What to do when you’re not getting bookings

Cassie helps Timely customers find more bookings
Cassie Mendoza-Jones
Kinesiologist, Naturopath & Author
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I remember being worried about a slow client week early on in my business. The very first time it happened, it was school holidays and I was suddenly not getting bookings. My client calendar went from full to one client in a matter of days.

My colleagues and friends told me not to worry; it was school holidays after all. Except I was very worried! My clients weren’t mums or kids, so how could school holidays be affecting them? Why was I not getting bookings?

There weren’t a lot of things that could calm my nerves during that week. I stressed the entire time about how I’d pay my clinic rent, and about figuring out what was happening to my business.

The truth is, slow client weeks happen.

If it’s happening to you, it doesn’t mean you’re bad at your business. And not getting bookings for a bit doesn’t mean your business is failing.

What it could mean is that it’s school holidays (jokes! Or not jokes, if your clients are mums and kids), that you’re exhausted, that you don’t have the space or proper procedures set up for a busy client week, or other reasons, be they mental, emotional, physical, spiritual or energetic.

Through working with clients in my clinic since 2011, I’ve had my fair share of slow client weeks. In fact, I’ve had a couple this year and I know exactly why that was: it’s been an intensely transformational year for my business. While I was busy writing and creating my Heartfelt Harmony Society and writing my book, You Are Enough, I didn’t have the space for a fully booked client calendar like I did in the past. Instead, I had space to write and create.

During those intense creative cocoon periods, I wasn’t stressed because I was purposefully closing off my calendar from my lovely clients in order to have more space and time to write. I’m now able to look up from my desk, so to speak, and remember what it felt like when I’d stress myself out if I wasn’t as busy as I thought I should be. Which, by the way, is just something our ego tells us!

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to how many clients you see per week, or on which days – make it work for you.

If it works for you, then you’ll find it also works for your clients.

I absolutely love coaching people straight out of college or in the building stages of their businesses. Often they need clarity on where to invest their time and energy, how to move forward and how to get unstuck and clear any blocks that are holding them back from creating the most amazing business.

I thought I’d give you some insight I’ve gained over the years into some things you can do the next time you experience a slow client week.

Check in with your energy levels

As I mentioned, I’ve had my fair share of slow client weeks. I still have slow clients weeks when I’m feeling tired, when my schedule is too full and I’m wondering how I’ll make more time for things, or when my mind is on a huge project in my business.

The universe will deliver you what you need, whether you think you need it or not. Sometimes this feels stressful, as you wonder how you’ll cover your business and living expenses if you’re not seeing enough clients. Know that it’s temporary, and there’s a reason for it.

By checking on your energy levels, you’re giving yourself the chance to speak up and say – Okay actually, I’m freaking exhausted. I say I want more clients but to be honest, if anyone else booked in this week I don’t think I’d be able to crawl my way to the weekend.

Yes that’s a little dramatic – but so is saying our business will be ruined because no one is booking in.

Release the drama, and have a very long restorative nap instead.

You’re also allowed to block off time if you’re tired; let’s say on the Tuesday you look ahead to Friday and it’s empty. Close the day off! Take the whole day to nourish yourself and do lovely, relaxing, restorative things that you absolutely need to be doing. Even if that means sitting on your couch with tea and a book and not writing a new blog post or newsletter or working on anything at all.

You’ll find that not only will your mind and body thank you for this deep rest, but new, insightful and clever ideas on how to grow your business may pop into your consciousness with the extra space. (I know because I did this exact thing recently and it was awesome.)

Free time is not wasted time.

An empty calendar is reflective of your low energy levels – fill yourself up first, then watch your calendar follow suit.

You’ll find that not only will your mind and body thank you for this deep rest, but new, insightful and clever ideas on how to grow your business may pop into your consciousness with the extra space.

Create space for new clients

Okay here’s a good question for you – do you actually have the SPACE for new clients?! This space could be:

  • physical (is your clinic/office tidy, open and ready to hold new energy?)
  • mental (see tip #1 – are you drained and exhausted?)
  • emotional (is your emotional energy tied up on big personal matters? Are you feeling down and unsupported?)
  • professional (do you feel uncertain on how or where to invest your energy, or how to move forward in your business?)

