Not all businesses are madly busy all year round. For some business owners, the summer is quiet. For others, it's quiet in winter. The peaks and troughs of business in a small business are commonly experienced and much discussed at networking. Whilst it's nice to have some time to yourself, it's also rather worrying from an income point of view. For those who have been in business long enough to recognise the pattern that their business follows, they can plan ahead for this. For those who are fairly new to the business and have not yet identified a pattern, it can be very worrying.
If you feel that your downtime is related to a reduction in your work pipeline, then marketing during this time should be a priority. For those who know they have work on the horizon but a waiting period for it to land, these downtimes are a great opportunity to get some much-needed downtime, catch up with family or have a weekend away.
These quiet periods are also a great opportunity to do all the tasks you didn't have time for when you were busy. I keep an ongoing list of tasks suited to quiet times and use that to guide my activities if work slacks off a bit. I find late December and early January quite quiet for me, so I do my GDPR updates and annual business plan during this time, then tackle those tasks that have got left when I've been too busy to attend to them.
When it's quiet in the business, you can get to the point where you aren't sure what tasks it would be best to do to get your business fighting fit and ready to go when the roller coaster starts to climb again.
Common Tasks that get left which you might want to look at are:
Ensure your accounting software is fully updated with all transactions matched, receipts uploaded and reconciliations completed.
Ensure your CRM is up to date
Order business cards, stationery etc
Tidy up the forty-five thousand emails in your inbox and put the important ones into folders, deleting all those emails you no longer need.
Tidying your desk and any paper filing systems
Are you keen to replace something in your business but have not had time to research options? Now could be a great time to do that.
Clear out old documents on your computer to free up storage.
Check the accuracy of your website.
Get Ahead of Yourself
Write some blogs and social media posts so that you have these available when you get busy and need something to fill a gap in marketing.
Examine your marketing materials and ensure they are fully up to date. Order any shortfalls in hard copy marketing collateral.
Research new social media or marketing ideas to use in your business
Gather testimonials and use these to create social media posts or add them to your website.
Create email or Word templates for key activities to streamline these.
Planning for Growth and Increasing Knowledge
Update your business plan.
Review your business processes.
Make improvements to day-to-day work methods.
Research ways to streamline processes so you can work smarter, not harder, when business picks up again.
Learn a new package, skill or process, which you can then offer as a service.
Read business books
Check out ideas in your own sector to keep up with the latest innovations.
Engage in discussions on Social Media to keep your business profile visible and show your skills and abilities in the best light.
If you aren’t sure where to start and need a hand, don't hesitate to get in touch with me.