Marketing Planning & Reporting, Workflows & Processes

What to Do When Your Small Business Goes Quiet – Part 2

what to do when your small business goes quiet
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As a small business owner, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the ups and downs of running your business. One month you’ll be incredibly busy, and then the next month you’ll find yourself with too much time on your hands. So what to do when your small business goes quiet?

It can be concerning when business is slow, especially when it comes to earnings and cash flow. So rather than worrying, let’s make sure you make the most of your time!

Because what to do when your small business goes quiet is simple: Improve your small business, hone your skills and seek out new projects. This way you’ll be prepared for the next quiet period – or make sure business will never be quiet again.

This post is the first part of a series about what to do when your business goes quiet. If you haven’t read it already, hop on over to part 1 and give it a read for some more tips on how to refocus and recharge. Or check out part 3 where I explore the different causes for quieter times in business and what you can do to tackle them.

Step 1. Focus on your existing clients

what to do when your small business goes quiet
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During a quiet spell, it’s more important than ever to focus on the clients and customers you do have. Make sure you’re doing the best work you can, and keep your clients happy.

This may lead to new projects with your existing clients, or they might refer you to other people who need your services. Plus, it helps to keep you focused and working hard, ready to come out of these quiet times.

  • Evaluate how things are going with your current clients or customers: Do any of them need additional services? Instead of working on a one-off project, could you work on an ongoing monthly retainer basis instead?
  • Contact clients you’ve previously worked with: See if they require any more services. Keep in touch with your previous clients as they already know and trust you, so are likely to hire you again in the future.
  • Work on a campaign for repeat business: Encourage previous customers to buy from you again. Give them a loyalty incentive or a special offer.

If you’re wondering what to do when your small business goes quiet, this is absolutely key. When you’re flat out with work, it can be tough to fully nurture these relationships. As scary as a quieter period may be, it’s an excellent opportunity to remind the people who already work with you why they chose you in the first place!

Step 2. Seek out new clients and customers

what to do when your small business goes quiet
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Once you’ve ensured you’re doing all you can for your current clients, it’s time to widen the net.

Perhaps the most obvious answer to what to do when your small business goes quiet is to generate new clients and customers. If you’re less busy with client work, use your time to actively seek out new customers in your niche.

Not sure how to do so? Try the following!

  • Attend networking events and make new connections: This is a great way to meet new people – both potential clients as well as other businesses you could collaborate with. While you should ideally be networking regularly, it can be hard when you’re snowed under. Don’t let a quiet period go by without taking advantage and meeting new contacts.
  • Get people interested in your business: Have a great presence on social media, host a flash sale, offer new clients a special discount or run a competition. A quiet period is a chance to mix things up and explore new styles of content.
  • Target a different audience: Has your target audience changed since you started your business? Research the market to find new clients in a niche you might not have considered before. Check out this post for tips on reaching potential customers earlier in their journey!

It’s easy to get a little bit complacent when things are going well – the work is coming in, so you stop reaching out. A quiet spell is always a reminder to keep finding new ways to tell more people about your business.

Find out more about how to define your target market to improve your small business marketing.

Step 3. Work on your business

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We often neglect our own businesses when we’re busy with client work. So what to do when your small business goes quiet is to make the most of your free time. Improve your small business and do all the tasks you’ve been putting off for months.

In my last post about quiet periods, I suggested taking a look inwards at the business. Here are some more actionable tips for making the most of your time!

  • Update your website and your portfolio: Add in any new work you’ve done, write up some case studies, or simply give your About page a refresh to reflect your current business goals. Take a moment to look at your business from the outside in. If you’ve been busy, it’s been for a reason – be sure to shout about your recent successes!
  • Refresh your social media platforms: When did you last update your LinkedIn profile, or edit your Instagram bio? Much like your website, it’s important to make sure your social platforms reflect where you’re at now. Take this opportunity to create new banners, update profile pictures and add new skills and qualifications to your profiles. Take every opportunity to show your potential clients why they should work with you!
  • Catch up on all your admin work: Make sure your accounts are up to date. This is one thing that is easy to put on the backburner when you’re snowed under. Use the opportunity to make a head start on big tasks like filing your tax return. Keeping everything in order will make it easier to work efficiently at busier times.

This is a really important step as it takes the bigger picture into consideration. It isn’t just about chasing customers in the moment – it’s about reflecting on your business as a whole. You’ll thank yourself for it later!

Step 4. Do some market research

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Got your digital presence up to scratch? Excellent – now’s the time to do some market research. Use the time find ways you could grow and expand your business and improve your marketing strategy.

It’s easy to continue with your usual marketing when you’re busy. But in quieter times it can be good to evaluate whether this is the most effective way to market your small business.

  • Find out how your competitors are doing: Do they seem to be going through a quiet spell too? Or are they growing? Research as much as you can and see if there’s anything you could be doing differently to keep up with your competitors.
  • Discover ways to expand or improve your products and services: Use your extra time to brainstorm new product ranges, research ways you can upgrade your current services or refine any packages you offer.
  • Find out what your clients or customers want, and offer it to them: Carry out some market research to find out what people need. Do your current products and services cover this, or do you need to update them to keep up with demand?

A marketing strategy is an eternally evolving plan. It will shift and change as the business world does. Quieter moments can be a blessing in disguise, as they give you a moment to really analyse your own marketing and find ways to make it better than ever!

Step 5: Take a Course or Learn New Skills

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Last but by no means least, a great way to spend any additional quiet time is learning a new skill! That area of your business you’ve always been interested in but too busy to explore? Now’s the time!

Whether it’s bookkeeping and accounting, or graphic design – whatever it might be, take the opportunity to go after it. By continuing to learn and grow, you will position yourself as an expert and ultimately attract new clients. And with new skills comes the potential for new services and products. None of which you’d be ready for without capitalising on this quiet time!

Check out local groups and classes, and do your research online. There are countless online learning platforms (explored here!) which allow you to expand your skillset from the comfort of your couch!


To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
It’s Oh So Quiet… How to Boost Your Small Business in Quiet Times
6 Tips to Convert More Website Visitors Into Paying Customers
7 Ways to Turn Your Social Media Followers Into Paying Customers
How to Grow Your Small Business & Keep on Track

Denise Strohsahl brand and marketing consultant for small businesses

Hello, I’m Denise from sandstonecastles, a brand & marketing consultancy based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I help small business owners like yourself to find the right marketing that’s in line with your brand and values.