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Three Things to Focus On When Business is Slow

How to Turn Down Time into Growth Time.

There is no doubt that 2023 is tougher than expected on small business. With the impact of interest rate rises amongst a inflationary economic environment, consumer sentiments are low and people are tightening up the purse string, being mindful of where they’re choosing to put their money. While these lulls can be frustrating, they also present unique opportunities for growth and improvement. Rather than surrendering completely to worry, smart business owners can in fact use these moments as a chance to reassess, strategise and make impactful changes. In this article, we’ll explore the three things you can focus on when your business hits a slow patch, ensuring you emerge stronger and more resilient than ever.

Evaluate and Adjust Your Strategy

During slow periods, take the time to critically analyse your current business strategy. Perhaps during your growth period you have been in reactive mode in respond to market demands, now is the time to identify what worked well and what hasn’t. Are there any products or services that aren’t performing as expected? Is your marketing approach yielding the desired results?

In my case, I have decided that I no longer want to be involved in social media management or paid ads/pay-per-click ads. I don’t find joy in doing the work and find it stressful keeping up with the latest changes (and the platforms are changing more frequently now! Google had more than three algorithm changes in the past month alone). Instead, I am now focusing my business on web design and copywriting.

By pinpointing areas of weakness, you can make informed adjustments. This might involve refining your target audience, exploring new market channels or redefining your value proposition.

Invest in Professional Development

While your business may be experiencing a temporary slowdown, you can use this time to invest in your professional development. Perhaps if you are exploring new market channels, workshops and online course can work wonders to enhance your skills and knowledge. If you are refining your target audience, industry seminars and business networking groups are great to get you in front of potential customers and positioning you as a thought leader when business picks up again.

When my copywriting work slowed down, I realised web design aligned perfectly with my mission and passion. But it had been a few years since I dabbled in web design. So, I signed up for a web design course to update my WordPress knowledge and skills. The result is a beautiful and highly functional website for myself, and also the ability to design agency-level WordPress websites at a fraction of agency cost. The journey also helped reframed my mindset and has helped me started great conversations about my expertise.

Diversify Revenue Streams

Relying too heavily on a single source of income can leave your business vulnerable during slow periods. This is the time to explore opportunities for diversification. Can you introduce complementary products or services that align with your core offerings? An e-book to accompany your services? Add-on products and accessories that will help add value to your customers? Are there any untapped markets that you can enter?

Taking this advice to heart, I now offers web hosting services, on top of my other services. I am also working on masterclasses and some done-for-you content to diversify my income stream. If you are a service-based business, Your Pricing Queen has a great guide and masterclass about pricing and diversification that will help you in brainstorming how to diversify your income. This strategy not only safeguards your business, but also positions you for sustained growth.

In conclusion, slow periods in business can be disheartening, but they do offer a chance for reflection, innovation and improvement. Embrace the opportunity to assess your strategy, invest in yourself, connect with a new market and diversify your income stream. By taking these steps, hopefully you can transform challenging times into stepping stones towards long-term success.

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