As service-based business owners, there’s often an ebb and flow between clients. And between work, sometimes it’s either raining cats and dogs, or it’s crickets. A lot of times, when business is really booming, and there are tons of projects to get done. But typically, and it’s usually around this time of year, like after the holidays, and when clients are excited to get their new website down. For the new year, there could be a little bit of a lull, and you might find yourself with some business slow times. It’s completely normal for service-based business owners to experience loss in our business. We might also overthink and start to fret and worry about the status of our business that, for some, caused them to give up. One of my old mentors used to always tell me when I reached out to seek some advice during these slow times in business that worrying does absolutely nothing. It isn’t helpful to your mental health and also the business.
So how can we maximize showtimes in our business?
1. Follow Up with our prospects
This is one of the things that I noticed a lot of creative business owners do not do. There are times people may reach out, they might send us an inquiry via email or they may download our pricing or Services Guide, and they might even go as far as to have a call with us. we send them a proposal, and then it’s crickets, we don’t hear anything back. We may even start to feel that they’re not interested in working with us at all. But actually, they might not be ready at that time to start working with you. Or maybe they are too busy that they totally forgot to get back to you or already overwhelmed with choices and by sending them an email and reaching out regarding your last call or email conversation, they’ll remember the amazing client experience you provided during that call or the detailed portfolio you submitted and might decide to start working with you after a couple of months from the last time you had a chat.
A simple and friendly email would not harm the business. Remember not to be too spammy by bombarding them with follow up emails. One thing I always bear in mind is that, as long as they didn’t send you an email saying “No”, still I consider it as a “Yes”.
2. Reach out to your previous clients
Remember that your previous clients are your walking and talking billboard for your business. Follow up with them, check on them and see how things are going since you guys last worked together. If you have a referral program, it is also a good way to remind them about your referral program and what they can get if they give you a qualified lead and they might know someone who needs your help. And then also, it’s a great opportunity to see where they’re at with their business, maybe your previous client needs more help at the moment.
3. Reach out to your fellow service providers in your niche
This is a very underutilized tactic but a very smart one. As an example, if you’re a woman entrepreneur providing health coaching and health coaching is a tremendously large field depending on who you serve, what you specialize in, your approach, your style. It could be totally different from what you know other health coaches in your niche are doing. It’s really important to leverage those relationships that you have in your industry and follow up with people. This doesn’t necessarily have to be an email because it might seem awkward asking if they have any clients to refer to me. A lot of times this happens organically by just staying connected to people in your industry. So hop on a quick call with them. Personally, I like to do sort of a 15-minute coffee chat with my fellow entrepreneurs to figure out what’s going on with them. It’s a great time to gauge from the conversation if the slow time you’re experiencing is an industry-wide thing that we’re seeing or is this just something that’s with your business.
Staying really close to fellow entrepreneurs in your industry that are super successful is a big help. So when they get booked up, they can refer clients to you since most clients will be down to be on their waitlist, and then other clients are in a rush and they need their products done right away.
4. Email Your List
Whenever business gets busy, oftentimes entrepreneurs miss emailing their list. There are a lot of business owners who have a healthy email list but never email them. Most business owners tend to ignore their email marketing process to eliminate some tasks on their plate. Your email list is what you owned. These warm leads are people that you can potentially turn into clients.
So rather than posting 1000 different content on your social media, focus on the list that you already have. You probably have some rich data about what exactly people downloaded, what their preferences are, definitely leverage that information and send an email. You can remind people that you guys are booking. you can let them know when you have a calendar up. Calendar availability is such a great idea to just get in front of your warm audience again, and start being top of their mind. There have been so many times when in my own business, I hired someone because I needed something. And then I just happened to come across the email they sent saying that they have a few more spots left to accommodate. This is a great idea to really just remind all the people who took the time to join your list and they want to hear from you. Let them know what’s going on with your business and let them know that you have availability.
5. Do a Tech Check
If the business is slow, the very first thing you should do before anything else is to do a tech check. We all are relying on technology today to automate our business, starting from growing your list up to booking a call with you. But occasionally these systems and automation tend to break whenever you do some update on your website. System glitch is normal but can be prevented. Here at Social Circle Inc., whenever we do brand and web design for our clients, we also walk them through the process of how they can update their website on their own. We provide walk-through videos on how they can update their calendar in sync with their website and other pages as well. And during slow times in your business, take that opportunity to test and change your tools if needed to make sure that your tech is performing well and provide an excellent client experience starting from your website.
Having clients less than what you expect does not hurt your business at all. Instead, take these slow times as an opportunity to analyze your business processes or if there’s a need to upgrade just like with your website. So that by the time you already have the capacity to do an upgrade, you already have a list of things that you want to upgrade.
Slow times in your business should be the reason for you to stop. This is just another phase that every entrepreneur experiences no matter what business model or niche you’re in. Take this as an opportunity to learn new processes that can elevate your business. Part of growing your business is having a website or updating your current one. Social Circle Inc. is here to help make your brand and website stand out in the competition.