If you are running a small service oriented business, then the term “slow season” may not be a foreign term to you. In many small businesses, there is pick season and there is slow season. Business is not always the same where you are getting clients from left, right and center all year long. You are expected to have some downtime when business is slow or there is no business at all.
To make this more elaborate, lets looks at some service oriented businesses. Say you are a tourist guide and make a living providing your guide services to tourists. You will be busy when tourists are there. When it is not the tourist season, your business will be slow. Same goes for fishing guide services who are busy during fishing season, roofing contractors who are busy from spring to fall but not in winter when it snows.
There is no reason to be depressed or scratch your head wondering what to do during your slow season. You can be just as productive during the slow season or even more productive if you know how to make the most of it. Just going over the 6 steps below, you can supercharge your small business for future success. In fact, if done right, it will even prepare you for more business next season with your phone ringing non-stop.
1. Search Engine Optimization: Lot of small service oriented businesses overlook this step. But with an effective search engine optimization campaign or SEO campaign, you can multiply your business volume. If you don’t have a portfolio website, GET IT FIRST! Optimize the content of your portfolio website for the selected search term so that your site can be found when relevant searches are conducted on Google. For example, if you are an SEO company or an SEO consultant offering niche SEO services to professional photographers, then you might want to be found for the search term Photographer SEO. Or if you are a wedding photographer out of Montreal, you might want to be found for the search term Montreal Wedding Photographer. With proper search engine optimization, your site will be found for these targeted search terms meaning more business for you.
2. Improving your Skill: No matter how skilled you are in your service business, there is always new skills you can acquire. If you are a roofing contractor offering asphalt shingles installation, then you might want to look at metal shingles which are in great demand to some homeowners. Or you might just see how to be more efficient in your shingles installation and keep your employees safer while they are on the roof. Improved skill will make you more productive, get you more business, and ensure better employee safety.
3. Spring Cleaning: There is an old saying. If you have the time to lean, you have the time to clean. If you are slow with little or no work, it’s time to clean up your workspace or your work equipment. Once you have done an outstanding job on the cleaning, it’s time to organize your equipment so that they can be found easily and more efficiently when you need them. By cleaning up your work equipment, you ensure their smooth operation as well as extend their life. Everything has a life and with proper maintenance, you can not only extend their life but also make sure they don’t break or fail while you are in need of them or using them.
4. Social Media Marketing: This is the age of social media and with a good social network, you can only expect to have more business. With a good social media strategy, you can routinely post your new service offerings, pictures of your recent jobs, customer reviews, etc. Invite your current clients to like and follow your social media pages like Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. More people share your social media posts, more visibility you have meaning more clients. It is therefore vital to any small business success to have a strategic social media presence.
5. Networking Networking Networking: As a small business owner, you always should be working on building and increasing your connections. You can never have too many connections. In the line of service oriented business or for any small business, networking is a must. It is whom you know! Your current clients will refer you to new clients. May be your neighbor can give you a referral. Maybe your family physician can be your future client. You just never know. Therefore, do not undermine the power of networking. Just spread the word, have some business cards handy, and give them away when you get a chance. And never be shy asking for referrals. If you don’t ask for it, you don’t get it. Also, you might want to attend local professional organizations in your industry, relevant seminars, etc.
6. Offer a Workshop: If you are a home renovator or a roofing contractor for example, you might wanna offer a home renovation or DIY Roofing workshop to local homeowners. Don’t think that by teaching people how to do it will make you get less business. In fact, by teaching people how to do it will present you as a subject matter expert and will build client confident. You will just get more business from the attendees in the future. Not everyone attending your workshop will end up doing it on their own. Someone will end up hiring you as well. Not to mention the number of referrals you will get. Prepare some professional looking brochure and business cards to hand out ahead of time so that the workshop attendees have something to take away. Encourage them to follow your social media pages where you will post routine DIY lessons.
Conclusion: If you follow these 6 steps, you are guaranteed to increase your business for the next season. And if you have a strategic method of increasing your social media presence and executing your search engine optimization campaign, you are guaranteed to explode your client bases where you won’t know what to do with all the clients you are getting.