In some businesses slumps are expected. Take a landscaping business for example. Landscapers expect a slump in work during the winter months so they plan ahead and also offer snow removal to keep their business viable during the winter months.
Sometimes a slump occurs without a warning or a reason.
One thing creative business owners need to realize is that slumps happen. (Yes, you SHOULD put that on a poster or T-shirt and wear as needed!)
A slump is a normal part of business. It doesn’t mean that it’s the end of your business. It’s not time to panic but you don’t want to just curl up in a corner until it goes away either.
Determine the cause – Did you recently change your promotion strategy? Is there a new competitor in town? Has there been a change in your niche or local market?
It is easier to come up with a solution to fix your slump if you can determine the cause. If the above causes have occurred you can come up with strategies to correct the problem.
However, there is often no known reason for a slump and you can chalk it up to a normal part of doing business.
The best way to combat a normal business slump is to act quickly to create other forms of income to replace what is being lost during the slump.
Here are four things you can try to get your creative business through the slump.
1. Create a discount or coupon to drive sales. You need to make sure you know how much it costs you to create your inventory items so that you aren’t losing even more money by offering too deep of a discount. Having a email list or a social media following will really help to drive traffic to your online store if you choose to offer a discount.
2. Touch base with past customers (did you collect emails at the last craft show you did?) and offer them free shipping, a BOGO offer or other incentive to purchase from you again. Do you make handbags? Offering a free eyeglass case for sunglasses or a handmade key fob with a new purchase can entice satisfied customers from the past to step up to the checkout again.
3. Increase media exposure. Look to blogs and blogging friends for some advertising. Promote promotions, sales and discounts on every social media platform you belong to. Ask a blogging friend to write a review of your products.
4. Do you a have a new product idea but you’ve delayed production? Now may be the time to pull a rabbit out of the hat and offer an item or two for a limited time only or as a new product launch. What’s more exciting than seeing new items from some of your favorite companies?
One thing you will want to NOT do during the slump is to concentrate on the bottom line obsessively. It will only make you crazy or depressed and it doesn’t do anything to get your business through the slump. Stay positive and active while knowing that slumps are a normal part of business and it won’t last forever.
Keep in mind that a business slump could turn out to be a good thing. The steps you take to get out of the slump may actually work so well that you add it in as a regular part of your business.
How have you worked through slumps in the past?
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess
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