Many established entrepreneurs are used to facing quiet periods. But for those just starting out. it can be a frightening experience. Here are my top tips on what you should be thinking about if you’re facing a quieter period.
Do your numbers. If you are a retail business and most of your customers are either away or not comfortable venturing out yet, put a small forecast together of what it will cost to stay open. Your staff costs and overheads could well outweigh the money that you could make. It may be worthwhile to change your opening hours for a while or even close for a week.
Use the quieter time to plan your marketing activity for the next few months. Review your website, look at how to generate new customers, look at how you can upsell to your current customers, or generate more referrals. When you are running at full speed, you never have less time to think about these things, so take the opportunity now.
Think about where you want to take the business and what your ultimate goals are. If you want to grow, how are you going to get there? If you want to sell, what do you need to do to make that happen? If you want to maintain your position, is that going to be possible? Put what is in your head down on paper. Also, put some financials together.
The last few years have seen an explosion of fantastic systems that will help small businesses to run more efficiently at a fraction of the cost. This includes everything from stock control and email marketing to customer management and the processing of invoices. It could be a perfect time to look at what’s around, what other businesses are doing, and to find ways of improving your systems.
Don’t underestimate the benefit of taking some time off. You will come back to the business with more energy, drive and new ideas.