How to grow your business when times are tough

You know that feeling when you feel like there’s a weight on top off you? Almost like something is holding you down, so you can’t get up? Or the feeling of being so overwhelmed that it’s almost hard to breathe?

If you answered yes, it’s likely you’re a small business owner too. That’s what it can be like sometimes, right? Tough times come and suddenly you’re tossing and turning all through the night, awoken by anxiety and worry because you don’t know how you’re ever going to get through it.

I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone. Even after 20 years in business, I still have these sleepless nights. I still have these feels of heavy weight and breathlessness.

To be honest, it doesn’t go away, it’s part of being a small business owner, but you do learn to cope better.

Because I have been through this many times myself, I have some tips on how to grow your business when times are tough.  So, sit down, grab a cuppa and let’s have a chat.


Use Social Media

You’re on social media. How do I know this? Because chances are, that’s how you found me. I bet you are you watch my morning coffee chats on Instagram and now you’re reading this while drinking your own coffee. There’s also more than 4.2 billion active social media users across the globe, so the odds are in my favour here.

But are you using it? Like properly using it to your advantage? I see so many businesses on Instagram who post and ghost, never appear on their stories and have zero consistency. These accounts and businesses are rarely successful.  

You’ve got nothing to lose by showing up consistently on your Instagram feed each day! For me, this means saying hello on my stories a few times a week with my ‘morning coffee chat’ (you know the ones). How you choose to show up doesn’t matter, you just need to do it!

There’s literally no easier way to get your content right in the palm of your ideal customer’s hands (and heads).

You might be thinking “um no it’s not easy, Lala. It’s really hard!” whilst rolling your eyes. No, it isn’t, you just need the useful tips and tricks that I use for my own Instagram and my clients! With my Instagram Masterclass you have no excuse not to give getting social a shot.


Reach out to existing clients

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. Stop trying to convert new customers, when it’s sooooo much easier to convert existing ones!

Think about your existing clients or ones you’ve worked with before.  What do they need? What new service or product could they benefit from?  What do you already offer that could help them, that they may not even know about?

You need to remind them that you exist. Stay in touch with them by sending a newsletter. Or better yet, make it personal and email each client directly to see how they’re going. PLEASE don’t just send them a generic email template – you won’t get a reply.

Make the subject line personal, reference something specific about them or their business – make it funny and let them know you care.


Find your tribe

Small business life can be extremely lonely and this can really suck!

You might find you talk to yourself on a regular basis or feel like banging your head against the wall when you just can’t make a decision, because you have no one to bounce ideas off.

Instead of giving yourself a headache or worse, a dent on that pretty head of yours, find your tribe. We all need one – even the most introverted and independent business owners need their own private cheerleaders

Attending networking events and connecting and learning from others is another great way to get into the groove with other small business owners just like you. We’re social creatures after all.

Reach out and make connections and find your tribe. You might be surprised how much you have in common and wonder how you ever survived without the awesome support you’ll receive.


Tackle your to-do list

My current to-do list has about 99 items on it (and that’s for just one of my businesses). You know what I’m talking about. Every day you seem to be adding new items, instead of removing them and you begin to feel like you’re being dunked under a heavy wave with all your tasks literally washing on top of you.

Well, one of the positives about a quiet time in your business, is actually being able to get this shit done and get back on top and surf that wave!

Whether your task is a big one like writing a new course or creating a new product, or something a little smaller like catching up on all your admin, or watering the office plants that are slowly dying in the corner, quiet time is productive time (at least it should be). When business picks up (and it will), you’ll be wishing for more free time. So, use the time you have now wisely.

I also use this quite time to re-charge myself. I give myself permission not to ‘do it all’ and take some time to recharge and rest instead. You can’t run your business when your battery is dead.


Keep going

When you feel ready to throw in the towel or quite literally scream, cry and hide under your desk – don’t! Pick yourself up and keep going instead.

Results don’t happen overnight (for anyone – even if they say they do on Instagram) and the best quality you can embody as a small business owner is resilience.

Keep putting in the work, keep showing up and keep taking each day as it comes.  Sure, some days will be tougher than others. And some days, you may want to go back to bed, crawl under the covers and cry, but every morning is a chance to hit the reset button.

Hit the reset button and keep going. I’ll be watching to make sure you do!


Ask for help

You want to ask for help, but you’re afraid. You feel like asking for help means you’ve failed or you’re not a good enough business owner. You’re embarrassed that you’ll ask a stupid question or be judged for asking it.

If you feel this way, you need to get over yourself. It may sound harsh, but it’s true. If you never get over that fear and ask for help, you’ll forever be in the same position you’re in now. And do you really want to be in the same position you’re in now, a year from now?  Didn’t think so.

Don’t just ask anyone for help either. There’s a lot of people on Instagram ready to give out advice, but are they in a position to do so? Do they have the relevant experience and have they been where you are now?

Ask someone who has been where you are now, understands exactly what you’re going through and knows how to help you get to where you want to be.

Over my 20 + years in business, I’ve been exactly where you are right now (and it wasn’t as long ago as you might think). I’m here to answer your questions, without any judgement.


Ask for help and book an hour of power with me today.

Haven’t finished your coffee yet?  Browse my free resources.


With kindness – Lala xo

Making small business better