Passive to Purposeful: 8 Ways to Take Advantage of the "Slow Season"

Every business has them, a busy season and a slow season. The busy season characterized by a boost in sales, profits, and clients. Then the natural decrease in sales comes, and all too often these months go by with little intention to use them purposefully. Businesses coast through, counting down the days till the next busy season. These months can be transformed in ways that make the busy season more profitable, and with less work.

Here are 8 ways to take the slow season from passive to purposeful.

1. Dream Big. When the days go by in a flash of emails, phone calls, and meetings, it can be a challenge to think about what you want to achieve the next day, let alone the next year. The season where you don’t have to spend all day working IN your business, you can spend working ON your business. Make it a priority to look at the previous year, and start to dream about where you want your business to go.

2. Prevent the fires. The expression “putting out the fires” has become all too common these days in the business world. Many seem to spend their days just fixing problems rather than working on money making tasks. The off season is a great opportunity to reflect on the fires that consistently came up in the past year, and develop systems to prevent the same fires from igniting in the year to come.

3. Schedule. Did you have a project you set out to accomplish this year in your business, that now looking back you realize hasn’t gone beyond the first step? These big picture projects can get lost in the day to day and are the easiest to procrastinate. Scheduling work on these projects over the course of the entire year, even if its only one hour a week during the craziest business times, increases the likelihood of seeing the project to completion.

4. Stock Pile Content. Staying on top of marketing and content creation can be a slog, especially after a long day when all your creative juice is tapped. One way to avoid this is to build a robust content repository during the slow season, so you can easily pick the photo and caption without racking your brain for a funny line or inspirational quote.

5. Reach out to clients. Staying in touch with clients is key for any business, and even more so for those who rely on referrals. Plan on reaching out to those clients you worked with a year ago, or even ten years ago, and make it a priority to ask them questions and see what they have been up to since you last spoke. The best kind of customer service can be the kind where there is no intention to sell outright.

6. Volunteer. Giving back to your community is often on of the most rejuvinating ways to spend your off season. It can be an incredible way to thank your community that has provided you with loyal customers, stellar employees, and important networking connections. Giving back is the best way to show gratitude for the community that has taken such good care of you.

7. Energize Your Employees. The busy season can often be draining for your employees. They have given their all for the continued growth of the company, and letting them know you see and appreciate all they do for the business can be an important factor for employee happiness. The slow season is a great time to find ways to show gratitude for your employees and ask them what they may need to be successful when business ramps up again.

8. Prioritize Rest. Finally, don’t forget that sometimes the best use of time during the slow season is to rest and recharge. Take a moment to reflect on how you can balance taking time to rest and using the time to grow your business. Sometimes the best way to use this down time is to make sure you are completely rested and ready for the next busy season.

Ultimately it will be up to you to reflect on your business and how to best use the slow season to your benefit. These 8 tips are a starting point to help you transform your slow season into something purposeful. Taking full advantage of the slow season will create a tangible change in your busy season, and you’ll be thankful you took the initiative.

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