What to Do When Business is Slow?

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Discover Smart Ideas to Make Your Downtime Productive 

If you’d ask most small business owners, on most days, chances are they’d tell you there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Wearing many hats is one of the necessary hallmarks of an entrepreneur when business is booming. However, when business slows down – either for reasons of a widespread pandemic (like COVID-19) or those specific to your business – you can use this time as a chance to work on your business in a different way. If you’re wondering what to do when business is slow, we have some key ideas that can help you develop as a professional and help your business retool for even greater success.

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7 Ways to Make the Most of Small Business Downtime

Small business downtime can feel downright stressful. However, these instances where you’re not fighting to keep your head above water is when you can do the essential work of auditing and innovating for your business. So, whether a dry sales funnel – or a national pandemic – has slowed things down, this advice works. Chances are these are things you’ve always wanted to do– but they can be challenging when you’re maxing out your calendar with day-to-day obligations.

Check out our 7 recommendations of what to do when business is slow:

  1. Business Development – When you’re working one packed day after another, it can be challenging to make time to innovate and develop your business. Take some time to envision new potential revenue streams for your company – and think of some new initiatives for your team to work on as well. These brainstorming sessions might be responsible for the next big step forward for you. The right business development idea, sparked during a slowdown brainstorm, can transform how you do business.
  2. Make Connections (Virtually) – So much of business-to-business customer acquisition still comes down to who you know, and so much practical wisdom comes from people that overcome the same challenges as you. Keeping this in mind, networking is a key strategy for sales and business development. You don’t even need to leave the house to create meaningful connections, though – there are countless industry slack channels, private forums, and other places to connect with your peers. In addition, using LinkedIn and social media marketing to their full potential can provide those benefits, too.
  3. Watch Your Competitors – If you’re feeling slow but it’s seemingly business as usual for your peers, this is a sign they are doing something different (and possibly better) than you are. Use your newfound time to investigate how they operate and contrast it with your own organization. Explore their websites, their social media, their marketing, and anything else you can find. Want expert competitor research? It’s a key part of our integrated marketing campaigns.
  4. Research New Business Software – Almost every business relies on one or more pieces of business software – whether it’s a CRM, a scheduling system, a time tracking tool, accounting software, or something else. This might be a good time to investigate whether those are the best options on the market. Making an upgrade now can save you money – and boost productivity when business gets back to breakneck speed.
  5. Gather and Use Testimonials – Your satisfied former customers are some of your best advertising ever. They can tell the story of how you made a difference for them, and they can communicate it in a real way that will help convince other prospects down the road. Some business downtime can be a good opportunity to reach out to these customers and finally ask for that 5-star review. On the other hand, you can take some time to compile these good reviews and add them to your site or prep them to be effective social media posts. Are Google or Facebook reviews more important? We answer!
  6. Business Spring Cleaning – This is your chance to take a hard look at your business processes and whether they’re really working. Examine the “we always did it this way” mentality and see if you can find a way to become more efficient. Plus, you can use this business downtime to write new formal procedures that can prove essential in quality control and training new employees. Ultimately, this period gives you the chance to tackle that to-do list that seems to never get done.
  7. Take a Look at Your Marketing – If you’re wondering what to do because the phones aren’t ringing, this is one of the main places you need to look. Generating a consistent flow of qualified leads is the primary goal of small business marketing. If you’re not getting enough leads to avoid a business slowdown, you need to dig in. Look in-depth at whether your marketing is aimed at the right demographic, whether it has the correct messaging – and ultimately – whether it’s providing you ROI.
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If you haven’t ever done marketing for your business beyond word of mouth, researching your options can be one of the best things to do when business is slow. A general period of business downtime can be the perfect opportunity to invest in SEO. Since this marketing tactic takes a little longer to gain traction, the results can coincide with people starting to research and shop again.

Bottom line: finding the right marketing partner can guide your future success and grow your business bigger than ever. Thinking about signing on with a marketing partner? Meet WebTek right here!


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At WebTek, we’re a digital agency focused on providing you the marketing that drives real results. So, if you’ve got some extra time on your hands and are wondering what to do when business is slow, this could be the time to start a key relationship.

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And if you’d rather have a conversation with a marketing expert, simply give us a call or send us an email. We’d love to have a conversation about your business, your challenges, and your goals!