Every business has its up months and down months. It’s part of the process, and one that I think we all struggle with. (Nope, you’re not alone!)
I’ll tell you though: The longer you’re in business, the fewer “down” months you’ll have and they’ll be less painful. Not because “down” months don’t still hurt (they do) but because you’re better prepared for them.
It’s important to have funds saved to cover a big investment or the loss of a client. That helps you keep your financial house in order during slower months. But you also need to know what you’re going to do with your time when work is slow so you don’t waste it scrolling Facebook.
When you see a slow month on the horizon, I want you to have a list of things that you can do to work ON your business so there’s more time between those slower months and so you can continue to grow as a business owner.
Plan on CEO Time
When you’re busy, there never seems to be enough time to work on your own business; you’re too busy doing all the client work. You should have CEO time blocked off regularly so you stay on top of your finances, marketing and systems, but when you have a slower month, I want you to double down on some of these tasks. This is your chance to get ahead on your business tasks so you can feel proactive and making strides forward.
Focus on Strategic Objectives
Every business owner has priorities that help them reach their longer-term goals. Do you want to scale your business? Develop new products and services? Get more visible? If you feel like you’re in a slower month, go back to your strategic objectives, see if you need to make some changes and then outline what you need to do to make progress on your priorities. It will feel really good to check some things off your list while also working toward your goals.
Do you feel like your slow months are a result of inefficient processes (and maybe unhappy clients)? This is your chance to tighten things up and make sure that your onboarding process “wows” your new clients and that your current clients feel seen and heard. It doesn’t hurt to “wow” them too!
Put Yourself Out There
You need to market yourself and your business year-round, no matter if it’s a slow month or one where you’re slammed with work. But if you’re slower than normal right now, this is a perfect time to update your marketing plan, create new content, reach out to biz besties who might have events or podcasts you could be part of, connect with new online (or in-person) friends through networking and just generally put yourself out there so people know who you are and what you do.
Take Time for YOU
When was the last time you headed to a coffee shop? Not to work, but to just BE? As business owners, we get so caught up with being busy and tackling the endless to-do lists that we forget to make time for ourselves. If you’re having a slower month, celebrate the fact that you now have some space to recalibrate and take better care of yourself. Head to the gym, go for a walk, take a night away at the resort down the street, take a nap. This is also a good time to carve out some space for your kids or partner if you feel like you haven’t been as present as you should.
Yep, slow months are difficult. They’ll never stop being hard. But when you pick yourself up and do something about it, they’re a lot easier to get through. And the more you make the most of slow time, the better prepared you are when the lull is over. That’s definitely something worth celebrating!