6 Tips To Grow Your Business During Slow Seasons | Studio Crescent

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6 Tips To Grow Your Business During Slow Seasons

HEY THERE!

I am Jess! Ottawa brand strategist and website designer helping passionate service-based businesses grow with confidence through meaningful design. I'm the type of gal that use one too many exclamation mark in my emails and can only have one cup of coffee a day. Weird, I know. If you ever want to chat any thing biz, branding, or well - life, feel free to reach out!

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No matter what industry you are in, slow seasons are inevitable for any business owner. Although it can be overwhelmingly stressful with a decreased amount of inquiries, sales, and revenue coming in, I want to remind you to take a deeeeeep breath, and repeat after me “thou too shall pass”.

As a half-cup-full kinda girl, I choose to view slow seasons as a silver lining – a hidden opportunity to evaluate our businesses and focus on the things that we have been neglecting or been too busy to attend to. Because let’s face it, there is always something to do!

The next time your business runs into a slow season, here are some suggestions to make the most out of it!

Update Your Website and Portfolio

Most of you can attest to this but as solopreneurs, our businesses tend to fall to the back burner.

Slow seasons give us the space to finally make those updates on our digital home that we have been putting off for so long. Remember our websites shouldn’t be a “set and forget” item! It can be the most important piece of our marketing strategy if implemented correctly and updated constantly with new information.

What can you do to update your website? Here are a few examples:

  • Adding recently-launched projects onto your portfolio
  • Writing case studies that detail the results your clients have achieved by working with you
  • Redesign your website, either by purchasing a website template or working with a designer
  • Finetuning the messaging and copy on your website
  • Optimizing your website through SEO keywords and phrases

If you are reading this and don’t have a website, let this be THE sign that it’s time to get one! To get started, I recommend purchasing a domain through Google Domains and using a website hosting platform such as Showit or Squarespace.

Create Passion Projects

Business passion projects can fuel creativity and help us grow as business owners. Not only is it a great opportunity to strengthen our skillset, but it also can define our signature style.

I know first-hand working as a brand and web designer that I am creating FOR my clients and their ideal clients. And because there are times I am not the intended audience,

  • For wedding photographers, this could look like planning your very own styled shoot and putting your own creative spin on it
  • For social media managers, this could look like creating a project brief, establishing a social media marketing strategy and the content that complements it
  • For copywriters, this could look like developing a brand voice for an imaginary ideal client and some core messaging to support their brand

These passion projects can then be used as social media content ideas or portfolio updates! Let’s not hold onto the idea that our business and creativity are non-existent with client work. We can generate our work to attract more clients!

Alternatively, I also encourage making time outside of your business to explore your creativity, such as pottery, cooking, or photography!

feminine welcome guide for wedding planner

Streamline The Backend of Your Business

Slow seasons are a fantastic opportunity to improve the backend of your business, as well as optimize your client experience. Just because it is “the process” you have been using for the last couple of years does not mean that there is no room for improvement.

This goes without saying, time is money and efficiency is key. If you are finding that you are spending too much time on “mundane” tasks, it might be time to look for a business tool that can help alleviate those pain points.

For example, I use the following tools to help keep my business organized and streamlined:

  • Dubsado, for client management, (ie. workflows), proposals, contracts, invoices, and scheduling
  • Notion, for project management
  • Markup.io, for feedback facilitation

These platforms ensure that each and every one of my client projects is being managed and executed in a consistent manner. The last thing I want is to be creating a different process for each client!

Related Post: 5 Platforms I Use To Run My Business Efficiently

Additionally, gathering real-time data from previous clients can help guide you in elevating your offerings. If you aren’t already sending a project feedback form for your clients to fill out at the end of your time together, I highly encourage adding that to your list!

Some of the feedback questions to include could look like this:

  • How well did you feel like I understood you and your business during the entire course of our time working together?
  • Did you feel as though you had sufficient communication access to me during our time together?
  • Were you pleasantly surprised by any aspect of this project?
  • What were your thoughts on X platform being used for the project?

Plan Out Your Marketing Strategy

Marketing and content creation are no joke. We are being told constantly on social media to do this, do that. It can be mentally draining, causing us to sometimes avoid it altogether.

I see you nodding in agreement there! 👀

With a slow season, we are finally given the time and space to plan out our marketing strategy a little bit more intentionally, rather than posting sporadically. Pick one platform that your target audience frequents the most and plan out a month’s worth of content that speaks directly to them.

Make a commitment to yourself (and your audience) to show up consistently — whatever that looks like to you! Provide genuine value that makes them think, piques their interest, and captivates their attention.

Brainstorm New Income Streams

Never put all of your eggs in one basket! If you are someone that’s offering only 1:1 services in your business or have one source of revenue, it might be time to re-evaluate your offer suite.

One of the key things to kick off this process is to map out your customer’s journey and optimize your offerings based on each stage. By understanding where they are at, you can shape your services from a value standpoint and generate repeat customers.

Curious to learn more? Here are some fantastic resources to start from my favorite business consultants:

Invest In Yourself

The most valuable investment we could make is in ourselves. When we are in the “hustle” mentality mode, we are constantly down in the grind of making things happen for our clients. This gives us barely any time to work on ourselves or invest in our own business. And even if there is that opportunity, we aren’t as fully engaged since our clients always come first.

Take slow seasons as an opportunity to slow down and focus on yourself. Sign up for a hobby. Enroll in a free course. Try something new! Nourish your mind and soul with something

Final Thoughts

If you are reading this during your slow season, hang in there, friend! Let me know what it is that you do and if this was a helpful post! And that goes without saying – I’d love it if you reach out and say hi over on the gram. I always love to meet other like-minded business owners wherever I can 🙂

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