Overcoming post-holiday slump
We’re a few weeks into a new year, and maybe it’s been difficult to get your business back into a steady flow. If you’re reading this, maybe you’re feeling a bit discouraged (the word “slump” roped you in, didn’t it?). After all, it can feel like the holiday high is over and you’re staring down the next calendar year with little on the books. Most business owners and anyone in sales would agree that January is one of the toughest months in the year. But don’t let that discourage you! You are not alone.
Find the Fun [Again]
At one time or another, this business was fun. Perhaps it was right at the beginning, when, full of excited jitters, you clicked “join now” on a website of a company with products or a mission you’re still giddy about. Or maybe it was when your hard work finally paid off and you earned a trip, walked across the stage, or received that incentive gift you had previously only dreamed of. Think of that moment. Close your eyes and really reminisce.
Before anything else — before you make some long-overdue phone calls, go on a party-booking frenzy, reorganize your entire workspace — plan something fun within the next few weeks that reminds you of why you started (and stayed with) your business.
Evaluate Your Systems
Even though you’re your own boss and have the freedom to switch up the way you run your gig at any given time, we fall into a rhythm of business practices that plant themselves firmly in our routine and often stay rooted for the remainder of the year. Lucky for us, there’s something about a new year that encourages reflection, allowing us to evaluate what worked and what didn’t. Ask yourself:
- Do I feel confident in my follow-up system? Where do I struggle with keeping in contact with customers? Where do I excel?
- What method of communication encouraged the most responses?
- Was I more productive when I spent a few uninterrupted hours working my business, or in the snippets of time I found throughout the day/week?
Make Relationships Your Primary Focus
It is entirely normal for sales to dip post-holiday, but with the right in mindset, we can view it as a time to shift our narrow focus from sales to developing a well-rounded business full of growth with respect to customers, team members, and better yet, friendships. Put the emphasis on cultivating friendships and expanding your influence rather than solely striving to achieve that next sale or rank advancement. When you adjust your mindset about the reason behind reaching out to contacts to see how they’re doing and what you can do for them, you can meet a need and begin to motivate yourself with a mission that goes beyond selling.
As we move into the year, take the pressure off, finding comfort in the fact you aren’t alone. Adopt a system that works for you, but also give yourself permission (and plenty of grace) to fine tune. Look forward to the year ahead with anticipation, believing in what you uniquely have to offer your clients. You may never be fully prepared, but you are fully capable. Sit up and smile. The slump is already behind you.
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