Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Is business a little slow right now? Spending too much time on "Words with Friends?" First quarter can be very slow, no matter what business you are in. The good news is there are steps you can take to make it easier to slide into the fast lane. So, before you push the panic button and start looking on CareerBuilder.com for jobs you don't really want, here are five steps that I put into action when business is a little slow.
1. Pour a glass of Scotch and sulk. I'm kidding! Sign up for as many meetup groups as you can possibly handle and go to the events. You will learn a ton, meet great people and you'll get new business! There is usually one for every kind of business person and they are free. There is only a fee, when you register for one of the events. Definitely go to the events and bring lots of business cards!
2. Build a Facebook business page for your business. This works as a secondary website and will not only help build traffic to your website, it's an outstanding way to network with others in your industry.
3. Join your local Chamber of Commerce! These are all business owners you will be meeting with and some may hire you for a job or two. It's an excellent way to network and also a tax deduction. Search for your local chamber of commerce to locate a website and contact information.
4. Send out postcards! Yes, this may sound like the "old school" way of marketing but snail mail is still effective. This gives the client something tangible they can keep on file or put on their refrigerator. E-mail marketing can be effective as well but sometimes e-mail gets lost in the shuffle or ends up in spam folders. Plus, snail mail is a little less intrusive. My last mail-out consisted of a post card and a refrigerator magnet business card!
5. Be active on Twitter! Don't tweet stuff like, "Spring sale going on right now. Everything is 40% off!" Instead, tweet about how cool the stuff is that you're selling or how cool it is to have this product and what it can do for you. Engage in other people's conversations as well. Don't just yap about your own stuff. Twitter is one big party. When you go to a party, you don't want to listen to the same person talk about themselves all night. Chances are favorable that you will get annoyed and leave the party. Instead, share what you have going on but also ask questions about their business! Re-tweeting posts is also very effective because you are showing that you care and are willing to help.
There are times when you should embrace the slow lane because you'll have more time to work on marketing and other things going on in your life. Sure, money can be tight but life is too short to hover in a corner in a state of stress, wondering where the next gig is going to come from. The gas pedal is still within reach. Get into the fast lane and step on it!