For most of us, winter is a lot like a long slump. Underneath heavy coats and fluffy scarves, our energy, motivation, and creativity can suffer. If you’re a small business owner, that slump can happen to your business, too — which is why it’s important to learn how to kick that winter slowdown to the curb.
We’ve pulled together hard-learned tips for how to get yourself and your business out of a slump. And for those times when there’s just no unslumping, real entrepreneurs offer tips to help you weather six more weeks of the winter slump.
Getting Out of a Business Slump
The best-case scenario when you’re in a slump is to get out and get out fast. But unslumping your business isn’t always easy. Here are a few steps you can take help you get there.
Evaluate your goals. Take a look at the goals you’ve written down for your business — are they reasonable? Overly optimistic goals can do two things: 1. paralyze your decision-making, and 2. make normal business feel like a slump. Evaluate your goals and make changes if they’re needed. Creating attainable benchmarks will help motivate and refocus you.
Refine your processes. When your processes are inefficient, you can’t give as much to running your business as you should. If it feels like you’re barely treading water, take a look at what processes can be simplified, refined, or handed off. Having extra time to focus on moving your business forward means you’ll be kissing that slump goodbye in no time.
Ask for help. Entrepreneurs have a tendency to try to do everything themselves. But you can’t do it all, all the time. Don’t be afraid to seek help from mentors, small business experts, and friends. There’s no underestimating the amount of good a fresh perspective can bring to your business. Whether it’s a complex problem or you’re just too close to see the solution, you can always reach out for help.
Try something new. When all else fails, shake it up. This can be anything from testing out a new marketing campaign or picking up a new book to sleeping an extra hour or going to yoga. A slump often happens because you’re doing the same thing over and over. Getting out and making even a small change can shake up your routine just enough to get you over that hump.
Hunker Down and Ride It Out
If you’ve tried it all and just can’t kick the slump… it happens. Businesses go through cycles just like the economy. That means sometimes, you just have to keep doing what you do and wait it out.
One thing’s for sure — you’re not the first entrepreneur to get stuck in a rut. That means plenty of other small business owners have been there before — and they’re willing to share their insights on weathering a nasty business slump. Take heed:
Kayli over at The Freelance Hustle shared her 3 keys to keep plugging away in a slump.
Clear Your Head
Spark Your Creativity
Here’s what three other experienced small business owners had to say about riding out a business slump:
“If you’re in a slump as a solo entrepreneur, get out of your office ASAP and [pullquote]sit down with mentors, advisors, or friends who can help you find perspective[/pullquote]. Talking through — or even just writing down — what’s specifically getting you down is a useful way to identify real problems worth addressing versus minor … issues that can suck the energy out of us if we let them.”
– James Waldinger, Artivest
“A slump is just a negative state of mind. Remember: You get what you focus on. So in these moments, you just need to shift what your mind is telling you.”
– Claudia Chan, ClaudiaChan.com
“Surround yourself with inspiring people. Many entrepreneurs get into “isolation” mode while they are trying to ‘do everything.’ That’s the fastest way to get stuck. Get out-and-about daily. Creativity comes more rapidly from talking with other people and gaining insight and inspiration from others’ experiences.”
– Jen Groover, JenGroover.com
[Source: The Story Exchange]
See You in Six Weeks
Whether it happens tomorrow or next month, you’ll get out of that slump. Having the confidence to keep doing your thing is half the battle. We’ll see you on the other side when the trees begin to bud again.
How do you kick a winter slump to the curb?