It happens, to more of us than not. If it hasn’t happened to you, consider yourself lucky with a handful of envious competitors giving you the evil eye. For the rest of us, we know business can be rocky and bumpy. We start our business, we take care of the necessary legal things, we rustle up a few clients, make a few sales, and maybe grab some new leads. Then sometimes, nothing. Like NOTHING. No orders, no requests, no need of service, nada. No matter our marketing strategy, word of mouth or offers, business stalls and we hit a plateau. We’re not getting any new customers and/ or clients and we get vague promises from our regulars that they’ll call when they need us, but nothing concrete.
So what do we do? Consider these few options:
- Tap into your networks (if you haven’t already). This is another extension of word of mouth that can really work in your favor. You never know who the people you know might need your product or service. Ask around.
- Take a part-time job temporarily. Okay, I know a few people cringed when they saw the word job because they swore to never set foot in another office unless it was their own for all eternity. But if your business is stalling due to the lack of money… or you’re hurting for money because the business has stalled, this is a good option to consider while you round yourself of some customers/ clients. It can get tricky not to get too comfortable, especially when you have a regular paycheck again. Set up a goal when you will have earned enough money to go back to the business full-time as not to fall into the employee trap again.
- If you can afford it, offer samples of your products or offer your services for free, maybe one day out of the month or week. People like freebies (be honest, who doesn’t?) It’s a great way to rebuild your name and recognition. But don’t go too all out that offering freebies hurts your already suffering bottom line. Remember, you’re trying to bring in paying customers.
- Barter with a consultant or someone with expertise to help you. If your business is not bringing in any dough, you don’t have a lot to part with. Again, tap into your networks and ask around who may be able to help you figure out why your particular business has stalled. Maybe it’s because customers have no way to connect with you, maybe it’s because you don’t have a website, maybe it’s because your marketing isn’t effective enough, but you won’t know until you’ve asked. And remember, bartering means also offering something in return (no, that wasn’t an ‘my mind’s in the gutter’ pun).
Businesses stall, they are hit with tough times and sail through rough waters. It doesn’t mean the end. It’s just an opportunity to reevaluate what’s not working and use some ingenuity. Don’t be fearful of the stall, but don’t let the stall bring you to a full stop.