The Entrepreneur’s Cheat sheet: 9 Bloggers Give Their Advice on What to Do When Business is Slow

9 bloggers advice for when business is slow imageThe entrepreneurship journey is a long one of stops and starts. Some days you feel like you are gaining traction, you’re making connections and enthusiasm is seeping through your pores. Other days, you wonder if you are truly insane for pursuing this dream.

You plow on and keep going because it’s your journey wherever it takes you. You keep pushing because you know that you have a dream to fulfil and people that need your services. So, how can you stay bubbly and enthusiastic in those times when things don’t seem to be picking up?

Here are Ways to Keep the Momentum going when Things are Slow:

1. “When Life sucks, don’t pretend that it doesn’t.” Alexandra Franzen of alexandrafranzen.com

When your business is not going the way that you figured that it would, you tend to feel discouraged and that everything sucks. When we feel this way, we try to hide behind smiles and happy-making activities.

These may help you to feel temporarily distracted but it doesn’t offer a long-term solution. Alexander Franzen has a fresh and simple approach to the times that you are feeling this way.

While these suggestions are applicable any time you feel down in the dumps, they can also drag you out of the business doldrums. She offers 33 off the grid suggestions to keep your motivation rolling through these times.

Three of my favorites are directly from the post:

  • Start hanging with your heroes.Who do you think is crazy-sexy-cool? Start popping up in their sight line. Leave a comment. Take a course. Write a testimonial. Make a date.
  • Write a fan letter.Or! Record a quick message and attach the mp3 to an email. It’s a fan letter … made audible!
  • Go pro.If you can afford it, invest in a professional museass-kicking guru or communication coach. Major life changes are like emotional Olympics. Who’s gonna help you win the gold?

Read the rest of the post here. Alexandra Franzen: How to Survive When Everything Sucks

2. “Find podcasts that regularly feature people in your field and pitch yourself!” Sarah von Bargen of yesandyes.org and sarahvonbargen.com

While your general inclination when going through this time is to squirrel yourself away and wallow in self-pity, now is the perfect time to get out there and drum up some media buzz.

Sarah discloses that during her downtime she was able to book 15 interviews, which meant exposure to new readers and potential clients. Even though things aren’t going swimmingly right now, let people know that you are around and you have tons of goodness to offer.

Three of my favorite takeaways from this post are:

  • Update and gather testimonials.
  • Update your permanent pages.
  • Pitch guest posts or offer yourself up for interviews.

Read the rest of the post here. Sarah von Bargen: 8 Things You Can Do and Should Do When Business Is Slow

3. “Find Yourself a peer group.” Regina Anaejionu of ByRegina.com

Sometimes building your business is a lonely endeavor. You have shared your dreams with the world and in order to keep the positivity flowing, you keep your struggles to yourself.

You don’t want to hear I told you so or well, better luck next time. You need people who will share their stories of managing the down times and planning for the upswings.

Finding a group of entrepreneurs who have been there and are willing to share or are currently going through the business creation life cycle can help you make it through this time.

Knowing that you are not alone and that your experience is mostly normal can help you get through a bout of discouragement. Regina’s strategies are aimed at growing your business so she gives you 40 things that you can do during a slow time and grow your business at the same time.

Three of my favorite takeaways from this post are:

  • Create a group of resources or an epic resource (an eBook, an online class, etc.) that people can get for free when they sign up for your email list.
  • Write out your project/client workflow.
  • Write out a detailed goal list of how you’re going to spend the 240 mornings available to you each year to make your business awesome.

Read the rest of the post here: ByRegina:  What To Do When Business is Slow

4. “While it can be a little scary, it’s also the perfect time to catch up on those low priority to-do list items, things you’ve been putting off…” Sarah Morgan of XOXOSarah.com

The one thing to not do when you are feeling discouraged is to stop working. While the motivation juices may not be flowing as easily as they used to, don’t take it as a sign to stop moving.

Sarah recommends tending to the things that fell in the low-priority category of your previous to-do lists. Create a new to-do list and get those things out of the way. When business picks up, you won’t have time for those things, so put your discouragement to good use.

Three of my favorite takeaways from this post are:

  • Start a new blog post series – include guest posts from other people in your field.
  • Teach a class or workshop on doing what you do
  • Email past clients and see if they need anything updated

Read the Rest of the Post Here: XOXOSarah: 20 Things to Do When Business is Slow

5. Manage your business failures and expectations.

Casey Graham advises that “If you stuff your business failures and missed expectations instead of dealing with them, you will explode one day.” As entrepreneurs, we get lured away by the promises of million dollar launches and products selling out in hours and doing little or nothing much to make tons of money.

Sometimes we feel discouraged because we can’t break through to that next level. Other times, we have failed to approach our business goals realistically, thereby not appropriately managing our expectations. The truth is that being an entrepreneur appears glamorous but is 10 times as demanding as being a 9 to 5er.

