So its almost the end of September!
2017 is winding up!
Are you hyperventilating?
Yes, you started the year with a lot of big dreams and goals for your business but you have run out of steam...or maybe you have just been procrastinating and you realise so many months have passed. You are no longer suit up but marshmellowed into the full grime of sweats.
How do you identify if your business is in SWEATS?
For almost all businesses whether big or small, consistency is key: consistency of service, quality, consistency in your marketing actions. If not, you will see a fall in the number of orders coming in.
But there comes a time in the lives of all businesses when things start to slow down. A scary time especially for new entrepreneurs. Yes perhaps the ‘honeymoon’ period is coming to an end. I surely went through this in 2016 as the economy in Trinidad began contracting and walk in customers dwindled. When this happens, both enquiries and sales can actually take a nosedive, and our companies are said to be in a bit of a slump.
4 Tips to Manage a Business Slump
1. Revisit your marketing and advertising strategy
After all my years in creating and executing marketing and advertising for other companies I still learn every day the importance of shifting up activities in my own business. The tendency is to pull back on marketing spend when things are bad but you should actually do the exact opposite.
How much advertising do you do?
If your answer is not much then no wonder you are in a slump. In stressful economic times you need to magnify your visibility because consumers are naturally not spending as much. The other challenge for entrepreneurs as well is limited funding. This is a time for us to get innovative and creative. You need to take action to drum up business: try online advertising like Google Adwords, take a small ad out in a local paper, classifieds if necessary. Cold call your customers and ask for referrals.
For more low cost marketing tips check out this site here.
2. Make a ‘to-do’ list for the rest of the year
Getting over your slump means getting real with where you are and what you can realistically do and achieve. Small businesses live and die based on their objectives. You don't want to spend money without having a strategy and it is easy enough to do a quick action plan for your business and execute it daily. Your list should be very specific - the number of new customers you would like to have, what products you want to sell, how much money you want to make and so on. Use this list as a motivational force, live and breathe it daily and your company’s success will follow suit.
3. De-clutter your mind and work space
I want to laugh out loud as I write this. This 'frickening' thing works! At the end of August this year, I totally re-organised my work space at home and started daily affirmations for the things I wanted to achieve and what I wanted to change in my business. This may not seem like an important aspect of business, but your workplace has a big effect on your state of mind. I felt new inspiration to write and plan my activities for the rest of the year just from cleaning and organising my space. If your desk and general working area are cluttered and a mess, so too will your business be.
4. Increase your visibility
If you want to get out of a slump make sure you are doing everything to become more visible. I do not just mean spending more money on advertising but actually getting out there, meeting clients, getting referrals, networking and building new relationships. To read more on why it is important to network feel free to peruse one of my earlier blogs here.
Finally, one of the most important tools in turning your business around is your attitude. As an entrepreneur be prepared to have ups and downs. See the good and bad as opportunities. Tough times will never last forever, and with mental toughness, positive mindset, a good plan and consistency of effort, you will survive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Debbie-Ann Jollie is a marketing communications executive with more than 10 years experience creating marketing strategies and promotional campaigns for a diverse array of corporate clients and first time entrepreneurs.