Most businesses experience slow periods when the market for their goods or services lessens and sales drop. Business owners might be tempted to view down times as unproductive or wasted, but there are ways you can make the most of your business during these seasons.
Here are five ways to ensure this time isn’t wasted.
1. Take a good look at your business
When things are busy it gets easy to fall into a habit of taking care of day-to-day tasks and forgetting about your overall business picture. Slower times are a great opportunity to step back from the daily grind and undertake some business planning. Ask yourself if your business is still moving towards its goals, what opportunities or challenges are on the horizon, and whether it’s time to try something new.
Examine various aspects of your business, such as your marketing and sales, to see if they’re all working together or if they need revising. Is your social media account information still accurate? Do you have unanswered emails to respond to? When was the last time you posted on your blog? Should your website be updated?
This is a great time to take care of those tasks that have been put off for far too long.
2. Get bold with your marketing
When business is booming, entrepreneurs often prioritize tasks that are directly related to profits, and other activities—such as marketing—take a back seat. Rather than using downtimes to catch up, use them to experiment with new tactics. Have you tried creating marketing videos? Used Instagram Live? Sent out direct mail?
Write blog and social media posts ahead of time. Strategize your next marketing campaign and commit to posting on social media every day. If you have time, build up a backlog of posts so when things get busy again you have pre-written content.
You can also use this time to learn tactics and tricks you may not fully understand. If you like writing your own marketing materials but don’t understand search engine optimization (SEO) or Google Analytics this is a good time to learn about them. Professional development now can help you in the future.
3. Implement new policies and procedures
If there are changes you want to make in your business, slower times are often a good opportunity to try them. That way, you have the chance to review the modifications and whether they work well for you before they cause a massive headache.
Are you considering switching shipping companies? Do you want a new web hosting service? Are you looking to automate some client-facing activities? Make these changes during a slow period to get a good feel for how well they work. At least then you can address challenges that arise before things get busy and you’re left dealing with a lot of upset customers.
4. Review whether outsourcing would work for your business
When business is slower it’s a great time to think about efficiency. Are there areas of your business that are not core to your day-to-day activities? Would you benefit from economies of scale? Is one of your employees spending too long on transactional processes and their skills would be better employed in managing or decision making? If this is the case, then maybe it’s time to think about outsourcing.
Find out more about which staff roles you can outsource and how this can help your business.
5. Connect with your community
Quieter periods are a perfect time to get more involved with your community and do some good. Find a local organization that you care about—or that’s related to the work your business does—and partner with them. You could sponsor an event or a seminar, or even run a fundraising drive.
Not only will you have something to talk about on your social media, you’ll engage customers that care about purchasing from companies that do good. These days, that’s important to a lot of consumers. According to Forbes, 88% of consumers will be more loyal to a company that supports social or environmental issues, and 87% will have a more positive image of a company that supports social or environmental issues.
Remember that business won’t always be slow, so don’t panic when things get quiet. Take the opportunity to reflect on your business, make necessary changes, consider outsourcing, try new marketing tactics and connect with your community. Doing so can help you make the most of your downtime so your business can rebound more effectively.
And if you don’t have any downtime? Maybe it’s time to seriously think about outsourcing!
To discuss how The Back Room can help your business, give us a call.