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How To Navigate Slow Business Periods | Strategies for Coaches

  • POSTED ON JANUARY 10, 2024

6 Smart Hacks to Overcome Slow Months for Your Coaching Business

 Happy New Year fellow Co-Actives! If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably experienced the roller-coaster ride that is running a coaching business. There are highs, there are lows, and then there are those slow months that can feel like an uphill battle.  

The summer and Christmas periods, in particular, often bring with them a drought in client enrolments, both on the private and corporate fronts. It’s a challenge we all face, and the stress of it can trigger all sorts of fears around money.

 Let’s face it: nobody likes slow months. But as a Co-Active business mentor, I’m here to share some proven hacks and business strategies that will not only help you survive these challenging times but also set the stage for your coaching business to thrive in the long run.

Overview: Slow Months and the Fear of the Unknown

 Summer and Christmas: two times of the year when the coaching industry tends to hit a speed bump. The usual hustle and bustle take a back seat as potential clients prioritize holidays and festive preparations over personal and professional development. The result? A dip in enrolments, and suddenly, your income stream looks a bit thin. 

And it’s not just these specific periods. Throughout the year, there are natural quieter times when the flow of income slows down. As coaches, we understand that, but the question is how do we navigate these downturns without succumbing to the fears that inevitably creep in, especially around money?

Proven Hack #1: Manage Your Money Wisely

One of the foundational hacks for thriving through a downturn is smart money management. Create a cash buffer in your business, aiming for a safety net of around $30,000.  

Having this financial cushion empowers you to make decisions based on strategy rather than fear. It’s a game-changer that allows you to weather the storm and make choices that align with your long-term vision.

Proven Hack #2: Manage Your Mindset

In the world of coaching, as you know, mindset is everything. Take a closer look at your existing money mindset, and identify any saboteurs that might be lurking in the shadows.

Fear-based decision-making can be a significant roadblock to business growth. Work with your coach to address these issues head-on. After all, the right mindset is the key to unlocking your business’s full potential. 

Proven Hack #3: Stay on Social

Just because potential clients might be on holiday doesn’t mean you should take a break from social media.  

Keep posting high-value content that resonates with your ideal clients. Use this time to build anticipation and create a waitlist for when the new season kicks in.

Consistency in your online presence is crucial, and it pays off in the long run.

Proven Hack #4: Use Your Time Wisely

Slow months can be a blessing in disguise. Instead of stressing over the lack of clients, use this time as an opportunity to refresh your content, reorganize your systems, redesign your programs, and give your website a facelift. A well-used downtime can set the stage for a more efficient and streamlined coaching business, especially when things get busy again.

Proven Hack #5: Offer Seasonal Workshops and Events

Create something special for your clients during the slow months. Consider offering seasonal workshops and events, such as a New Year Visioning Workshop for private clients or a workshop addressing a key pain point for corporate clients, for example, my Screw Meditation! workshop.

 Doing these gets you in front of groups of your ideal clients and provides a perfect opportunity for you to show how you might be able to help them.

Proven Hack #6: Maintain a Consistent Marketing and Outreach Plan

Do not fall into the trap of marketing only when things get quiet.

Keep a consistent marketing and outreach plan throughout the year. Whether you’re busy or experiencing a lull, having a steady flow of marketing efforts ensures that you’re on the radar of potential clients.

Even after 15 years in the business, I dedicate at least one day a week to marketing, regardless of how busy I am.

 These 6 hacks show how slow months don’t have to be synonymous with business struggle. By implementing these proven coaching business hacks, you can not only navigate the downturns but thrive through them.

Remember, it’s not about finding quick fixes; it’s about building a resilient coaching business that can withstand the ebb and flow of the competitive coaching industry.

Worksheet: Thriving Through the Downturn

Reflect on Your Coaching Business:

  1. How comfortable do you feel with your current cash buffer in the business?
  2. What money mindset challenges or saboteurs have you identified? How can you address them?
  3. How consistent is your social media presence? What steps can you take to improve it?
  4. What areas of your business could benefit from a refresh during slower periods?
  5. Are you currently offering any seasonal workshops or events? If not, what ideas can you brainstorm?

Action Steps: 

  1. Plan and implement steps to increase your cash buffer over the next six months.
  2. Schedule a session with your coach to work on your money mindset and address any identified saboteurs.
  3. Develop a content calendar for consistent social media posting during slow months.
  4. Identify specific areas of your business that need refreshing, and create a plan to tackle them.
  5. Brainstorm and plan at least one seasonal workshop or event for the next slow period.

Building Business Resilience

Remember, thriving through the downturn is not just about surviving — it’s about using these moments to strengthen and grow your coaching business. Happy coaching! 

If you feel like now is the time to develop your coaching business to thrive through every season, take a look at my Successful Coach program or get in touch directly to arrange a discovery call:



Sue Belton
Written By

Sue Belton  

Sue started her coach training and business during the recession of 2008, and quickly realised that if she wanted to be a full-time coach, she needed to learn how to run a successful business. Having been an employee her whole life, she had zero business experience, and had to learn fast. Sue now extols the virtues of learning to market, ‘sell’ (often a dirty word to most coaches), create compelling coaching programmes, and get a handle on the day-today runnings of a business – all in service of enabling you to be out in the world doing the impactful work of Co-Active coaching. She has been voted Best Female Entrepreneur, Best Coach, her book Change Your Life in 5, was nominated for Best Self-Help Book, and her podcast ChangeMakers has been downloaded in twenty eight countries.  

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