Small business owners tend to be in a perpetual cycle of doing well, then slow business and back to doing well. Have you ever looked at your books and realized you’ve gone almost a whole month without business? Well, you can either stress about it or focus on these 10 positive things when business is down.
1. Understand the cycle of your business.
First things first, you must understand the annual cycle of your business. Take time to review your sales and determine your peak and off-peak seasons. This helps you plan ahead of time for when business is slow.
2. Rethink your business model and processes.
No business does everything right. When there’s a slack, you have the opportunity for reflection, refinement, and redesign that you probably regularly wish was available.
3. Strategic planning.
If things generally run well, look at markets, customers, and other trends. Is your strategy still on target? Are there new things you should be considering?
4. Take some down time.
Avoid burnout when the opportunity is handed to you. You might even fit in a short vacation.
5. Follow up with past clients.
Let’s say you are strapped for cash during slow months and are ripping your hair out wondering how you’re going to pay your bills when business is slow. The easiest thing to do would be to contact previous clients and see if they need any work done. This is typically the easiest thing to do any time of the year since it’s easier to get past clients to pay you than it is to find new ones.
Get involved with business groups. Stay in touch with colleagues. Feed and expand your network.
7. Develop new offerings.
Consider whether there are new products and services your existing customers and markets might appreciate.
8. Do competitive research.
Invest some time in better understanding your most significant competitors. Are they also having a problem? If not, what might they be doing differently? If they are, take stock of their current strengths and weaknesses.
9. Do your bookkeeping and taxes.
If you’re behind on record keeping or other paperwork, get it done.
There is no better time to experiment with new products and new markets. If your current market is not responding to your product, change the market or make changes to the product.
This article was originally published in Inc.