There are no overnight successes despite how they appear. Consider that your expectations may not have been measured and re-assess. Casey’s letter asks that you dig in and answer some tough questions. If you’re feeling particularly discourages, dig in. The answers just may surprise you.

Three of my favorite takeaways from Casey’s letter are:

  • “Your discouragement isn’t just discouragement. It’s a symptom of something deeper going on.” Find out what that is.
  • What lie am I believing?
  • You can never keep up with anyone else’s expectations.

Read the rest of Casey Graham’s letter here: Letter to a Discouraged Business Owner

6. “Learn to replenish the well.” The Big Enough Company for Forbes.com

Sometimes the truth is that we are over-informed, over-involved and over-connected. Taking a break to get our reserves refilled will prove beneficial to you if you are running low on motivation.

When our reserves are low, we are less tolerant, less creative and less enthusiastic in general. Taking time away from all the blog-reading, webinar sign-ups and competitor watching may help you to come up with some new ideas and innovative approaches that may kickstart a new source of activity in your business.

Three of my favorite takeaways from this article are:

  • Attune to what is working.
  • Build a process of measuring success that is authentic and feels organic.
  • See that it happens to the best of us.

Read the rest of the article here. Forbes.com: What to Do When You Feel Discouraged as An Entrepreneur

7. “If you play it safe, you won’t hurt or disappoint anyone, but you also won’t help or inspire anyone.” Lori Deschene of tinybuddha.com

Sometimes we know that we have lost our steam and we may no longer want what we have worked so hard for. Admitting that we no longer want what we have sold others on is a difficult thing to do but as entrepreneurs, we are a courageous bunch.

As you have lived and seen, businesses close, change directions and scrap products all the time. There should be no shame in your game.

If you’re at the place where you may be thinking about giving up your dream, Lori’s 10 questions may help you decide if that is what you really want to do.

Three of my favorite questions from this post are:

  • Have you been operating with too much information?
  • Did you set a SMART goal?
  • Would your life be better is you gave up on this goal?

Read the rest of the post here. Tinybuddha: 10 Questions to Ask Before Giving Up on Your Dream

Two other posts that can help you if you’re thinking about giving up are (hint, they’re videos):
• She Takes On The World: Should You Give Up On Your Business
• Marie Forleo: When To Close A Business: How To Know if It’s Time to Move On

8. “If business isn’t great, you’ve got to stop the bleeding.” Dennis O’Donnell of Starterist.com

Although one of the earlier tips was to get a coach or business strategist. Sometimes, when our business is slow, decreasing the spending is one way to stem the loss of motivation that you are experiencing.

When we see our bank accounts decrease we either have the drive to find new ways and fight or we feel even more discouraged. Whatever reaction you may have, stopping the bleeding is one approach to try until your motivation gets back in gear.

Three of my favorite takeaways from this post are:

  • Never close early.
  • Cut every expense possible, including yourself.
  • Learn how to develop a web page, do a tax return, use SolidWorks….you get the idea…these are real, valuable skills that you wouldn’t normally have time to do.

Read the rest of the post here. Starterist: How To Succeed When Business is Slow

9. “Take the focus off of the results and put it where it belongs: in the craft itself.”

As entrepreneurs with big dreams, sometimes we don’t see the forest for the trees. We get so focused one where we’re going and why we haven’t gotten there yet. We lose the lesson that we have to “lift heavy ass-weights” to get what we want.

We work hard at building other things that we feel are central to our business at the expense of what truly is—our craft; the thing that customers really come to you for.

In this post, Fizzle writers give you a verbal butt-whooping and remind you to get your ass back to work. It’s filled with colorful language but you can take it.

Three of my favorite takeaways from this post are:

  • The hard truth is, you have to work your ass off to learn to make yourself and your blog/podcast/business valuable to other people.
  • Learn to love lifting heavy-ass weights and the results will come.
  • …success doesn’t come from knowledge alone. It comes from applied knowledge. Knowledge and ideas are just multipliers of execution.

Read the rest of the article here.Fizzle.com  Heavy-Ass Weights

Your Turn:

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are feeling discouraged because their business is slow? Share in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

8 comments

  1. Regina says:

    Susaye, this piece is filled with useful information. It’s really quite fabulous. Thank you for putting it together. I hadn’t seen that Alexandra Franzen piece and I’m so happy to find it now, with your wonderful guidance.

    Thank you for the link to my site as well. I really appreciate it.

    • Dr. Susaye says:

      Yes they are, Regina. It’s really great having someone or two who can understand what you are experiencing and remind you that it’s par for the course. Sometimes, it is so difficult to find because we’re all searching for answers and are busy trying to get people we think are more important to notice us. I have been guilty of pandering as well, so I speak from experience but right now, it’s about the message.

    • Dr. Susaye says:

      Thanks, Krista. I am glad you like it. Fizzle.com is really a great site. The writers have great ideas and have built a good platform. You should check it out. The heavy ass weights concept is a great one. Work your ass off and deliver value. I’ll tweet to that. 🙂 Thanks for coming by, Krista.

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