As much as it seems we should have continuous growth as our practices mature, that’s not what happens. Seasonal schedule shifts and spending habits can have a big impact on our client load from month to month. These natural dips aren’t a cause for panic. They are an opportunity for reflection, restoration and redirection.
For some unknown reason, April is one of my slower months every year. You’d think with tax refunds coming in it would be the opposite, but that hasn’t been my experience. Rather than getting discouraged when clients (and cash flow) thin out, I accept the invitation to take advantage of that downtime.
- I get caught up on sleep, chores and business tasks. I also capitalize on the break and reach out to friends and family I haven’t talked to for a while. If they’re local, I try to get together for lunch or coffee to reconnect. Being a sole practitioner can be isolating so it’s important to maintain those supportive relationships.
- I do more marketing. It can be hard to fit in when I’m booked consistently and, honestly, doesn’t seem necessary then. Knowing a slow down is likely to be on the horizon, I think about what my next scheme will be and look ahead. Then I put it on my schedule and implement. This approach keeps me from feeling guilty about blocking off time when I could be available for clients because they have plenty of other options those weeks.
- If the slow down lasts more than a month, I start a Groupon campaign. In addition to other marketing efforts, this proven strategy to get more new clients on my table is my go-to plan when regular clients fall off. Using Groupon the right way gets me back on track quickly. When I’m busy and making more money, my outlook is positive and I’m not worrying about how to pay my bills.
There’s an ebb and flow to everything, including demand for massage. Tracking my business income regularly helps me anticipate these cycles and recognize that they are temporary. It’s simply part of riding the wave in the practice that I love!
How do you make the most of your slower months? If you don’t see a comment box below, please click the Leave a comment link to share. Thank you!