December 12th, 2018
When you’re running a nutrition business there are certain times of year that tend to be slower than others. December is often one of those slow seasons and it feels unsettling when you suddenly have a lull in your usual client load.
Before your thoughts spiral out of control and you convince yourself you’ll never have another client, there’s plenty of reasons that a lighter client load isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
You know those tasks on your “to do” list that always get put off and that stack of papers piled high on your desk for filing? Now’s the perfect time to tackle some of those things so you set yourself up for business success in the new year.
Here’s 7 ways to manage slow seasons in your nutrition business so that you’re prepared for the rush of clients sure to come your way in January.
1) Create Content
When your schedule’s packed full of client calls and charting, it’s tough finding time to create new resources. Making handouts, updating assessment forms, and writing blog posts don’t feel like a priority when you’re busy seeing clients, but these are all great things to focus on if you’re faced with a slow holiday season.
A few other things you could create are:
- A new lead magnet (opt-in offer) to grow your email list
- Content upgrades for your top performing blog posts
- An email sequence to nurture new email subscribers
- A passive income product like an e-book, e-course or video series to sell on your site (or on the RD2RD marketplace)
- Bonus resources that add extra value to your clients
- A content calendar to get ahead with your blogging and social media posts for the new year
2) Clean Your Office
Mess creates stress. How can you think clearly and feel like a confident CEO when you’re surrounded by clutter? Put on some uplifting music and use the free time on your schedule to finally sort through those stacks of paper on your desk. File what you need, toss what you don’t and implement a system to prevent future paper pile-ups. There’s something really satisfying about making your workspace feel organized!
Once you’re done, go one step further and clear up computer clutter too. Unsubscribe from email lists that don’t serve you anymore (unroll.me is a great service that helps you stay on top of inbox overwhelm), set up filters or folders to organize incoming messages, and back-up your hard drive if you don’t already do this regularly.
3) Set Up Systems
Setting up systems takes time upfront (which you have right now anyway), but will end up saving you so much time in the future.
Examples of systems include your client on-boarding process, billing systems and follow-up systems.
Think about how you take on new clients now. What’s your process and how could you make it a smoother experience for both you and your new client?
A few things to consider are:
- Do you have a client scheduling system in place to prevent the back and forth of finding a convenient time to book sessions? (examples include Practice Better, Kalix, Acuity, and Calendly)
- What forms do you send clients prior to their first appointment?
- Do you have canned email responses pre-written for those repetitive emails you constantly send in your business?
4) Continuing Education
Who doesn’t love curling up by the fire with a great book? Whether it’s the stack of Today’s Dietitian magazine you’ve been meaning to read or a business course you purchased earlier this year, slow times in business are the perfect time to learn something new.
Don’t forget to take action and implement all the new things you’re learning because it’s what you DO with what you learn that really matters!
5) Thank Your Clients
If you have free time, why not reach out to past clients and thank them for their business? Check in and see how they’re doing with their health goals. A handwritten card is a nice gesture, but a thoughtful email counts too. Not only does it show you truly care about their success, but you’ll also be top of mind if they need some extra support to get back on track in the new year.
6) Reflect & Plan
I love using December to dream big, strategize and plan for the new year ahead.
First take some time to reflect on your year. Here’s some questions to journal on:
- What am I most proud of accomplishing this year?
- What’s going right in my business? What do I want to do more of?
- What’s causing stress in my business? What do I want to do less of?
- What are the 3 biggest lessons I learned over the past year?
- What’s my big vision for my business? What do I want it to look like in the next 3-5 years?
Once you’re clear on what you want your year to look and feel like, you can start getting into the nitty gritty of planning out your monthly, weekly and daily tasks to accomplish your big goals.
7) Take Time Off
Finally, enjoy some time away from your business!
The holidays are a time to be with your family so savour all the precious moments without constantly checking social media or worrying about your business.
Your brain needs space to think and reflect so step away from the daily grind, bundle up and head out for a nice walk to clear your mind. And make sure you have a notepad handy for those flashes of inspiration that are sure to strike when you least expect them.
Now it’s your turn – do you have your own strategy for using slow seasons in your business effectively? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!