All of us experience slow seasons together. Yours might be different than mine, but it’s likely that we’ll be in it together. What matters most when business is slow is that we take advantage of this time (while taking time for ourselves and those we care for).
Slow Times are Growth Times
Let me start by telling you what most people do incorrectly with space and time. They fill it. Sometimes, they stuff it full of busywork that “needed to get done.” Other times, they look for meetings or calls they’ve been putting off.
When you hit slow times, the best possible use of this time is growth. This must be the measure by which you gauge the worth of actions you might take. Growth can mean rebuilding. It can be learning. It can be preparing for the next busy cycle.
You have the clients or customer base that you have, though they may be on hold for now. Think about how you’ll begin to get new ones. Look for partnerships. Look for new seeds to plant that will turn into rich opportunities later.
Call your best clients and see how you can help. This is slow season work for sure. That means your clients may also need a little boost in getting business. Ask if you can help grow their business in some way. Who turns away helpful people?
Make Your Own Conference
As a keynote speaker with thousands of friends in that industry, I can tell you that there are no shortages of quality content all over YouTube. Beyond just TED, there are more conferences posting material every single day. You could seek out a particular speaker, an industry, or an idea and find mountains of opportunities.
Because it’s your conference, you’re not relegated to live speakers on a stage. You can add documentaries and slideshows and instructional materials. You can learn from other industries and look for crossover points of support. This is a powerful way to fill a slow season day.
Write or Record Something Helpful
Your customers would love helpful guides, to-do materials, and more. When you’ve got some time, it’s a great time to create this kind of material. It’s a wonderful way to equip your customers for even more success.
You can do a step-by-step document, or if you want to get even bolder, you might make a small series of videos or audio recordings. Any of these can help.
Set Some Future Planning Days
Look at what’s coming this year, next year, and then five years out. Don’t just look at your own business. Think about what you’ve been reading and maybe even research more.
For instance, if self-driving cars and ride-sharing apps are reducing the number of new cars sold, that also means people will do a lot less “browsing” while driving. They’ll drive from destination to destination with fewer unplanned stops. How will that impact your business?
Never Overload the Slow Days
We often see slow times as an excuse to finish up busywork. The truth is, busy work needs to vanish. Priority or growth. Those are your only categories. And schedule this kind of work into only 40% or so of your calendar over these slow days. Leave room for spontaneous opportunities.
It’s vital that you look at slow days as an opportunity to prepare for success. That’s where it comes. From the planning, you do when the fires aren’t raging.
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