What To Do When Your Design Business is Slow?

Design Business Can Be Tough

Do you experience dry periods within the course of your design business? It is inevitable, and any type of design business typically experiences some periods, especially during holidays where there are fewer projects. No need to worry, here are some valuable tips you can use to maximize the slow times and get the most out of it.

  1. Assess your marketing efforts. Look for new profitable ways to promote your design business. It can be little stuff that will make you get easily noticed in the crowd will make a difference. Integrate every possible marketing opportunity available, such as social media, web banners, email marketing, etc. Create special offers and try new method of advertising. Assess the marketing part of your business and decide if it’s enough, of if you can improve.
  2. Update your Blog. Typically, blogs are often ignored during busy days. This can be the perfect time to update it. Remember that this also contributes on your business, so keeping it updated can attract new clients and interested readers. Post something interesting and relevant to what you are doing. Also try creating a schedule for new posts, so even at busy days, your blog will be stay updated.
  3. Learn new skills or enhance what you already have. Since most market the growth is fast-paced, it always pays to take some time researching the latest trends and other related topics. Internet resources are limitless, but don’t forget about reading magazines and books. Spend some time watching tutorials, and devote some time to practicing it to get better at what you are doing. Acquisition of new skills can also be helpful in your current work.
  4. Look for possible side-niches. Visit other people’s websites and read their blogs to find out what they do. Surely you can find something valuable, which you can add to your offerings. They may give you new ideas to improve the services you offer, as well as develop new ones. This can be a great tool for brainstorming.
  5. Do a personal project which will showcase your skills. Don’t wait for a perfect project to come along where you can use all your skills. Combine your skills with your knowledge and develop a product you can sell or give away.
  6. Assess your overall efficiency. Look at your past goals and see if you accomplished them or not. If not, look for new ways to help you to work much more efficiently.
  7. Make future plans. If you’ve already accomplished your goals, try creating new ones. It will be much better to have it in writing so you can easily assess your progress. You can also set plans for other areas of your design business.
  8. Go through the Finances. Assure that everything is up-to-date about plans, invoices, bills and savings. You can also make decisions and plans associated with your present slow period. An overall assessment and evaluation of this situation will help you determine whether you generate enough savings to cover this period. The last thing you want to do is not have enough savings to carry you through slow times.
  9. Portfolio Updating. Your recent and best projects can show how versatile you are, which can lead to investment in the future. Many designers neglect updating their portfolios. Slow times are perfect for this. Create a few PR pieces and get the word out about your latest projects and watch the work come pouring in.
  10. Contact your recent clients. Clients love being remembered, and as long as you don’t seem desperate, this will help you acquire further projects. Following up with clients is a huge part of a successful design business.


Slow times are inevitable in and design business. It can be due to the economy, tough competition, or newer technology. There are many different factors that can contribute to slow business. However, if you are careful, you’ll have savings to carry you through, and you can use this time to grow your business even bigger and better than before. Have you ever seen a slow time in your design business? What did you do to get through it? I would love to hear your stories. Please share them in the comments section below.

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