How to Grow a Business During Slow Periods: Another 15 Great Ideas!

Posted by Jim Otto

Slowbusiness2Are you wondering what to do when business gets a little slow? If so, here's another 15 great ideas on how you can grow your business when things might not be as busy as you'd like! (See our prior post: How to Grow a Business During Slow Periods: 15 Great Ideas! for even more awesome tips!)

1. Flip your retail – Ok, we heard that “Ugh!” But you can do this in less than eight hours. Your store will look new and different, and research proves that it increases sales! Ever go into your local Macy’s or JC Penney’s? Moving retail is a constant.

2. Look for patterns – When business slows down make a note of it. Consumer trends and buying moods are a big part of business and the more you can track them the better you can prepare.

3. Keep a positive attitude – It’s a heck of a lot more fun when the cash register is ringing and your store is busy. Just remember slow times are temporary. Have you ever walked into a business during slow times and you couldn’t find anybody to help you, and when you did they acted like they had just woke up from a nap? Keep your store upbeat and the positive energy flowing!

4. Read a book on business – There's lots of great books out there on building a business. Reading good books can give you the inspiration that you need just when you need it!

5. Plan for the Future – Start brainstorming now. What are you going to do when your business picks back up, and how are you going to make them all loyal customers? Where could you market that you currently aren’t marketing to?

6. Teach your staff to upsell – When was the last time you went over the fine art of upselling products to your staff? We have lots of tips and techniques on when to, and when not to upsell to your customers!

7. Build more personal business relationships – Do you know those individuals in your community that have been where you are, succeeded in a big way, and now have the time to share their recipe for success? We are constantly meeting with people like this and our Board of Directors is full of them. They are just waiting to play it forward, make the call.

8. Recruit employees – Speaking of our board, one of our board members is a Director of Franchise Development for a large national sub sandwich chain. They have a motto, “We are Always Hiring”. Make sure that you are always looking for people who you would want to join your team!

9. Create partnerships that you can cross market with –Remember when you started your business and you had all those businesses that you were going to cross market with? As time goes by we become more lax in this. When you're slow, it's always a good time to review and look for new businesses/partnerships in your area.

10. Review your procedures – Take a little time to review your current procedures and see if there's any areas that might need improvement. Come up with new ideas and procedures that might help to meet the needs of your customers in an even more effective way!

11. Teach a class – Speaking of playing it forward, do you know that YOU are the entrepreneurs in your community? Call your local community college and volunteer to teach a class. You took the plunge, others are thinking of doing the same. The more people that know you and your business, the better.

12. Host a contest – I was recently in our local Office Max and a group of teens ran in and asked the person behind the front desk, “Do you have an extra nametag with an Office Max name on it? If so, can we have it? We're on a scavenger hunt for a free sandwich at Chik-Fil-A!” Not sure how much extra business they were getting out of it, but they were sure having fun! And isn’t that the idea?

13. Build rapport with your team – People, Process, Product. Marcus Malonis , the man in the middle of the popular hit series “The Profit” says all successful businesses run in this order. If you don’t have the right people in place your business is doomed. Do a team building activity, have a cook out, get to know your employees on a personal level. They are the life blood of your business!

14. Get some exercise – Business is consuming, if you are not careful it can consume every bit of your thoughts, your time and zap your energy. Take a walk, join a Yoga class, go dancing. It will clear your mind and make you feel better and most importantly take your mind off your business.

15. Spend more time with your family – In Michael Seid’s book, “Franchising for Dummies” he lists the Ten Keys to Franchise Success. Number three is: don’t neglect your loved ones. He stresses the importance of spending time with your family. Life is short, so be sure to use your slow times to spend time with the ones that you love.

So even though business may not be busy - you sure can be!

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