It’s sort of an inevitability- when you run your own business, you’ll hit a business slump at some point. Whether it’s getting dropped by clients, dealing with burnout, or having business systems fail you, something will happen that causes a downward spiral.
It happens to all of us, so luckily there’s plenty of information out there to help you through this rough patch.
Define The Problem
You need to know what you’re working with before you can change anything. So what exactly is causing the business slump?
Some common trouble makers are:
Lack of knowledge- you’re trying to get your business to go in one direction and it’s not working. You don’t know enough about what you want to do.
Overwork or burnout- you’re trying to do too much all the time, and you’re burning yourself out. You’re tired, angry, and have no patience.
Cashflow- cashflow problems are a huge stressor for business owners and they can be a death knell for a business.
Naming your problem allows you to step back and say ‘ok, from here, what do I need to do next?’ If it’s a burnout problem, maybe you need to hire help or outsource, but the rest of the business is going well. No need to burn the whole business down; specify the problem and from there form a plan of attack.
Take a Break
Lots of slumps are a sign that you need to take a step back. If you’re not as motivated as you used to be, or you’re having a hard time finding the joy in your work, a break is in order. While it may seem counterproductive, the best thing you can do is give yourself a break to recharge.
Bring back motivation by stepping away from creating. A full day without screens, email, or talking to customers can revitalize you. Take more time if you can, and use your brain in other ways. Read, do a puzzle, play with your kids.
Rest is a vital part of physical and mental health, but so few of us take it. Commit to taking a break to get yourself out of a funk.
Change Your Systems
Just because you’ve done something one way for a long time doesn’t mean you need to keep doing it that way. There are myriad tools, platforms and specialists out there to help you operate better.
Set aside some time to do research on your biggest business pain points. Finding a better way to invoice might be the key to unlocking more time for you to spend getting new clients. FInd a new client management platform can ensure you don’t miss any emails from your current client roster.
You can pull yourself out of a business slump. It’s not forever. A refresh of your own energy levels and the systems you’re using, and that business slump will be nothing but a memory.
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