September Slump Got You Down?

The summer rush is over, the holiday season is approaching, and businesses are stuck in an awkward time frame. Sales start to slump, and businesses experience a slowdown. Small businesses then have a choice: they can view the slump negatively or positively. Viewing the slump negatively will only add unnecessary stress and frustration. Instead, view the slump as a chance to update and improve your business and services. Here's how.

Relax
Don't panic. A slowdown is a scary time for businesses, especially for entrepreneurs. Instead of instilling fear in yourself, take a deep breath and relax. While you are enjoying your downtime, don't let your business escape your thoughts. Keep it in the back of your mind, and draw from your relaxation for new and innovative ideas.

Plan & Get Ahead of the Game
Down time is the perfect opportunity to start planning ahead for the future. Start by reviewing what you have done so far, including all financial and stock reports. Analyze the data that you have collected and compare it to the goals that you set for yourself and your business. Adjust your business plan to reach your goals. Make necessary changes and take chances to encourage growth and success. If you know you have an upcoming project, get started on it as soon as possible. It give you a sense of accomplishment and production, as well as free up time in the future.

Improve Your Product & Customer Service
To improve you product, you need to start at the beginning. Start with the basics and take time to learn more about the trends, do's and don'ts, and skills of your industry. The more knowledge you have, the better your business will be able to market and connect with customers. Improve your product and find ways to make it something customers "need-to-have." Also, a good way to improve your product is to review and revamp your customer service policies. Follow up with clients and ask for suggestions for improvement, and what you are doing well. Appeal to the customer and give great service to keep them coming back. There is always something more to learn.

Create A New Marketing Strategy
A slowdown in sales gives businesses a chance to change their marketing strategies. Creating an affordable and unique marketing campaign during a slow period allows for time to plan and make all necessary preparations. Additionally, it gives you a chance to gauge how your business' new plan works after it is put into action. If you are receiving more customers to pull you out of your slump, then the marketing strategy was successful. If not, head back to the drawing board.

Network
We all hear how networking is very important for business, but it is even more imperative during a slow period. Meeting and socializing with other businesses will give you a chance to talk to other entrepreneurs and see what they have done to get customers and rise out of a slow slump. Additionally, you can see what trends are popular with your client base and adjust your strategy to accommodate to your target. You might even find a way to create lucrative partnership opportunities.

A business slowdown may seem bad at first. Take it as a time to find new ways to get new customers, implement new products, breathe, and get prepared for the future.