I’ve worked on my own terms for two years and the panic still sets in…clients have slowed down.

Did I do something wrong? Is it the time of year? Am I marketing myself enough? Why is this happening?

The possibility of not having enough work is terrifying.

The past month was so slow, and I’m worried about the next month. Every business owner goes through this, whether they’re new or experienced.

So how do we – as business owners – cope? There are things we can do when business is slow and we have lots of free work time to plant seeds that will grow into new business, new customers, or new clients.

Here are 20 things I’m doing right now to grow my business while things are slow.

Try implementing some of these the next time things have slowed to a crawl and you’re starting to sweat.

  1. Reach out to old clients – send a “we miss you” card, let them know about a new service, offer them a discount, or ask them if there is anything you can help them with. Sometimes they get busy and just forget you’re there. Remind them!
  2. Hustle, hustle, hustle! Where did you find clients before? What worked in the past? Do it again. Do 3 things EVERY DAY to reach out, search for clients, try to get new jobs, etc.
  3. Side hustle.
  4. Join a networking or mastermind group.
  5. Use the downtime to start a project that will grow your business, but that you haven’t had time to work on.
  6. Learn a new skill, get an extra certification, or attend a class. Become an expert. Make your resume beefy and irresistible.
  7. Update your resume or evaluate and edit your portfolio.
  8. Update your website.
  9. Create and promote a new service.
  10. Collaborate with someone else on a project.
  11. Ask people you know for referrals.
  12. Network in Facebook groups that a relative to your type of business.
  13. Take a look at your social media stats and improve your social media strategy. Set goals for number of followers, shares, or other stats.
  14. Write or rewrite (if you already have one) a description of your ideal client. Then ask yourself, “What does this client need from me?”
  15. Update your business plan and evaluate your goals and direction for your business.
  16. Do something to attract attention. Give an interview. Guest post on a blog. Make a video and share it everywhere. Hold a fundraiser for a charity. Make people notice you.
  17. Network online through online coffee/tea – yes, that’s really a thing, and it’s awesome! Check out the group TeaVolution, started by Amanda Maynard. Want to have virtual coffee and talk about business? Schedule a coffee chat with me. Coffee chats are for networking and hanging out with people who get it when it comes to being your own boss, not for selling and promotion.
  18. Read a book about self-improvement, business, or marketing.
  19. Try a totally new kinds of marketing. Be inventive and creative! For ideas, check out this article.
  20. Be kind to yourself. We all have slow times, and it isn’t your fault. If you’re marketing consistently, then it’s probably just a resting period. Spend this time doing some self-care and taking care of your needs too

What do you do when business is slow?