How to make the most of small business downtime

As summer approaches and the weather gets warmer, many small business owners start to feel the pinch. Unless you are in retail, business usually slows down as people spend more time out of the office, embark on their summer holidays and generally just get into the Christmas spirit.  

If you are still putting in the hours at the office, don’t spend your time getting frustrated by unanswered emails or twiddling your thumbs as you wait for phone calls. Business downtime is the perfect time to start preparing for the next rush.  

Here are some ideas of how you can use your time when business slows down: 

Research – Remember that cool app someone told you about that would streamline your social media activities? Or that piece of software that simplifies all your tax? Look into it now, and any other technology that can create efficiencies in your business. 

Educate yourself – Is there a course, maybe online, that you’ve always wanted to do but never had the time? Now you have. 

Get online – Review your online presence critically. Update your website, add fresh content and tend to your social media. Are you putting your efforts into the right places?  

Look forward and back – Dust off your business plan and update it. Review the year that was and set some new goals. 

Keep marketing – When business slows down, sometimes the first sacrifice is marketing, but often this is when you should market the most. Update your marketing strategy and materials, and remind people you are still there. 

Review your finances – How is your cashflow looking? How can you cut costs or speed up payments? Do you have any big ticket items you need to plan for?    

Spring clean – Tidy up not just your physical space but also your electronic space. Filing conventions tend to take on a life of their own over time – use your downtime to bring them back into line. 

Trim the fat – How can you create more value for less? Applying “lean” methodology helps to create maximum customer value with minimum waste. How you can improve your processes and other functions to be more efficient? 

Say thanks – Thank your staff and your customers. When things get busy, it’s hard to find the time to show gratitude but if you make the effort, people appreciate it.  

Take time off – If you’ve done all you can do, take some well-deserved time off knowing that your business will be shipshape when you return.   

Check out these suggestions on how to spring clean your business

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