Keep Your Chin up When Business is Down

Like everything else in life, your business is going to go through ups and downs. When you’re riding on the upswing of things, life is great and it’s easy to build momentum. But when the chips are down, it can be very discouraging when you’re a business owner. You don’t have the security of a salaried employee, so there’s a lot of pressure to keep business coming in at a steady pace. Here are a few things to consider when business is slow.


  • The only surefire way to fail is to quit. When you’re in a business lull, the thought of quitting may cross your mind a time or two. You’ll never succeed in business if you throw in the towel before you’ve had your chance to truly shine. When times get tough, think of the real reasons why you’re in business for yourself. This could be as simple as providing a living for your family, making sure your kids get the opportunity to go to college or giving back to a cause that’s near and dear to your heart. Allow that driving force to motivate you and push you through the tough times to get to the success that’s just around the corner.
  • Anticipate the down times and make a game plan. We don’t live in a world, or an economy, where everything can be good for everybody all the time (though, wouldn’t that be lovely?). You have most likely already observed this about many aspects of life, and business isn’t any different. Knowing that there will be times when business will be slow, money will be tight and things will be tough and preparing for those times will help you get through them much more smoothly.
  • Keep a positive mindset. Henry Ford said it best, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” Having a negative mindset only makes things much tougher when business is down. Know that tough times are temporary, know that you can do this and forge ahead with a game plan about how you will make things better.
  • Read professional development books. A good way to keep a positive, entrepreneurial mindset is to read (daily, if possible) professional development books. These books are generally written for and by entrepreneurs and give excellent advice about how to run your business, stay positive when things get tough and how to strategize and regroup when things are consistently not going your way.
  • Take a good hard look at your business practices. Some down times are to be expected in business, but if you’re going through an extended cash drought, it might be time to take a critical look at how you’re doing business. Now is the time to listen not only to those around you but to the pulse of the business itself. Don’t be too attached to processes that might not be the most efficient. Maybe there are better ways for you to market your business. Perhaps you just need to get out there and network more. Get creative and use trial and error to see how you can work smarter.
 When times are easy, it’s also easy to take success for granted. It’s the hard times that will bring out your true character as a business owner and an individual. Stay positive, act thoughtfully and you will get back on the track to prosperity.

Katherine Gotthardt, CEO

Katherine Gotthardt, M.Ed., writing concentration, has been writing, editing and teaching for more than twenty years. For the past ten years, she has focused on content development and content marketing for small to mid-size businesses, writing and disseminating material that increases client visibility while supporting their brand. Besides being published in dozens of journals, Katherine has authored five books: Poems from the Battlefield, Furbily-Furld Takes on the World, Approaching Felonias Park, Weaker Than Water and Bury Me Under a Lilac. Learn more about her creative life at