How to keep motivated during your slowest months (and what to do instead)

Stephen Paul, MD Valued Accounting

Slow sales can be hard for a business and you as the owner. To tackle this Stephen will be talking with you about keeping motivated during quiet periods and what you can do to make an impact on your business during that time. Watch the video below!

During busier times, it can feel hard to keep your head above water, even though you are pleased beyond measure at how well things are going. When things slow down, there is a sense of panic that creeps in. Maybe you got the market wrong? Maybe your product or your service isn’t as good as your competitors and that fear from the comparison with competitors can seep into the cracks of your mental health.

From his years of experience as a business owner, Stephen Paul our Managing Director knows only too well that using this time constructively is the best thing you can do for yourself, your staff and your business.

To start Stephen recommends revisiting your why (or your purpose) as a business and business owner and realigning what isn’t working, by focusing on what is working for you. 

Reset your goals if you need to. These are a great way to get your head back into the game, feeling more positive and uplifted, because you have a strategy for change.

Take time to key this strategy into your budget and rework those numbers if you need to. This is crucial for financial change and balance.

What usually happens during slow times, in our experience, is that business owners pour lots of money and time into marketing during their slowest times and this acts like a rollercoaster with a new influx of work, until you reach the apex of what you can do versus how much potential work is coming your way. At the apex business owners then stop their marketing, as they are too busy to keep momentum. What happens? Your rollercoaster carriage goes down into the trough of quiet periods, as you complete projects. And so you restart the marketing campaigns all over again vying for new business. Up and down, up and down, the rollercoaster goes.

To challenge this status quo we recommend taking some time, today, to sit down and really look at your business. Looking back at your historical financial data, can you spot where the peaks and troughs are? These might be monthly, week three can be a beast of a sales week for eCommerce, or maybe your sales flow can be seen seasonally or quarterly. Where you spot the troughs, in particular, it is time to plan ahead, using your budget to see when marketing needs to kick back in, and when your sales team needs to be reaching out for new leads. This should ease that ‘stop start’ effect you were previously seeing because you are now planning and implementing with momentum.

If you do experience a full stop in sales, and Covid for many has taught us that these moments do happen in business, then it is time to consider those bigger impact projects. How can you constructively make a difference in your business in this quiet moment? How can you upskill yourself, or your staff to make a bigger impact on the business as new work comes in? Do you need to revisit product lines or service offers to update, change, or add to them? Maybe there is a new technology you can introduce that will save costs in the future?

Additional revenue streams don’t always have to be complicated to set up and get going, but if chosen wisely can help you make money in your business even when your core products and services are slow in sales. These new streams could include physical products and services that may sell better when your main lines are ‘out of season’, or it could be a follow-up service, for example, a ‘landscape refresh’ service to garden owners who have had you landscape for them previously. You could even choose something more passive, for example, books. We have all seen TV chefs publish books as a way to make money. Maybe this is something you could do too?

Don’t forget your mental health. Sometimes you just need a break and quiet moments are a perfect time to take some time for yourself.

Whatever you do, please consider that peaks and troughs are a natural part of business, but it is how high and how low you tame these rides to be that counts when it comes to your motivation and your success.