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Do you know that feeling when you go through a slow season in your business (and not the kind where you are on vacation with no worries at all drinking a margarita)… more like the kind when the inquiries just are not rolling in and you start to panic a little bit because you still have bills to pay and you find yourself begging people on social media to book something or buy something from you and you feel like a complete and total failure?
We all go through slow seasons in business (and heck even our lives) and while it doesn’t always feel like it, it is actually really important and healthy to go through a season of slow and to give yourself time to relax.
In fact you will actually probably be a better business person because of it.
You can use slow season as an opportunity to implement workflows and streamline things in your business that you are normally too busy to do.
My hope is that after reading this, I will be able to encourage you and shift your mindset around the idea of slow seasons to not look at them as something bad or a sign of failure.
I also want to give you some ideas on things that you can be doing in a season of slowing down to help keep the wheels turning in your business.
Create Systems & Workflows
When we are in our busiest seasons it can be easy to overlook all the little systems we do or do not have in place. But these small details can make a huge difference on how our business runs throughout the year. One of my favorite things to do in the off season is update my client workflows and experiences to make sure that once business picks back up I am giving my all to my clients and being present with them instead of worrying about all the back end stuff.
There are so many ways to do this, but the easiest way I have found has been by using HoneyBook. Before I started using HoneyBook, I was sending contracts as an attachment in my email, and then having clients print it off, sign it, and scan it back to me.
Not only was this super time consuming but It felt super amateur. I also did not really have any kind of workflow or streamline process for my clients which meant that most of the time I was just winging it.
But with HoneyBook I can now send contracts and invoices in one beautifully put together proposal, and clients can digitally sign it, send it back and pay directly through HoneyBook.
I won’t go too deep into all of the details here but, I know many people hesitate on HoneyBook because of the price. I did too! It’s $400 for a year, BUT if you use my special affiliate link I can get you $200 off your entire first year. And believe me when I say it’s worth every penny and more. If you want to try HoneyBook free for 7 days and get the 50% off discount then you can check it out at SarahElrod.com/Honeybook.
Invest In Yourself & Your Business
When’s the last time you invested in yourself or your business? If it’s been a while I want you to ask yourself why? Off season or slow season is the perfect opportunity to brush up on your skills, or learn something totally new. It’s a great time to invest in mentorships, coaching, online courses, workshops, etc.
I am a believer that you can never know everything, there is always more to learn and you should always be willing to invest in yourself if you ever expect someone else to invest in you for your services or products. If there is someone in your industry you look up to, see if they offer a mentorship program or online courses to teach you how they do what they do.
Another great source for online courses is SkillShare – https://www.skillshare.com/ where you can learn just about anything!
Enhance Your Brand
During our busiest months we typically are not worried about things like branding, or our logo, our color schemes, etc. And while they aren’t the most important aspects of your business, they do play a role in how people will see your biz. Off season is a good time to freshen up your brand, get a whole new look, and really hone in on who your ideal client is and how you can serve them the best. Then implement the steps from previous tips to enhance your workflows with them.
Find Ways To Outsource
Think about your previous busy season, reflect back on what worked and what didn’t. What can you change in the next upcoming busy season? Are there things you spent a lot of time doing that you can outsource to save time and be able to work on other things?
Maybe that’s hiring an editor or a personal assistant to run errands. Look at your day to day structure in your business and think about the things you do that have to get done but maybe are not your strong points. The beauty of outsourcing is you can hire someone who is strong at the things you are not so they can work better inside your business and you have more time to be the CEO
Actually Take The Time To Rest
Finally, actually take some time to rest during off season. A break is never a bad thing and you need to be taking them regularly to give your body the opportunity to rest and recharge. You never want to get to the point of running yourself too thin and then you experience mega burnout.
Take a vacation or just take some time off. Enjoy the quiet and the slow days. Maybe find a hobby outside of your job that you enjoy doing. I really think it’s so important to not let our jobs and careers consume our lives completely.
I know as entrepreneurs our businesses are like our babies so that can be hard, but there is so much more to life than just work.
Give yourself grace in those seasons and relax sis. You deserve it!
I'm Sarah Elrod
I'm a Cowgirl turned serial entrepreneur.
I'm a horse trainer, western wedding photographer, business coach and ranch wife.
I help women in the western industry grow thriving businesses from rural America.
When I am not strategizing new marketing tactics, you will find me riding my horses, cuddling my cattle dog, or kissing my hot husband.
There is also a good chance I am buying way too many outfits from western boutiques.
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