Though it might not feel like it now, a lull in your business can sometimes be the perfect time to catch up on “all the things.” Keep reading to see what to do when business is slow:
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Revamp Your Website
Website looking a bit…dull? Well, now’s the time to jazz it up! As a solopreneur myself, I can get so easily wrapped up in my mile-high list of to-dos, that I tend to put the little things off for days…weeks….and sometimes, months. When I finally do get some free time, I like to re-optimize my site so that the content is current, and the customer journey continues to flow nicely. I also like to make sure the overall look of my site is refreshed with new images and design elements every six months or so –just so my readers have something new to explore. If you’re not much of a designer, I’d highly recommend checking out Creative Market for deals on stock photos, texture packs, illustrations, web elements, patterns, and more.
Improve Your SEO
If you’re just starting out, SEO could be the last thing you’re thinking about. And while the thought of it may intimate you, you’re probably better off learning about it when business is slow. In short, SEO (search engine optimization) is the process by which you optimize your website or blog to bring in unpaid traffic from the search engine results page, like Google. By implementing good SEO practices, you’ll increase the visibility of your site by driving in more visitors organically. I recommend using the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress as a guide to start. For keyword trends (which you need to optimize your site), you can try the Keyword Tool, Google’s predictive search, or even Pinterest! If you want to learn more about SEO in greater depth, there’s plenty of free courses/trainings out there as well.
Step Up Your Email Marketing Game
Has it been a while since your audience has heard from you? Then, it’s time to get an email strategy in place! In my years of marketing, I’ve found this to be one of the best methods for acquiring new leads and sales for not only my clients, but for myself. In fact, eMarketer recently published a report stating that email has an ROI of 122% compared to social media –with a whopping 28%. So, what does that mean for you? It means now is the perfect time to start and grow an email list, deliver valuable content to your target audience, and get those sales coming in while you sleep! Not sure what email provider to use? Then, I recommend Mailerlite for overall value and ease of use. You can start your free trial, here.
Start a Blog
Blogging is one of the best ways to provide free value to your fans. Now, you’re probably wondering why giving out free advice will help you bring in money… right? Well, in short, the “free value” you’re providing to your audience eventually pays off in the long run. You see, blogging gives you a sense of authority in the field –think of yourself as a trusted advisor that your fans will turn to when they need information on a given topic. Once you build those loyal fans, you will be the first person or company that comes to mind when they are ready to make a purchase. You can even monetize your blog through paid partnerships, affiliate marketing, and Google ads once you really get things going. Make sense? If you’re looking for a great place to host your WordPress blog, Bluehost offers flexible features, a free domain for the first year, and incredible 24/7 support (that’s what I use now!). Click here to start for $3.95/month.
Re-evaluate Your Social Media Strategy
When business is slow, use it as an opportunity to re-evaluate your social media strategy. Some excellent starting points include:
Dive into Your Analytics
- Discover what content performed well and what didn’t. Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to the content that didn’t perform well and try out more posts where engagement was higher
- Tweak your posting schedule; consider when your audience is most active, so you know the best days and times to post on each platform
- What type of media is resonating best with your audience? Is it videos, Instastory polls, before-and-after carousels, etc.
Determine if You’re on The Right Platforms
- Are you getting the most out of each platform? I’ve written a blog post to help you navigate which platform your business or brand should be on.
- Does the “tone” of your social media content match your brand identity?
- Are you posting consistently?
- Remember the 80/20 rule (80% value-added content; 20% self-promo related content)
- Are you posting consistently? Be sure to show up –your fans are counting on you!
- Are you posting a variety of topics? Examples include: quotes, blog posts, behind-the-scenes, shoutouts, products/services, testimonials, etc.
- Do you need a makeover? Here’s my favorite design tools: Canva, Photoshop, and Creative Market
Automate Your Content
- If you want to save tons of time on social media, you should start batching your content ahead of time with a scheduler. Some of my favorites are: Tailwind (for Pinterest or Instagram), Sendible (for managing a lot of accounts), and Later (for Instagram, Instastories, Twitter and Facebook)
Looking for ways to streamline your business so you’re being as productive as possible? Then, now is the time to catch up on simplifying (or creating) those workflows. Use this downtime to:
- Create templates (i.e., phone scripts, invoices, welcome packets, etc.)
- Build sales automations (try Mailerlite for free)
- Organize workflows using a planner or organization software, like Trello
Catch Up on Administrative Tasks
You know all those “things” you say you’ll do, but never get to? Well, it’s time to finally do them. Here’s some busy work you can do that will support your business in the long run:
- Organize your files; make sure they’re in the correct folders, etc.
- Import new photos/edit them; allocate into appropriate folders
- Fill out upcoming calendars
- Catch up on invoicing/billing
- Organize office area
- Proofread or finalize a project
- Return messages or phone calls
- Research new programs or software to use
- Add new pages to your website (Is it legal?)
Learn Something New
I try my best to learn or practice a new skill every few months when I have some time. Here’s some suggestions, but feel free to tailor them to your personal goals:
You could also enroll in an online course to further your knowledge or dive into a good book that focuses on a topic you’re interested in.
Whether it’s a local event or a social event online, networking is a great way to keep the momentum going during those slow periods. I have several female entrepreneur groups on Facebook that I like to pop over to a few times a week for articles, Q&As, and to connect with likeminded business owners. Here’s a few of my favorites:
- Women Helping Women Entrepreneurs
- Becoming a Blogger
- Blogging Newbs
- The Curated Chic
- Instagram Influencers
Re-evaluate Your Goals
If you’re in a bit of a business rut, now is a great time to strategize and prioritize your plans ahead. Consider things like:
- Do I enjoy what I’m doing?
- How can I improve my business?
- Should any efforts retire at this time?
- Do I need more financial or physical support?
- What are my income goals?
- Is there a product or service I can create to increase sales?
- What marketing strategies should I implement or tweak?
- Do I need to re-brand?
- What can I get ahead on?
Create a New Product or Service
Once you’ve re-evaluated your business goals, you might realize now’s a great time to begin working on that new service or product you’ve been dreaming about. Take advantage of the lull to get ahead on plans you always said you’d do “someday” –because that day, is finally here!
Content creation can be super time consuming –so try to get ahead when business is slow! For example, if you have a month’s worth of Pinterest content to work with, then go ahead and schedule it on Tailwind so you have plenty of content rolling out when business picks up again.
Obviously, no business owner wants to be “slow,” but the truth is, it happens. It all depends on what season we’re in, how the economy is at the time, and how you set yourself up for success. If you do find yourself with some extra time on your hands, don’t be afraid to take a step back and give yourself that mental vacation you so desperately need. So whether it be a bubble bath, or a staycation with the kids –in the end, your mind and body will thank you for it!
I think these ideas should keep you plenty busy for a while! ? Have other suggestions to add to the lists? Then, let me know in the comments! Oh, and if you have any questions or need assistance with any of these strategies, I’m just a shout away.
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