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Growing Your Business Is More Than Your Sale Count

Tuesday was a weird day for me. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, I just felt….off? I feel like I have had this feeling on and off for a couple months now. But maybe that is normal. I feel like it’s a common misconception that being self-employed, being your own boss, is all good, all the time. Maybe this is because, as business owners, we want to portray that.

The truth is that sometimes there are slow sale days that leaves me wondering what to do. Not that there wasn’t anything for me to do, but that I didn’t know what I should do.

Let me explain.

If you run a business, you know that there is always something to do. But there are a lot of things to do that don’t directly bring you sales. Sometimes it’s hard for me to focus on these types of things because it’s hard to see the effect they have on my business. But there are really are a lot of things you can do, even though they may not immediately bring you sales, that will definitely improve your business as a whole.

Here’s a few things you can do to indirectly help your business when sales are slow:

Don’t watch your sale count – Perhaps the most important thing! No good can come from staring down those numbers. “Yay, sales are slow” said no one ever (Ok it’s possible I have said this after Valentine’s Day madness). Watching sales come in slowly will do nothing for your productivity and if you’re like me, possibly stress you out a little bit. Instead of focusing on this, focus on how you can make your business better.

Read blogs – While sitting down and reading may seem like time better spent working, reading blogs is a great way to get inspired. It is especially important to seek inspiration when your shop is in the middle of downtime. Reading what other bloggers are up to can help kick you into gear and make you want to put that newfound passion into your business.

Take new product photos – I recently reshot all of my product photos. It was tedious as hell, I’m not going to lie. But my shop is better for it. And who knows, maybe my new sexy photos will catch a new eye while some one is browsing cards through Etsy’s search engine.
Post on social media – Style up a nice photo of your product or your work space and share it with your followers. Even if you may not be really busy, you still want to maintain a presence on social media sites. It’s kind of like a long distance friendship. You have to make sure you reach out every once in a while to make sure that relationship continues (even if you feel like you haven’t heard from the other friend in weeks!).
Create an idea journal – Now is the time to dream. Dream up those ideas that are going to take your shop out of slow season. You never know what genius thought will come out of a 30 minute brainstorm session. Just start letting those creative juices flow, with no pressure on yourself, and see where it takes you.

Browse Pinterest – Yup. I am telling you to check out the time suck that is Pinterest. Pinterest is actually a valuable resource for seeing “what the people want.” Watch what they are pinning, see what is trending. Also, repin! A lot of people get notifications when their pins are repinned. They may come check out your profile (and you have your products pinned right??)

Update your Etsy tags – Just the other day I was adding new cards to the shop (this one is my fav!) and I realized I had some old tags on my products. Think about the time of year it is, what holidays are coming up, what people are searching for right now (Ex: back to school, fall, teacher gifts) and tag your fitting products accordingly.

Write a blog post – Blogging is a great way to connect with others and these relationships can have a huge impact on your business. Think about all the collaborations you’ve seen between small business owners and bloggers. If you create a friendship with other bloggers they can (and will want to) help you promote your own business.

Being a business owner doesn’t mean you have all the answers. It doesn’t mean you know exactly what you’re doing and you’re always doing it. In fact, it brings a lot of uncertainty and self-doubt. It brings over-analyzing the tiniest, most ridiculous little details (at least I’m hoping I’m not the only one who does that). While it’s easy to get caught up in things like sales count, remember there is so much more to running a business. Remember the big picture.

Do you have you tips for improving your business during slow season? I’d love to hear! xo JA

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • My salt shop has been stagnant for a long long long time. Which is really stupid of me, because hello – summer is over and BBQ season is almost done for most people.. BOO! Anyway – thank you for sharing this today, because it was just the inspiration I needed to revitalize my shop…

  • Thank you so much for your thoughts!! You always have such lovely tips and ideas!!! Thank you so much!!! 🙂
    🙂 Rebecca

  • Kelsea Echo says:

    This list is amazing. Thank you for sharing your tips! It’s so easy to let some of these tasks (especially things like retagging) slip by, but they can make a world of difference!

  • Maulicat says:

    I just found your blog, and it is so helpful! As an artist trying to make a business, I’m so glad I found your blog! So many times I see these amazing artists online, running their own show, and I think, “Wow, everything seems so perfect for them…” You never see their struggle. I think we all struggle as artist, and it’s refreshing to see that I’m not alone as I grow. Thanks for sharing your story!

  • Emily Spada says:

    I can never decide what I like for product photos. I’m never satisfied, but Pinterest definitely help with inspiration.

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