Right. It’s time to address this reoccurring issue in business.
I’ve been through it. You’ve probably been through it. Everyone has been through it. The inevitable slow business period that causes us to panic.
However, there seems to be a real lack of content around that not only addresses this inevitable situation, but also provide some comfort.
Everyone needs a bit of love during this time.
So, here’s how to survive when business is slow.
Prefer to listen, rather than read? Here's the Podcast summary!
First things first
Chances are, if you’re here, you’re going through this right now.
I totally understand. The slow periods can be the most challenging time for a business owner and entrepreneur, on so many levels.
It’s disarming and unsettling. It feels like all of your hard work has just unravelled all of a sudden and you’re now watching as your operation de-rails.
But before we wallow in the negativity, let’s address the slow business situation step-by-step, so we can get everything back on track again. This begins with you.
Let's focus on feeling more comfortable
Providing understanding and comfort is what seems to be lacking out there in the big wide world of content. Everyone goes straight to the fix-it solutions before they address the panic and emotional factor.
So, let’s do it here.
It’s ok to feel scared. It’s ok to be worried and concerned. Say it out loud to yourself.
Know that, yes, it’s an upsetting time and it’s totally normal to be going through emotional anguish. You’re probably thinking that it’s all over, and everything is coming crashing down. You’ve seen the best, and now it’s all over and it’s the inevitable finish for you.
Suddenly, you’re in a downward spiral of self-doubt and stress; even if it makes no sense logically.
Well, everything is NOT over. You’re just emotionally reacting to a situation that isn’t perfect. We want everything to go right and be perfect every time. So when it doesn’t, we panic.
Know that this is very normal. It’s human psychology. You’re experiencing the fight or flight turmoil where your natural instincts are kicking in and putting you on edge in the face of perceived danger.
1. Just know, you’re ok.
You’re not broken and you’re not going to die. What you’re going through is normal. So, give yourself a bit of a break and understand that everyone goes through this. It’s perfectly fine to feel this way.
Every entrepreneur and business owner has seen their fair share of stress due to slow periods in business.
Who do you look up to? They’ve been through this. You’re not alone.
2. Sometimes it's out of your hands
You may be doing everything right and suddenly, work comes to a grinding halt. It can be disappointing and incredibly frustrating when this happens! Just remember that, sometimes, your clients may just not need you at this moment.
Sure, you can get more clients to prevent this in the future, but occasionally, there will be times when it’s a little out of your hands. For example, a public holiday or an upcoming election has caused a flow-on effect for your clients and they’re pinned down on other projects.
This causes your business to slow down suddenly.
It’s ok. It happens.
Now that we’ve acknowledged your feelings and emotions, it’s time to pull yourself together.
You need to turn your mental state around if you want to make a change.
Nothing is more detrimental to getting things back on track than dwelling on the negatives. It not only adds to your anxiety; it can cause you to lose focus and do things you will later regret. You may overreact to situations, get angry at people, take it out on your family, make rash decisions…
Additionally, if you’re acting desperate, clients can tell. You may act a little manic and it can seem like you’re too pushy or eager, which can cause them to pull away.
Getting a grip
1. Deep Breathing
Start by taking several long deep breaths. Do this over and over, several times a day until you start to regain control of your nerves. This isn’t hippy nonsense! This really works by diffusing the fight or flight system in your body.
Take a calming break and restore your breathing. This will clear your head and help you to gain better control.
2. Reach out to others (especially fellow business-owners)
Call your family and friends for some support. Even if you just go visit or speak to them about other things, you’ll find their company comforting.
The best thing to do is to reach out to fellow business owners and entrepreneurs! I’ve found that they are so happy to lend an ear and chat about their own experiences. Trust me, you’ll feel so much better after talking to someone else who really understands.
Go for a walk or go to the gym and burn off some of that anxiety. It will help release some endorphins that can help improve your mood.
4. Next, put things into perspective.
Are things really that bad? Probably not.
You’re just catastrophising things, if you’re totally honest with yourself. Believe me, there are a lot of people around the world in a worse situation than you, and while I don’t want you to feel better simply because of their misery, what I mean is: consider of the bigger picture here.
The world isn’t ending. Your life isn’t over. Your business is just slower at the moment.
Chances are, you have the power to turn things around and get the business pumping again. You just need to channel your energy into something more positive and less negative.
Actions to get busy again
Ok! Enough of the emotions.
It’s time to shift your business back into gear.
It really helps you restore your drive when you start to take positive steps to turn things around.
Try as many as you can of these to get you busy again:
One thing’s for certain – you’re not going to turn things around if you don’t try. You need to get up and hustle.
As they say: action triggers response – and these things will start to pay off.
Solidifying your business for the future
Once things pick up again, it’s CRITICAL to start putting systems in place to try and avoid these slower times in the future.
Sure, there will always be times when the pace of work slows – it’s just business.
However, what proactive initiatives can you undertake now to cushion the blow for next time, or prevent it altogether?
Strengthening your mental state
Just like above, now that you’re busy, you want to work on your mental state too.
The anxiety and stress of no work coming into your business is a really challenging time. So, it’s a great idea to work on mentally preparing yourself now, for next time. For example – now that you’re busy again, remind yourself that “things always picked back up in the past. This time will be no different.”
You can rest assured that every time the business gets slow, you become a little stronger. Your skin gets a little thicker and you’re more prepared next time.
While the panic and anxiety never go away, take comfort that you do get better at managing the emotional side. But it pays to be proactive with your mental endurance too.
I hope that helped!
Best of luck, and I’d love to hear your ideas, strategies and approaches to when business is slow! Leave your comments below!
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