Picture this: your businesses is rolling along smoothly. You have all the work you can handle and people are still beating down your door for your products and services. Although it puts a lot of stress on you and your business to have an overflowing workload, you’re happy to be working extra hours and making money.
Flash forward a few weeks or months; you wake up and suddenly realize that you’re not as busy as you once were. Your first thought is “thank God, I can rest for a while.” However, you soon become concerned about when business will start to pick up again. You may say to yourself, “it’s probably just the slow season” or “maybe the economy is effecting business?”. While those factors may very well be effecting your business, it’s important to focus on what can be done to get your business headed in the right direction again. Here are three tips to help get you started!
Become Proactive, Fast!
Slow business times tend to lead to frustration and complacency. When you’re not having any “luck” or success, it’s hard to become motivated to sell. You’ll often do anything to avoid selling; organize your office, file those papers that have been sitting around for six months or even work on getting caught up with the bookkeeping that you’ve been behind on. While these are all important tasks, they aren’t generating revenue.
The secret to combating complacency is to get out and do something! Go to more networking events and meet people, make a list of potential clients and call on them or find new avenues to market your business that you had not thought of yet. Anything you can do to put yourself in front of people will help your chances of someone finding you who is in need of your services.
Follow up with past clients.
One of the best ways to get new business is from past clients. For example, in my previous company where I did computer repair, if I had a light workload during a particular week, I would call on former clients and check in with them to see if their computers were still running OK since I had last worked on them. Many times they would say something like “they have been working great, except we’ve been having one problem with…”. Often times clients won’t call you until their problems are at “Code Red Stage 4 Emergency” level. Just by taking the initiative to follow up with past clients, you are likely to gain new business that otherwise would have been delayed.
Another way to gain new business from past clients is through referrals. Again, it’s a matter of giving one of your past clients a call, or even taking them out for coffee. Sit down and visit with them for a few minutes about how things are going in their business. When you show that you care and take the time to genuinely be interested in other people’s business, more often than not they will go out of their way to help you as well. Just by spending a few minutes catching up with them and asking if there’s anything that you can personally do to help them, it will help keep you at the top of their mind should they know someone needing your products or services. This is a great method for gaining referrals!
Look back at when times were good.
If things have gone downhill in your business, it’s a good idea to look back at when times were good. What was different about that time? Was there something that you were doing differently to attract business? What has changed from then until now? By asking yourself these types of questions, it may tip you off or spark an idea on how to get your business moving forward again.
When you look back, you may find that your customer support had gotten off-track a little bit when you became overwhelmed with business. You might see that you started targeting the wrong types of clients when things took a turn for the worse. Whatever the case may be, it’s a good idea to go back to doing things the way you were doing them when business was good!
You may not be able to change the seasons or the economy, but most of the time when business slows down, there are many ways to get it back on the right track. By getting back to the basics, putting yourself in front of others and being more proactive, you’ll find that you can earn business in almost any environment or situation.
I always enjoy hearing other people’s stories! If you’ve ever experienced a slow down in your business, I’d love to hear how you got it heading in the right direction again! Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can leave a comment below!