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What to do when business is slow

All businesses experience slow times when the work is not as plentiful some months as others.  This is especially true in January after the holidays.  At times like this, it's easy to panic, to blame everything on the economy, the customers, the employees, the self. . .but there are more productive things to do in a slump.

  • Review the business plan:  See what worked and decide to do it more, see what didn't work and do it not at all, or change it.  Then see what new things can be done in the future.

  • Look over the marketing plan:  Do the same thing that was done for the business plan.  It may be time to find new clients or customers.

  • Develop new products and/or services:  First, research the markets and find out what people want today.  Then, adjust accordingly.  Perhaps the public wants something new in 2010.

  • Reach out to your network:  Communicate with past customers and fellow businesspeople.  Ask them how they're doing, preferably without sounding like a request for work.  Relating to them as people, not prospects, leaves good feelings.

  • Go out and live life:  Most businesswomen start their businesses as extensions of their lives, but that's no reason to not have a life outside of work.  Spend time with family and friends, go out to the movies and restaurants, go window shopping, read books for fun.  And do housework, too;  Keeping things in order (not necessarily perfectly) puts you in touch with living as well.

The last tip is the most important.  Remember, work is done to provide a life, not replace it.


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