It’s summertime, and for many freelancers that means we’re going into the summertime lull. Clients are on vacation, payroll departments are slow and everyone is a little more chilled out than usual. For some freelancers, this could put them into a state of panic because they wonder how they are going to pay their bills. The more experienced freelancer, however, knows how to take advantage when business is slow.

I used to be one of those freelancers that panicked. However, now I realize that I have some major opportunities when business is slow. Below you’ll find a list of things you can do when business is slow.

Understand the cycle of your business.

First things first, you must understand the annual cycle of your business. This helps you plan ahead of time for when business is slow. For example, since I write about finance and business, January is usually an insanely busy month for me as everyone makes pledges to improve their finances and careers in the new year. On the other hand, no one really cares in the summer when they are on vacation.

Because I’ve been in business long enough to understand this, I now know what to do with all the extra time I have in the summer. I also know how to rework my finances in anticipation of having slower months in the middle of the year.

Take a break.

If everyone else is on vacation then maybe it’s a good time for you to take one too. It’s much easier to take a break when business is slow than it is when business is booming. Additionally, often times freelancers and small business owners won’t plan vacation time despite how important it is. By determining the annual cycle of your business you can ensure that you’re giving yourself a much-needed break.

Follow up with past clients.

Let’s say you are strapped for cash during slow months and are ripping your hair out wondering how you’re going to pay your bills when business is slow. The easiest thing to do would be to contact previous clients and see if they need any work done. This is typically the easiest thing to do any time of the year since it’s easier to get past clients to pay you than it is to find new ones. However, it can be especially useful in the summertime because you already have a relationship with them, meaning they aren’t as likely to dodge your email just because they may be traveling.

Work on big projects.

When business is slow, I use it as a time to work on big projects that move my own brand forward but that I may not necessarily have time for when things are busy. This time around that looks like increasing my reach on social media, learning how to use Pinterest to gain blog traffic, putting together a free online challenge for my community and putting the finishing touches on my membership site so I can finally publicize it properly.

These things are all important in helping me grow my business and, quite frankly, I can pretty much only work on them when business is slow.



Amanda Abella is a full-time writer who specializes in online business and finance. She's also an online business coach and the Amazon best-selling author of Make Money Your Honey.

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