A little while ago I was having a couple of slow client weeks, and an idea came to me. I realized the system I used was incredibly full with outdated information on clients that had moved on.

I archived old files and made a ton of space for new clients… and guess what? Clients started booking in again.

You can use week when you’re not getting bookings to create more space so that you’re ready when new clients enter your business and your life.

The same thing goes for anything in your business that isn’t set up to easily accept new clients or new bookings. Is your booking system clunky? Do you send welcome emails to clients but rewrite them each time?

Tip: stop spending time rewriting the same email! Save one beautifully written email template as a draft to reuse.

What about other things such as taking payments or sending clients pre-session forms? Is that set up in a way that’s simple and easy for you and your clients? If it feels clunky to you, imagine how it feels for your client.

And what about your actual calendar? Are there open times and days for your clients?

Or have you opened too many times? What if every spot was to actually be booked up – would you feel overwhelmed or excited? If you have too many times open, you may be confusing your clients.

Imagine this conversation, if a client asked what time they could book in and you reply with – Oh yes well you could come on Monday, at 9am or 10am or 11am or 12om or 1pm or 2pm or Tuesday, again any time, or Wednesday… or actually just the whole week! You tell me! Anytime!?

Instead, open the days and times that work for you. You’re the business owner, and you can choose which days you work in your business and see clients, and which days you work on your business doing admin, writing, creating, etc.

For example, I mostly keep Mondays and Fridays off to work on my business and write, and I see clients Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I leave Thursdays for video and podcasts interviews. I’ve done this for years and it suits me the most, so I stick to it. I don’t feel guilty if a client asks to see me on a Friday; I’m just honest and I kindly say, I don’t see clients on Fridays but can you come on Tuesday?

It works for me, and it can work for you too.

Write a blog post your ideal client would drop everything to read

One of the best things I ever did for my business in the early stages to build my client base was write these two blog posts:

Do you know how many people Google the words ‘how to balance your hormones naturally’? Lots. Lots of people. I also offered the bloating post as a guest post when I first wrote it, and that one post got me 10 clients within a couple of weeks.

Those posts showed my ideal clients what I’m interested in (even though my focus has shifted quite a lot to the more mental, emotional and spiritual side of our well-being since then) and I was educating (and hopefully inspiring) them through my blog posts.

This tip has three benefits:

  • You’ll be adding content to your body of work by writing a blog post
  • You’ll be increasing your chances of being found in a Google search on a specific topic
  • You’ll be showing your ideal client that you can help them – somewhere in the post, mention how people can work with you if they’d like more support in healing from this issue. Then hit publish and wait for the queries!

And you had time to write this post because you had a slow client week. See, the universe IS looking out for you!

Invest some time in another project

Like the tip above, where you now have a little more time to write a blog post that can inspire new client bookings, use this time to build your business.

Maybe you’ve been wanting to rewrite (or write!) your business plan for months but feel as if you never have the time, or you’re always complaining to friends that you can never just sit down and brainstorm new ideas for your business.

Well, if you’re not getting any bookings, now you can! Maybe you spend this time researching new products, mapping out a new project, learning a new skill or perfecting an old one.

Use this time; you have it for a reason.

Look after yourself

And if you feel like doing nothing I’ve mentioned above (not even checking in with your energy levels), then you really are in need of some deep rest.

Use this time to simply do nothing, and give yourself time to refuel.

And please, don’t stress. I know that’s easier said than done. But a slow week is a slow week on purpose – the universe is giving you space you clearly need (but might not want to admit needing) to do something that needs to get done.

Whether that’s writing a blog post, creating space for new clients, starting or finishing a new project or just having an unexpected little break, let your slow weeks be just that – slow client weeks. They don’t spell the end of your business.

Slow client weeks simply redirect your energy to where it’s needed the most.>
If you’re not getting bookings, you’re being given space to focus on other important elements of your business and life – use the space with love!

Cassie has created a new program for health and wellness entrepreneurs: the Business Alignment Program, which includes not just 1:1 sessions with her (plus a range of other bonuses), but also full access to her Business Guide for Solo Wellness Entrepreneurs.

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