There is always that time in business when the growth is slow and things move at a slow pace. Most businessmen fret and panic when their businesses see this phase. What they fail to see is that this is the time, rather an opportunity to make improvements to their business, to make amendments, grow the existing network, review business strategies, chalk out new plans for sales, advertising and brand promotions, plan for diversification, and add new products and so on. So, what can be done and achieved when there is a lull in business?
This is the best and the most ideal time to socialize and grow your network. You never know who you may stumble across and how they might be a positive infl uence to your business. Your potential customer might be just around the corner. Try and attend as many networking events, get together, corporate conferences as you can and make new contacts. Be honest and genuine when you come across people and try to make their acquaintance with you as memorable as possible.
Seal the new professional relationship with the aid of ‘follow-up’
Just a chance meet with someone has never really done much good to any business. It all depends on how one changes that chance meet into something that is mutually benefiting, is what doing business is all about. This calls for timely follow-ups. By doing so, you are ensuring you remain in their memory, and so, whenever arises a need for something that you deal in, you would be the first person to crop up in their minds.
Get active on social networking sites
With almost half the population being on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc., these networking sites are a right place to grow your contacts. People who you may have chanced upon in a business meet or events might be there on any of these sites. Trace them and get them to join your network. Chances are, from them you may come across many more contacts that might really be of help to you. Invite your existing friends and business partners to join these networks, in case they already aren’t on any. This way you can keep growing your contact base.
Grow your products and services
Innovation, creativity, and thinking out of the box have always played key roles in getting a business to bounce back in action. This period is best suited for diversification, because it helps you taste success from different streams. It also works on the ‘ do not put all your eggs in one basket’ rule. Sticking to just one product can be suicidal especially when the growth is slow. If this product dies, then so would your business! However, if you choose to diversify, you may have another product to bail you out, in case one betrays you. Diversification therefore is the smartest thing to indulge in during trying times like these.
Strengthen your existing customer base
Show your customer what they mean to you. Thank and reward them for their loyalty by offering your customers of long standing, special rebates and discounts. This will ensure they continue to be by you. Improve your customer service. Not tending to your customers on time, especially during times like these, can prove fatal to the health of your business. Remember, it’s the customers who can both make or break a business.
Get your marketing folks to pull up their socks and get to work
It might sound contradictory to focus on marketing when the times are slow. But, this is indeed the department that should get to work at the slightest available opportunity, because you now would be needing more customers and it’s precisely during times like these that you would be needing new customers in order to survive the phase of lull.
Brush up and add to your own skills
It’s not just the business that you need to be concentrating on during a time like this, but also take time out to improve your own self, in terms of your skill sets. Add new feathers to your cap. Enroll for some course that compliments your career. For instance, if you happen to be an HR professional, you might want to take up a certification course in psychometric tests. This would add to your skills and bring more weightage to your profile.
Organize and make necessary purchases
Use this time to re-organize, re-design your place of work. Clear all the clutter and unwanted stuffs from your office and check if there is any scope for beautification of the office premises. You could also indulge in that long pending shopping for your office like purchasing a more efficient office desk & chairs, new systems or a mac system.
Be patient and positive
Always remember that this too shall pass and that this is only a temporary phase. Losing hope and courage can only multiply your woes. Instead, by looking at the whole thing with a positive perspective, you can not only emerge victorious from the cocoon of lull, but also take to the skies and scale new heights like a just emerged bright butterfly. By looking at this phase like an opportunity t o grow and make innovations, rather than a depressing time, you will be able to take your business to new heights that it hadn’t been before the lull!
By being patient, positive and hardworking, no period of inactivity in business, should either bother or threaten you. Being able to look into the eye of a problem is what it takes to defeat it and destroy it like it never existed.