How to Weather a Dry Spell in Your Business
Do you ever find yourself cruising along in your business? Work is steady. Payments arrive on time. Communication is amazing. And then a dry spell hits.
As entrepreneurs, dry spells are part of the landscape.
Slow seasons can affect your business for a variety of reasons. Maybe you lost a client. Or your industry might rise and fall with the seasons or holidays. Sometimes it might simply be because you got busy and didn’t keep up a consistent effort to develop your business.
No matter how you look at it, your entrepreneurial journey will have its ups and downs. In this article, we will look at four ways to make the most of your personal rollercoaster, and three tips to help you prepare before the tough times hit.
I love sharing all the things I learn while building this savvy design business. Everything I learn I owe it from other people whom I learned from. I hope by following me online I will be able to create the same impact others did with their free resources.
4 ways to grow through a dry spell.
When you find your client work is suddenly lacking, don’t view it as defeat. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! This is the time to kick your business into high gear!
Finish projects that get pushed to the back burner.
We all have them!
Whether it’s refining your web copy, rethinking your opt-in, or filing paperwork, some things never quite make it to the top of the pile. When your client load lessens, set those priorities and start checking them off! It’s like spring cleaning for your to-do list!
Fill your pipeline.
It’s easy to get discouraged when business is slow. How often do you find yourself questioning whether you’re cut out for this?
You got into business for a reason: you have something awesome to share. So make use of the extra time to keep networking. Keep getting in front of your ideal clients. Keep showing up and building your brand and authority. Marie Forleo calls this A.B.M. “Always Be Marketing!”
What are some ways to keep up your marketing game? Stay consistent with your email list so you’re always top-of-mind. Connect with new people and nurture relationships, both online and in person. Build your credibility as an expert in your field with regular content that is super valuable and actionable for your audience.
A dry spell gives you a unique opportunity to build resilience and perseverance.
Basically, don’t slow down when work slows down. Now is the time to hustle!
Invest in your business.
When revenue is down, you might not be thinking, “Now is the time to pay for a course.”
But you should be!
Learning a new skill, or refining a current one, will allow you to hit the ground running when business picks up again. Develop a character of adaptability by continuing to educate yourself, and you’ll have a clear edge over your competition.
Create a reserve of content.
Use your downtime to write and design quality content to serve your potential clients. Set yourself up to be consistently visible with a bank full of value, ready to deliver!
Instead of feeling like you “just need to get it done,” you can schedule your social media and blog posts from this reserve. Then, when things get hectic again, because you know they will, you can be ahead of the game!
3 tips to prepare for the next dry spell.
While it’s critical to learn to shift from the “feast-or-famine” mentality we can all fall victim to, we also have the power to prepare for the rollercoaster. Here are three tips to help you plan ahead, so you can act rather than react.
Save for an emergency fund.
Just like in the rest of life, it makes good business sense to make a regular habit of saving up an emergency fund. Setting a little aside from each client payment will lessen the financial blow when you go through a dry spell.
This involves knowing your numbers. What will you need each and every month to keep your business moving in a positive direction? How will you save enough to keep up that movement even when revenue drops for a little while?
Set up a regular saving strategy to help get you through those slow times with less stress.
Keep filling that pipeline!
Basically, always be marketing! Yes, we talked about this already. But when business is slow, keep making connections. When business is crazy, keep making connections!
Consistency is the key. If you get wrapped up in client work, and just put your head down and go, at some point you’ll look up and realize you no longer have the network to find new clients!
It is 100% worth it to take time away from client work to network, even if it’s just a few minutes every day. Keep looking for new ways to help people, and you’ll always have new potential clients just a few short conversations from hiring you.
Know your business’ seasons.
This is something that you will learn over the lifetime of your business. Track your dry spells and busy seasons. As you map out the ebb and flow of your business, you will start to see patterns.
Are your sales influenced by major holidays? Does Christmas mean big business for you? Or do you have a course that people get motivated to purchase in January or September? Armed with this data, you can battle the ups and downs with more calm and grace.
It’s also important to notice how long your nurturing process is, on average. From the first contact to purchase, can you expect a potential client to be on the journey for 2 weeks? 6 months? Somewhere in between? While you should be marketing consistently anyway, looking back that average amount of time can be reassuring. If you can see a reason for a slow down from lack of activity, you can make a note to avoid that pitfall next time.
The reality is that your entrepreneurial journey will have times of abundance as well as dry spells.
But remember that you have the power to grow and adapt. Rather than make excuses, accept the challenge to be as prepared as you can be, and to persevere. You’ll come out the other side stronger than you could imagine!