try out one of these ideas. Maybe go off and learn something new or take some time to have a coffee with a customer. The most important thing is that you don’t rest on your laurels. Do something to get your business steaming again and get you back in the zone.
Have any other ideas? Share what you do when business is slow!
And as always don’t forget to like share and comment!
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