It is inevitable, your networking group will dissolve, a hot new competitor will come along, or your largest client will ditch you without warning. Odds are at some point you’ll find your previously “well-oiled machine” smack in the middle of a slump. You weren’t coasting either, it just happened. And when it does, you’ve got to do something about it. Here are a few tips for reviving your business:
#1. Stop Complaining
When business isn’t going well, it’s a common practice to blame it on someone, something, or the economy. Don’t waste your time; blame won’t get you new projects or clients.
Admit that billable hours have declined, but DON’T DWELL on it. Instead, dust off your business plan, analyze your marketing/advertising mix, and evaluate the effectiveness of your sales efforts. What worked in the past that you stopped doing? Look for new avenues to get your message out. For example, Internet Based Radio stations are springing up everywhere, and their talk show hosts are always looking for interesting guests.
#3. Brainstorm for Action Items
Change, even if it isn’t perfect, will modify the dynamic of a situation and help to propel your business out of its slump. Gather with your advisory board/trusted friends/mentors or whoever it is you meet with to discuss business and BRAINSTORM. Make a possibility list – throw any perceived limitations out the window and shoot for the moon. You may not have the budget for a full-page ad in the Fort Worth Business Press, but the discussion of advertising might just spark another idea that is feasible.
#4. Create EXCITING New Goals
Take the best ideas from your brainstorming session, turn them into shiny new goals, then assign a time-line for completion to each one. For example, you might commit to completing a certain number of telephone calls each week to previous clients, telling them about a new offer. Get excited about these goals, take them seriously, and set appropriate rewards for yourself and those assisting you.
#5. Take Action
Sitting around tormenting yourself, whining to your spouse, or stewing with friends, obviously isn’t going to resolve your slump. It’s up to YOU to make things happen. You’ve done it before; there’s no question that you can do it again.
Slumps happen – that’s part of being in business. But if you think smart, stay POSITIVE, and keep your attention focused on satisfying your customers, odds are you’ll rally and overcome your challenges.