I seriously doubt that anyone reading this article hasn't found his or her business dropping off dramatically during this soft economy. The phone may have stopped ringing, your e-mail box has nothing but advertisements, and it appears as if your business has come to an end. But, don’t despair. Just because things have slowed down, doesn't mean it's going to stay that way. People are still conducting business and they still need and want your products or services.

Whatever We Focus Our Attention On Expands!

Although our first reaction to a drop in business is usually to feel some panic, when we start worrying and complaining or commiserating with others who are experiencing a similar slowdown, we perpetuate the situation. Although it's a natural reaction to feel some fear, it's actually the least positive thing you can do. Why? Because there is a powerful premise that says: "Whatever we focus our attention on expands." Have you ever noticed that each time you pay strict attention to what isn’t working it just seems to grow bigger? Whether you believe it or not, the fact remains that when we put our attention on what isn't working, it seems that things get worse. Yet when we put our attention on what we want, things start to improve. Changing your state of mind can alter the condition.

The Tide Comes in and the Tide Goes Out!

I certainly don’t want to sound like Pollyanna because I know this is difficult time for many businesses, but one of the important lessons I've learned through the years is that predictably business will have its ups and downs. The tide comes in and the tide goes out. As a person who enjoys my work immeasurably, I know about the fear when the phone stops ringing and no one inquires about my services. I’ve been through periods when I’ve scrambled around trying to make things happen and often couldn’t figure out what I needed to do to alter the situation. But once I learned that the ebbs and flows are natural, I made it a point to choose a different approach. Instead of staring at the pot of water waiting for it to boil, I learned how to release the situation by either doing something constructive or putting my mind on something positive. As soon as I am really able to let go, things shift. Either a past client contacts me out of the blue or new clients appear miraculously. And if nothing happens, I simply decide it’s time for me to rest.

Prime the Pump!

So what can you do during those quiet times? Just as we need to prime the pump by adding a little water to it, I realized that giving some of my services away as a gift was a good way to get things moving again. It immediately changes the energy around the situation. And if you’re like most entrepreneurs who prefer to take action while waiting for things to shift, I suggest doing some simple things that don't put any pressure on you but give you a sense of accomplishment. The following few ideas can easily be applied during the down times.

1. Write an article. Nothing will give you quite the same sense of achievement as writing an article and submitting it to a popular publication. Seeing an article you've written in print is one of the more positive things to do when you aren't very busy and just about everyone has something they've learned through their experiences that others would love to know about. When you share something in an article you'll be amazed at how quickly the tide turns.

2. Write a press release. Often smaller companies think a press release is only for the big guys and hold back from using the media. But press releases are for everyone. After writing a press release distribute it through one of the free press release distribution services and you’ll see that a press release can have overwhelming results you would never have expected.

3. Narrow your focus. When one of my clients found her business slowing down, she decided it was time to try a new tactic. She had been spending a lot of money on advertisements that weren't working for her, plus her site wasn't getting the amount of traffic she expected. Instead of focusing her attention on trying to reach everyone, she started putting attention only in places that were associated with her particular industry. She found that once she began focusing specifically, many more people started visiting her site and business began picking up.

4. Try networking. We often forget that there are a lot of people who would be delighted to join forces with us by linking to our sites or referring us to someone they know. But make it a connection with someone that aligns with your business. Recently, I made a connection with someone who paralleled perfectly with my business. After communicating with him via e-mail, I found that his site and services were very complimentary to my services. I then suggested to him that we add each other to our sites, which is exactly what we've done. The added exposure that we can provide each other has been extremely beneficial.

5. Update your website. While you’re waiting for the tide to turn, update your web site. Even if your web site presentation has appeared online for quite a while, and you have realized a degree of success, perhaps it's possible that your site needs some refreshing or revamping. Try looking at your web site from an objective point of view, almost as if you're seeing it for the very first time. Review it carefully and notice if it still appeals to your eye and your ear. If not, add a new article, change the verbiage or add some new pictures. Figure out a way to optimize your site by adding search engine friendly content so that more people will find you. You don't necessarily have to change your site, but simply update it while you're waiting.

6. Visit past successes. Now may be a good time to stop by and say hello to clients from the past. They may have forgotten your e-mail address and might be in need of your services again. Or if someone has been happy with your services, ask if they would be willing to recommend you and suggest that you will pay them a small finder's fee for anyone who becomes a paid referral. Maintaining good relationships with your past clients and customers is a great way of keeping your business flowing.

Before making a judgment about your quiet time, why not consider using it as an opportunity for expansion and growth? Just because you aren't busy for the moment doesn't mean that all of your hard work has come to an end. In fact this may very well be a great time for analyzing your situation and seeing if you can do something new. Instead of scrambling to quickly drum up more business or fretting about the lack of income, perhaps this is the time to be still as you consider some new strategies. Remember, everything changes and change is a natural part of life. If we let it, it often leads to other exciting adventures.

Author's Bio: 

Charlene Rashkow brings 15 years of experience as a Writing Stylist/Consultant to her creative efforts as a freelance writer. She has successfully helped companies and individuals reach their objectives by writing exceptional web site content, press releases, bios, and articles of interest, business plans and all other forms of business and personal material. You may visit Charlene at http://www.allyourwritingneeds.