“I have nothing to do” – said no business owner ever. Yet most businesses experience a “busy season,” followed by a period when business is slooooow. For example, product-based businesses tend to slow down during the summer months only to ramp up through the holidays. Wedding professionals may experience the opposite– busy summer months, punctuated with slower winters. Whatever may be the case for you, take advantage of slower paced days by using the time to tend to projects that you’ve been putting on the back-burner during the rest of the year. Here are twelve ideas to keep you busy when business slows down:
1. Catch up on content creation for the coming months. When you’re in the midst of running the day-to-day activities of your business, it can feel like SUCH a chore to write a blog post, send out a newsletter, or prepare your social media posts. Create a content calendar and batch process these elements as much as you can, so you’ve got a library of content that you can pull from during the course of the year.
2. Pitch content ideas to magazines, blogs, and podcasters for some extra exposure.
4. Learn something new. Is there a topic that you’ve been meaning to learn more about? Whether it’s related to business or just for fun – use this time to brush up on old skills or pick up some new ones.
5. Reach out and connect with others. Whether you schedule phone calls, Skype chats, or coffee dates, take this time to establish relationships or reconnect with those you’ve lost touch with. You never know what kind of collaboration opportunities might come about.
6. Do you find yourself doing the same task over and over again – like sending out contracts or answering the same questions about your services and products? Think about how you can systemize these activities so that you can recoup some of that precious time spent doing these redundant tasks. For example, you can set up template email responses to your most commonly asked questions or create templates of frequently used documents.
7. Upgrade your technology. In my business, every piece of technology is like my team member. Good software helps me get things done more efficiently and cost-effectively. What are some pieces of technology that you need to invest in or upgrade? Take this time to learn how to best use that tech for your business.
8. Review your client experience from start to finish to identify where you can deliver better customer support. Send your customers a survey, or better yet, pick up the phone and call your clients/customers to learn more about their needs, then use that insight to improve your business.
9. Review your sales over the last period to understand what products/services are selling like hot-cakes. Consider eliminating or tweaking what isn’t working and driving attention to what is working.
10. Revisit your social media accounts to update profiles to reflect your current services/products and engage with your followers.
11. If you’re not already keeping track of the key numbers in your business, then start doing so. Here’s a template of the monthly report I use.
12.. Find time to relax and recharge. Running your own business can be consuming, so take advantage of this moment of pause to rest and reconnect with life outside of your business.