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What, you say? There’s a silver lining in a business slowdown? The thought of a slowdown in your small business is enough to drive any owner bonkers. It’s what we continually fight against. Yet, its a natural part of any business. How we choose to respond is what matters most.


Small business slowdowns occur for a variety of reasons. Whether your business is seasonal or cyclic, after a few years in business you begin to notice trends in upswings and slowdowns. For instance, we notice an uptick during the first month of the year as entrepreneurs reset the clock on the new year. One of our clients, in an industry unrelated to the educational system, experiences a business slowdown during times when school is not in session.

The Upside of a Slowdown: How Smart Business Owners Use Their Time

A business slowdown doesn’t have to trigger a business setback. Rather than worry, here are a few alternate options for making the most of a slowdown:

1. Relax. I know the thought of that makes your head want to explode, doesn’t it? It does mine! Let’s take a look at the facts surrounding your work ethic. You work hard. You probably don’t take many vacations, if any at all. And, weekends? What are they? Weekends look just like weekdays in the lives of most hard-working entrepreneurs. Plus, who can really relax and unwind during busy work times. Not me!

With less on your plate, a business slowdown is an excellent time to be a bit more gentle and forgiving with yourself. Leave the office early. Meet friends for lunch. Take a nap. Read a book. The options are endless.

2. Assess your business. The extra bandwidth in your day allows you to step back and objectively evaluate your business — and where its headed — without the influence of overwhelm. Take advantage of our free business assessment to gain critical insights into your business. Download it here.

3. Refresh your marketing. A downside to an uptick in business is that marketing efforts get pushed to the side. With business trends continually evolving, a slowdown is the perfect time to revisit your value proposition to ensure it speaks to the needs of today’s clients. Along with sprucing up your value proposition, when was the last time your website had a makeover? A slowdown is the ideal time to hit the reset button on your marketing efforts to make sure your business remains relevant.

4. Catch up and get ahead. You know that stack of files and papers sitting in the corner of your office gathering dust? A slowdown is the perfect time to reclaim your space. Plus, something magical occurs when you clean out your business. It signals “out with the old” and “in with the new”.

Once you’re caught up, it’s time to get ahead. Using the insight gleaned from the Core Business Assessment, look to the future and launch projects you wished you had time for when business was busting out of its seams.

5. Sharpen your skills. Business is in a continual state of flux. A business slowdown is an ideal time to tone your business skills. Learn how inbound marketing helps small business owners save time and money. Wade through changes in social media that impact your business. Gain an in-depth understanding of your financial documents for better insight into the financial health of your business.

Or, better yet, hone your strategic thinking and planning skills! (Sadly, only 3 out of 10 entrepreneurs know how to think strategically. Yet, it’s the one defining skill between business success and business struggle.)

6. Renew relationships. Not only has much been happening in your business, your clients (and former clients) likely have similar experiences. A business slowdown is a great time to touch base.

You don’t have to sell anything to say “hi” although you’ll likely find that rekindling relationships sparks additional business. It’s also an ideal way to garner “intel” into the changing needs of your clients to infuse your next product development. You not only stay on your clients “radar screen”, you keep your business products and services relevant to the needs of today’s consumers. It’s a win-win!

A business slowdown doesn’t have to lead to a business shutdown. With the right state-of-mind, a business slowdown can set you up to spring back better than ever!

What do you do during a business slowdown?

Carry on:

Core Business Assessment


Brooke Billingsley

Vice President
Perception Strategies

Synnovatia is a strategic coaching firm that is detailed and knowledgeable about business. i have a small business that grew from $150K to $750K because of the goal setting and resources that Synnovatia provided. It saves me years of learning on my own.

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