10 Ways to Stay Productive When Business is Slow

Updated: Nov 24, 2021

We are entering the midway point of Q4 2021 and it's a bit of a weird time for local businesses. As many move into holiday season mode, the need for non-retail industries are taking a hit. Not to the point of coming to complete stand still. However, for many businesses phones might be ringing less, lead flow is down, and receivables are not quite where they should be. In addition to the continued supply and manufacturing issues, understandably many business owners can become a bit stressed in these situations.

However, there is no reason to panic. Slowing down sometimes is actually a really good thing for your business. The term "if your not growing then your dying" still works with down time. You can grow your business even when it is slow by focusing on a few key things. Below, I will share ten things I am encouraging businesses I work with to focus on this winter.

1. Analyze your CRM

A CRM (customer relationship management) system is one of the best things any company can spend money on. Sadly, I have come across ZERO companies that utilize this tool. If you don't have one then it is time to look into getting one. There are many across the board each with their own unique pro's and con's but without it you are losing business left and right.

For those companies out there utilizing this great tool, now is the time to start analyzing YTD performance. Time to close out old sales, missed opportunities, and clean up your reports. Most importantly, look for ways to utilize this great tool better going forward.

If you are curious if a CRM system is right for you give us a call at 727-324-8768 or reach out to me by email at ron@nattressmedia.com.

2. Clean up Processes

Slow times are great to step back and take a look across all departments. Do you have any departments underperforming or perhaps struggling to handle a specific process? What better time to fix the issue and look for ways to improve a weak link within your business. After all, your business is only as strong as it's weakest link.

3. Team Building and Personal Development

Take time to show your employees you care about their professional growth. After all, these people are a major part of your success. By simply helping them to enhance their core skills or by helping them to learn new skills you will accomplish two big things. 1. They will come back with a renewed sense of energy for their role. 2. They will bring new skills that ultimately enhance your business.

While you are at it, take time to enjoy a course or two for yourself. Take time to increase certifications you have, or study methodology in leadership or business. Taking time to learn new skills are never a waste of time and always contribute in some way to your current work.

4. Avoid Burnout

If the year has been rough, and let's face it, for many it has been a rough couple of years, then take some time to unwind. If the phones are not ringing much and emails can wait for a response, take a couple of weeks to relax. Even if COVID scares you from venturing out, take a staycation. Do whatever you need to do to actually relax and separate from work.

5. Celebrate Your Success

Speaking of relax, now is the perfect time to celebrate all the positive parts of the year for you and for your team. Host a nice dinner, give everyone gift cards for Amazon, or host a family gathering at the park. Whatever it is, take some time to thank your employees and share the appreciation you have for their hard work.

6. Do the things you set aside for another day

Let's face it, you probably have 100 things you have wanted to accomplish this year alone that got pushed aside because of more pertinent things. Well the time is now! Start tackling all those projects you have set aside one by one. Either start with small projects for that snowball effect or start big and accomplish something huge.

7. Study your Competition

Take a real look at your situation and start comparing your work load to your closest competitors. Are they busy? If the answer is no, then your all in the same boat and seeing an industry down time. No need to worry. Take this time to study their process, their marketing, their production. Not that you want to copy what they do but take time to find a way to be better then they are.

Now if they are busy and you are slow, that should really raise an alarm. What has suddenly caused you to drop off from the competition? Again, don't copy what they do, but find a way to do what they do, but better. You may be surprised at the little things that separates companies offering the same service.

8. Develop New Offers

Going hand in hand with studying your competition, are your ads becoming a bit stale? Your competitors are studying you regularly and working to offer better ads then you. Do the same to them. Find ways to offer something nobody else is offering or at a price nobody else is offering it at. Even minor changes to your ads can create a positive effect on potential customers.

9. Get New Leads

Simply put, More Leads = More Sales. If your lead sources are not performing then replace them with new lead sources. There are countless ways to get more leads, it is just a matter of making strategic choices. Some forms of lead sources can come from building your organic presence and some may come from 3rd party lead sources. Perhaps getting out to the people has been a struggle. Take this slow time to plan an attack course for events and shows within the community.

One advantageous way to get more leads is capitalizing on missed opportunities. Going back to the benefit of having a CRM, a source like this can drastically help you increase missed opportunities and create a ton of future revenue. This is where a call center team comes into play. If the idea of a call center seems daunting, give us a call at 727-324-8768 or email me directly at ron@nattressmedia.com for help getting started. This is something you will never regret doing if you truly want to see massive growth.

10. Strategize for a better next year

Lastly, and surely not least in the list, start preparing for 2022. I don't see any reason for 2022 to be a slow year. In fact, I think January will start up like every January has in the past. Slow the first week and then booming business. If you did $1.2 million last January then start planning to hit $1.8 million this January.

By combing all of the steps discussed prior, you are in a better position to handle more volume. You have a better game plan for the upcoming year. Growth without preparation is like a ticking time bomb in business. Start preparing today to make sure you have a good Q1 2022.

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