Most businesses go through a slowdown period and recover shortly after. Often, this happens due to factors that are beyond your control. Like an economic recession or (in a more optimistic scenario) a change in season or a holiday. Still, it’s stressful to see expenses and salaries piling up, and profits remaining flat. But if you looked on the bright side, you’d see that you have an unusual amount of extra time. What if instead of letting it go to waste, you use it to create a better version of your company? Without further ado, here’s what to do when business is slow to turn the tables in your favor.
Freshen up your social media presence
When business is slow, it’s NOT the time to disappear from the face of the Earth. Quite the opposite. Social media is the most effective way to gauge your clients’ needs and connect with them. If your slowdown is…seasonal, take advantage of the occasion and post relevant, fun content. Or, you can give your brand image a boost by doing some throwback on important achievements and customer success stories.
Now it’s also a great opportunity to evaluate your social media presence to find your weaknesses and strengths. Make it your goal to fix the first and showcase the second even more. Check on which social media platforms your posts perform best and where you need to put extra effort. Talk with your marketing team to come up with a solution to engage better with the audience of each platform. LinkedIn users, for example, expect business-focused content while on Facebook, you might want to address your followers in a more relaxed way.
Create some newsletters
Never lose contact with your subscribers even when business is not at its best. You still have the stuff to share with them, like blog posts you’ve recently uploaded. Give them sneak peeks into upcoming projects and upgrades on your products and services to intrigue them. Show them that your business is alive and constantly working towards improving its services.
Build a library of content for later
People today are more knowledgeable and curious than ever. With so much competition around, only businesses that manage to appeal to customer curiosity stand out. So what are you waiting for? Since more time is available, dive into writing more content that will not only offer prospective clients useful information but also entice them to use your product or service to cover their needs. Create blog posts, long-form articles, or even a case study. Most of those will become useful when the time comes.
Learn a new skill
There is no better time to learn something new than when business is slow. You finally have time and the mental capacity to learn a new skill, which will benefit your company when things go back to normal. At the very least, learning will help you stay optimistic and focused on the future. If you don’t feel like adhering to a strict schedule and seek more flexibility, there’s a wide variety of online courses to choose from. On the other hand, attending local seminars or classes might be a good way to expand your professional circle. Speaking of which…
Meet up with professionals in your circle or related to your industry to gain insight or create possible collaborations. Networking events can be boring and not most entertaining, especially when business is slow. But you never know who you might meet there. So, show up with a positive attitude and confidence, engage in meaningful conversations trying not to come off as salesy or pressing, and stay in touch afterward. Are you struggling with social interactions? Read our post on how to avoid turning a networking event into a nightmare.
Write an e-book
We talked previously about the value of content marketing. What better way to attract your audience than sharing your experience and knowledge through an e-book? Find the right topic and elaborate on it for the sake of your audience. E-books will not only help you get extra exposure during a slow period. They are also a great way to expand your leads pool by getting the emails of people interested in downloading your content.
Work on your blog
The quality of your posts says a lot about how up-to-date your business is, and it can affect your brand image. If you have a long-standing blog, chances are it needs some revamping or at least decluttering. But much like a household chore, sorting out old stuff is time-consuming and usually left for last. Now that time is not an issue, roll up your sleeves and get to work.
Start by updating or deleting posts that are outdated or poorly written. When someone pops a question and your blog comes up, they expect to find useful and current information. Otherwise, you lose credibility points and potential clients. Eventually, your blog ranking will drop too. It’s best to have less but high-quality content than a bulk of irrelevant blabber no one engages with.
You can also work on ways to strengthen your posts and improve your ranking. Cross-link between your posts or even add external ones to your blog. Add tags and keywords. Don’t hesitate to pitch your best content to other websites. External link building can significantly improve your SEO scores and bring more traffic back to your blog. Plus, having third blogs linking back to yours says a lot about your reliability and authority as a brand.
In the spirit of revamping your blog, you could even visualize some of your posts by turning them into videos or infographics. Having a variety of media on your blog will pique the interest of your readers and tempt them to explore the rest of your website.
Last but not least, you should plan your next business move in order to get out of the dry spell a winner. Gather your marketing team, your product design team, and other departments that will help overhaul your business. Financial planning is also pivotal at this point, especially expense management. But first, you need to figure out where you need to focus your efforts.
See, sometimes business is slow due to factors you can’t change. Most businesses are less busy during summer or other holidays, for example. However, a business slowdown that affects only your business and not a whole industry can be symptomatic of an outdated service or missing in-demand features. If so, you need to take action to get your company out of this situation as soon as possible.
Thorough competitive and market research will help you figure out what your competitors are offering and what your target clients are looking for. Talk with your customer service employees, if you haven’t done so already. Is there a complaint or inquiry that keeps coming up during client interactions? Then, by all means, take your clients’ remarks very seriously and use them to improve your product or service or, why not, launch a new product.
A business slowdown is less than ideal. Nonetheless, it’s an opportunity to evaluate your business tactics, rebuild your strategies, and come back stronger than ever. Take it or leave it.