In 2016 I took a year long maternity leave and shut down my website.
Big Mistake. BIG. HUGE. (Can you tell I love Pretty Woman?)
My SEO plummeted and my pins on Pinterest had been going to a dead page. I had stopped marketing my business on social media, except for occasional posts on Instagram of my sweet little boy.
When I was finally ready to return to work, I came back to…crickets.
To say my business was slow was an understatement. I felt like I was starting over again and I was not prepared to rebuild my business while being a stay at home mom.
Staying positive during this time was what got me through.
Every business owner goes through a slow period, whether they take a long break like I did or they are just starting out in business.
Here’s some ways to help you stay positive when business is slow
Connect with Other Business Owners in Your Industry
Maybe I felt desperate at the time, but when things were really bad for me I reached out to other designers to see if they were in the same boat. It felt good to be able to tell other people my concerns and see if they were also experiencing a lull in business. Just having someone to talk to was a relief to me and also gave me motivation.
Strengthen Your Skills with Education
When things got quiet for me I signed up for a lot of free workshops and webinars. I tried to use the time to expand my knowledge about things like social media marketing and email marketing. Just the feeling of learning something new made me feel productive. I also read some books about business that helped me to stay focused and positive.
Offer Free Advice in Facebook Groups
Turning to social media can be helpful when business is slow. While it’s hard to see other businesses thriving (they had their slow times too, trust me!) it made me feel really good to offer my professional advice to other business owners. I belong to a handful of Facebook groups that are really active. Other business owners are always looking for input, answers to questions, suggestions and sometimes even a paid project. I was able to help out a lot of other ladies and build some great relationships using Facebook groups.
Offer a New Service
I noticed in some of my Facebook groups that business owners wanted feedback on their blog design. I figured that I could offer more than just a quick comment on their post so I decided to offer paid website audits (I no longer offer this service). People started signing up and it really helped during a slow time. Consider what services you could add to your business that still utilizes your skills and will bring in some potential new clients.
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True story: In 2016 I closed my business for 1 year after having our son and it was the BIGGEST mistake I've ever made. I totally get how overwhelming it can be to build an online business while raising a family... um, 3am work nights fueled by a pot of coffee - been there!
Which is why I've dedicated Sugar Studios + this blog to helping entrepreneurs like YOU build the business you've been dreaming of.