What to do when business is slow

What to do when business is slow // erineflynn.com

We’ve all been there, things are going along swimmingly and then suddenly we hit a lull in business. It’s scary financially, and if you’re like me, after about 48 hours you’re thinking no one will ever hire you again and you should just give up and WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU EVEN THINKING?!

Then you drink half a hard cider, pass on the couch while watching CSI:NY, and wake up the next morning feeling like a hungover loser.

It’s cool though, because after you repeat this process a few times you’ll realize that lulls in business can be FUN. And they can actually help you improve your business and make it better!

So stop drowning your sorrows in Angry Orchard and cheesy crimes, and do one of these instead!

Write blog posts

This is something I wish I did more often–creating a backlog of blog posts for when I’m too busy to blog. Having a collection of posts you can schedule for when things pick back up means you won’t be scrambling for a blog post when you really need one!

Create an e-course or write an e-book

Passive income is awesome, and while I’m only making about $200/month passively at the moment, it’s a really nice little bonus! The problem is that when I’m busy with client work I have trouble finding the time and motivation to work on products that will bring me more passive income–so I enjoy lulls in my business that allow me to get this work done! The added bonus of products like courses and books is that they allow clients who might not be ready to invest in your premium offerings to give you a kind of test drive to see if they’d like to hire you in the future–so even free courses and books can be hugely beneficial to your business!

Update your website

With designers, our sites are always the LAST things we work on. We tend to forget to update our portfolios, tweak that wonky bit on our sidebar (because only WE notice it anyhow), and make sure our offerings reflect what we really want to offer clients. So use this time to chip away at that to-do list you’ve been keeping mentally for your own site!

Create new packages (and tweak old ones)

Sometimes packages sell like hotcakes, other times we can’t seem to give them away. Use the lull in working with clients to tweak and adjust any design or development packages to what will appeal more to your audience–or nix them completely and start over from scratch! You can use this time to talk to potential clients and figure out exactly what it is they need, and build your packages around this new info. Oh, and while you’re at it, remove ANYTHING from your site you no longer want to offer!

Take a class

What better time to learn something new to improve your business? Whether it’s a class on design, development, copy writing, or Twitter, use this time to your advantage! If you’re like me you don’t have time for this stuff when you’re juggling clients, so get those mad skillz now! Your new skills can attract more clients, whether the copy on your website is just better, or you’re able to offer an entirely new range of services!

Enjoy the vacation!

It can be hard when you’ve got bills to pay, but if money isn’t an immediate issue (because you have savings like a good entrepreneur, right?) treat yourself to some quiet reading time, mid-day naps, lunch out with a friend, or a clean house (because who has time to clean when they’ve got client projects?). You don’t have to actually go anywhere (unless you want to!), but use the time to relax and recharge and do something for yourself. When work picks back up, you’ll be fully energized and ready to go!

Dig this article? Share it!

What do you do when your business is slow?

How to update your internal URLs

How to update your internal URLs // erineflynn.com

I recently (well, this year) merged my business website and personal blog together. Consequently, old links in my blog posts, attachments, and pages were still pointed at my old domain name. Although I have a redirect on that domain to my new one, I’d rather just have everything updated to my new URL in case I ditch ownership of my old domain in the future. But I definitely did NOT want to go through every post and change every link, so here’s what I did instead!

Velvet Blues Update URLs plugin updates:

  • Links in pages, posts, and revisions
  • Attachment links (for images, documents, and other media)
  • URLs in custom fields and meta boxes
  • URLs in excerpts

I’ve used this plugin numerous times for client sites as well–I love how easy it is to use, and how quick everything gets updated. It’s not just for new domains–if you move WordPress to a new directory or subdomain you’ll need to update your URLs as well.

You can download the Velvet Blue Update URLs plugin here, or just search for it from your WP admin.

Dig this video? Share it!

What I’m working on

Projects and services I am working on // erineflynn.com

I’ve had to re-plan my month a bit since things I had scheduled time for didn’t work out as planned, and then I was left with some gaps in my schedule. But I feel like I’m getting back on track, at least somewhat!

I just launched my consultation packages (that page needs some graphics or something on it–boring). I get emails all the time with people wanting to pick my brain, so now we can chat for an hour and I’ll send you all sorts of resources and action steps to take to jazz up your website or help you with your business. If you’d like to pick my brain for a few months, there’s that option too!

I’m also working on a NEW group program/course for web designers to help them get their design business started off on the right foot!. I’m still nailing down the details, but check it out here! I’m really excited about it!

Development has been my main project lately, so I need to tweak my design/development offerings to reflect that, but I’m looking to partner with some designers on the regular so if you think we’d be a good fit, drop me a line!

I started reading Gary Vaynerchuk’s Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, but to be honest, I’m finding it pretty boring so far. Sorry, Gary. I did dig Laura Husson’s free Twitter training. Maybe my attention span is just too short for books lately.

I’ve got some plans in the works with a few designers and some different projects, which I’m having fun with. More on that once things are finalized!

There’s gonna be a new logo around here! I’ve hired Lindsay Goldner to give my logo a makeover (since I’ve now merged my sites I need something that better reflects my new business style). I hate doing my own branding–I’m just too close to the whole thing–so figured it was best to hire out and save myself the headache. Excited to see what she comes up with, I’m sure it’ll be awesome (no pressure, Lindsay)!

Blogging regularly has fallen a bit by the wayside, so I’m drafting up a bunch of post ideas to get back into the swing of things.

Aaaand I’m taking some more advanced development courses so I can kick even more ass in my business and finally beat the shit out of PHP without breaking a sweat.

What are you up to?

Check this out!

Make the logo bigger!

Remember when I used to do fun links every week? No? Well I did. Anyhow, they’re back! Here are fun links from all over the internet!

If you like Bob’s Burgers, you need to follow this Tina Twitter account!

I’ve been digging Laura Husson’s Fame in 140 free video series!

I recently “met” Kim Lawler and love her work!

How about a better way to get new clients?

I really wanna go to Medano Creek!

I’m also very seriously trying to get to Create Code Connect–anyone else going?

Now get the heck off your computer and go enjoy the weekend!

B-School Update

B-School 2014 - Dropping out and moving on // erineflynn.com

Hey guys! Because I’ve been blogging about my progress through B-School I thought I owed it to you to let you know that I dropped out because it wasn’t a good fit for me. I had a really long blog post written about my why I made my decision, but apparently it violates the B-School terms. All I can tell you is that my own personal experience in B-School was not good at all. I personally felt stressed, stifled, and disappointed. I personally didn’t see any results (granted, I only completed 3 weeks). I think that’s about all I can say!

Hercules sums up how I felt pretty well:

As much as it kills me to not be honest with you guys (you know that’s what I base my business on!) please respect that I am unable to answer questions relating to my decision to drop out as it involves other people and I must respect their privacy. The long and short of it is that B-School and I were not a good match.

In other news, I’ve signed up for some fun web development courses to give my business a boost, and will continue to make some changes around here as I refocus my business!