For some businesses, it’s getting a little quiet and a little harder to convert prospects into customers. For others, it’s busier than ever. Whilst my tips here are specifically geared to help the business which is finding things are getting tougher and harder, if you’re doing very well, still have a read. It’s all solid, good business advice which every business would benefit from actioning.
10 Practical Tips To Help You If Your Business Is Getting Quiet
- Enquiries just aren’t coming to your website. I was talking with a potential client last week and they said they just discovered that all their leads for the last 3 years via their website had not come through. Wow, not great. If you’re not getting enquiries regularly, then be sure to test your contact form. Even if it was working last week, these can ‘break’ so don’t just assume the economy is in a downturn; instead make sure you’re not experiencing a technical glitch!
- It’s very untrue that if you follow up on a quote, you’re hassling people. I know statistically people actually expect follow-up. Sure, they might do the wrong thing and ‘ghost’ you, but you should at least try. If you haven’t followed up on your quotes recently, then go back through the last 2 months of quotes and follow up. Some will have gone elsewhere, but some may well be ready to engage you and just hadn’t got around to it. A ‘courtesy follow-up call’ is not a sign of desperation (unless you start begging – don’t!) but is just good business practice.
- Take a quieter moment to review your website content. Does it absolutely put your best foot forward and make you shine? If not, or if information is outdated or poorly presented, then now is a time for a little ‘nip and tuck’ – whether that is visually, or purely updating some of the information and content. Generally, I recommend a website review once a year. Be sure to check links work and that nothing is broken or not working.
- Review your marketing process. Some businesses that I provide business coaching to have great sales processes and some well, they really need my help. From marketing and perception, right through to how you handle and nurture a lead can be done well, or poorly. Is the information you send out, including your quotes, the best they can be? When you send a quote are you promoting your business or just providing a price? It’s a common misconception that a quote is purely a means to communicate what you’ll charge – it can be so very much more. Perhaps you’re missing out on effective lead-generation tactics that you’d not even thought of.
- Keep in Touch! Are you staying in touch with customers and ex-customers alike? Newsletters, or regular posts, or even a courtesy call to say ‘howdy’. How many businesses do that? Business is often about relationships, so start building relationships with clients, prospects and ex-clients from day one. If you provide a great product or service and excellent customer service, then you will be most likely feeling any ‘quiet spells’ less so.
- Consider whether your business has the functionality for callbacks and repeat work. There are a great number of businesses which naturally will benefit from a call-back system. Ideally, this isn’t started as things get quiet, but rather, whilst things are busy. Customers get used to you reminding them it’s time to rebook you again and are less likely to look around at your competitors – or miss the maintenance all together. Not only is having the system but also communicating with customers why it’s important to keep an item maintained. This can be anything from maintenance of your car, aircon unit, carpet cleaning, replacing the filters in your water filter, pest control, dental checkup, optometrist visit etc. So many things need ongoing maintenance and that recurring business is what can make a difference for some businesses.
- There is a natural tendency to want to ‘trim the fat’ when things get a little tight. That’s fine, but don’t cut out muscle. That is, things that generate income, or bring in business; whether that’s your marketing or perhaps your workers. Instead, get smart with your marketing; ensure you’re spending the dollars where they work, which means you should be tracking your lead sources. Review your P&L (Profit & Loss Statement) but watch out also for wastage; which often is not a line item in your P&L. Waste can be staff sitting around doing little, or doing something the hard way. You might not cull your staff, but instead have them working on being productive; perhaps following up with customers, or building databases, improving processes, or even just cleaning out the workshop so when it gets busy again, you’ll be set up and ready for action.
- Are you limited with your products or services? For example, a lawn mowing person may find that it works well to prune trees, or fertilise or do other related services which can be done more so in the winter months. Can your business diversify a little? I was talking only today with a business that makes a boutique product. They are running workshops on how to make that product, which is another income source, not only for the workshop but selling the raw materials. Just like when COVID hit and some businesses went into sanitiser manufacturing, is there something different you can do? Just remember though, that if you’re launching a new product or service, it takes time for these things to take hold, unless you have an exceptional database of contacts that you can market effectively.
- Take a good reality check. Is your industry changing, or the quiet spell is about something else? A poor economy, a government that doesn’t support small businesses, tax season (people often hold out spending until their tax is sorted), an upcoming election, or weather are things that will hopefully and ultimately pass. However, is your industry actually changing? Some industries simply change and ‘the writing’ is often on the wall. Traditional bookstores are less in demand as we have switched to Kindle, iBooks and Audiobooks. Your ‘reality check’ needs to be realistic – neither overly pessimistic nor overly optimistic. It may not be the industry, it may be your product or service or it may simply be a cycle.
- Finally, be proactive, not reactive and don’t bury your head in the sand. Most business owners will notice sooner or later if their business is getting quieter. There are less enquiries, competitor quoting is more competitive, people are less inclined to let go of their dollars and the quicker you respond and become proactive, the sooner you can implement action – and improvement.
Now may be the time to talk to a business coach and ensure your business is at its peak and running optimally in every way. One of the reasons I don’t lock clients into long-term contracts is that often they just need 3 or 4 months to tweak everything, get back on track and be good to go. Business improvement for a small business often doesn’t need as long as 12 months. I simply ask for notice to stop or pause. If you’d like to know more about my coaching services – Business Coaching, Life Coaching, Leadership Mentoring and Marketing Coaching etc – simply just reach out and we can have a chat. I offer a range of packages to suit micro, small and medium sized businesses. Coaching works great whether you’re looking to start a business, grow a business, dig yourself out of a hole or purely to be working smarter, not harder. ENQUIRE NOW.