It can be a scary reality, but most small businesses have ebbs and flows in which they’re super busy or in a slump. The goal is to be persistent even when you’re facing a season of less sales, bookings, or clients. There are some things you can do to boost your business, improve it, or maintain it better during these down times. Creative business owners in particular can benefit from these “housekeeping” or strategic action items.
- Work in advance: This might include scheduling blog posts, creating social media content, working out a new marketing plan and mapping out where you will spend an advertising budget, planning ahead for existing clients, or designing new products. Depending on your craft, there may be a bunch of other things you can do in advance, making you ahead of the game when business inevitably picks back up.
- Take some time to review your books and start to budget for next year: Refer to your bookkeeper’s data that they provide you and really spend time analyzing your expenses, revenue, and trends. You may notice something you haven’t before and be able to implement a cost-saving change or you may realize it’s time to update your pricing. It’s a great idea to create a budget based off of actual data from the last year so while you’re reviewing everything you can set your budget next year to include any increases or decreases you’d like to see in certain areas.
- Address your website and improve your SEO: SEO can be an intimidating topic. This article by Being Boss on DIY SEO for creative business owners may be a good place to start, but you may also like to research an expert that you can collaborate with. Addressing SEO concerns on your existing website should help you increase traffic in an intentional and targeted way.
- Invest in your education: There’s no better time to learn something new than when business is at a slower pace. Consider taking an online class through Skillshare or attending a conference that is specific to your industry. In the creative and wedding industries, Sage Wedding Pros and The Creative at Heart Conference are two of my favorites. Invest in yourself and you’ll see the return faster than you imagine.
- Reach out to others in your industry: Sometimes just emailing a quick hello can lead to a collaboration or a referral. When you have extra time, take time to communicate with influencers and share a bit about what you do. I once read that famed fashion designer Diane Von Furstenberg emails one person per day that she doesn’t need to. Sometimes they are notes of appreciation or a positive comment about their work. Maintaining working relationships or emailing someone new keeps you top of mind and may lead to new business or a friendship based in the understanding of being a creative small business owner.
Have you ever gone through a slow season? How did you embrace the extra time?