Indeed.. and as self employed women the freedom to do what you want, when you want, and whenever you want is king or should I say Queen. :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Where did all the clients go?
Navigating times of change with your small business: an innerprenur's inside look.
I found myself asking this question to fellow colleagues and myself during the past two weeks. Business abruptly fell off after Labor Day so we pondered...where did all the clients go?
The reasons were somewhat obvious. The end of summer had arrived, people were relaxed and had spent their money vacationing etc. New priorities and schedules emerged with “back to school”. Not to mention the weather in Seattle has been beautiful. A massage or hair cut may have simply fallen lower on the list of priorities. Some sighted larger trends such as the current market place uncertainty; the election; even natural disasters. We know that our clients subconsciously make decisions regarding their spending habits based on these outside influences, however the question remained. Where did our clients go?
Being self-employed has many benefits. If you choose you can live your dream. The opportunity becomes incorporating a lifestyle where what we have to do transforms into what we want to do in a way that becomes transparent. Our lives can become a rich tapestry, which flows as independently to the outside world as we choose. We are happy innerprenurs (Tanya Joyce's Biznik article) creating our own life, path, etc. However, the downside is that we are responsible for our business: trend or no trends.
Having confidence that we had created an innerprenural lifestyle a bigger question presented itself: what happens when our "flow" is undermined and suddenly clients disappear? In times of shortage we can easily undermine our sense of worth, value, and confidence. However, we know as small business owners we can't afford to loose ourselves when our business hits a lull!
So what do we do to protect our businesses and our livelihood? Start with what you have control over.
Be prepared! Ask yourself what does being prepared mean to me? What do I need to better navigate times like these in the future? Be truthful about what forces you have seen influence your clientele over the years, and take note of the trends. Review your business practices over the past year. Find what you can improve upon and apply to next year.
Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. See this for what it is, a lull. Do not let it tarnish your inner beliefs about yourself and the valued service you provide.
Find the opportunity. There is always a hidden gem. Utilize this time to regenerate yourself, and your business. Give yourself permission to see if you need anything. Take care of yourself and the business will follow.
Reconnect. Reconnect with yourself and with others. Take the opportunity to unravel your mind. Have fun and find some creative ways to network. Get inspired by revisiting your goals and visions. Look for new tools to add to your toolbox.
Responsibility. Be knowledgeable and truthful about your circumstances being careful to not fall victim to them. The bills will get paid. (Sometimes even miraculously.) Be flexible and creative. Sometimes the solutions we seek are outside of the box we know.
Take out the trash. Clean house. Physically and metaphysically. Include worry, anxiety and all the other emotions that are not helpful over the issue at hand.
Our answer appeared. Our clients haven’t “gone anywhere”. They will return. Business will resume. The challenge as a small business owner is surmountable. The opportunity has been recognized. If you choose the gift, lulls can become opportunities. We are fortunate as innerprenurs to have a moment to reflect on how we can continue to live our best lifestyle. Seize the moment and do your best.
Learn more about the author, Camille S. Clark.
Comment on this article
Posted by Gabriella Sannino, San Francisco, California |
Sep 20, 2008
Posted by shirli millmond, Tucson, Arizona |
Sep 20, 2008
Thank you for your wonderful article. I agree, the point it NEVER TO GIVE UP ! if you passionate about your business keep going! a baby never start running when he is born, and even when he fall he keep on trying! remember WHY you doing what you doing and that will keep you running :) Shirli Millmond Strategic Life Balance LLC www.strategiclifebalance.com Tucson AZ 85718
Posted by Suzette West, Port Orchard, Washington |
Sep 20, 2008
Well said and written! Thanks for posting.
Posted by emily lauderback, Seattle, Washington |
Sep 23, 2008
Great article! With what has been happening in the economy in the last year, it has been an almost daily challenge to not allow many of the old psychological/emotional records to play in my head. You've referred to many of them here, so it's nice validation of the work I've been finding myself having to do this year.
Also have to say how nice it is to see you here! I believe I received fabulous massages from you in the Medical/Dental Building back in '93? Incredible how time flies and that I still get to receive some of your healing now! :)
Posted by Kristine Proctor, Renton, Washington |
Sep 26, 2008
thank you for this article. I've been feeling a lot of the things you said..makes me feel a bit better knowing that I'm not alone with those feelings!
Posted by Camille S. Clark, Seattle, Washington |
Oct 03, 2008
whew! our business climate has changed drastically from when I first wrote this article. Daily, with every news headline we watched as the "lull" I described turn into a longer what might be an indefinite shift. I felt I had to say something in response to these daily shifts, because the relevance of this article now is pointing to something much bigger. Although what we can do remains the same. There is a much broader sense of purpose behind each step. What will our future hold in the service industry? What will I need to do to be prepared? My unscientific survey says that business has shifted as much as 50% for some. This has left some of us radically thinking about what might serve us best as a small business? And implementing those answers sooner than later.
Thanks for everyone's feedback! Camille
Posted by Courtney Putnam, Seattle, Washington |
Oct 05, 2008
I resonated with your article, so thank you! My goodness, I have felt a big lull in my business -- and now, I too, am wondering what shifts to make for the long haul.
I love your point about finding the opportunity, the hidden gem. I know it is somewhere; I just need to open my mind and heart a little wider to find it.
- small business
- self employed
- healing arts