When you are looking at the barriers to running your business efficiently and effectively, passive procrastination is the root of all evil. Essentially, this is putting off doing the things that need to be done, so use the downtime proactively to get things done!
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Time is our most valuable resource. During a downturn maximise the time and turn the downtime into an opportunity. Accomplish tasks and projects that will enhance your company’s future. Use the time to make a positive contribution to your team and business!
Catch Up On Reading
Use the time to finally finish that book or start reading something you have always wanted to read.
A few recommendations would be Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, Built to Last by Jim Collins, Grit by Angela Duckworth, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, Tools of the Titans by Tim Ferris and Jab Jab Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk.
If you are not a reader, checkout a podcast that serves you.
Learn To Learn
There are so many online courses available, find something that serves you and dive deeply into it. The more knowledge you acquire the broader your perspective.
You will maximise your return by focusing on things that serve your business. If you want to learn about it, Google will help you find it!
If you are stuck, ‘learn how to learn’. Check out this course by Dr Barbara Oakley. https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn
Check-In With Previous Clients
When was the last time you sent an email or called a client that you are no longer working with? Provide excellent customer service by checking in with past clients. This exercise alone will increase your referrals and revenue. People forget about you because they lead busy lives, so remind them you exist.
Review Your Game Plan
If you don’t have one this is your time to create one. Use this time to employ a strategy of doing today what will help you tomorrow. Set yourself up for success by doing the things you rarely have time to do. This is your opportunity to create or refine your game plan.
Review your offering and make the changes your customers want.
Revise Your Social Media Strategy
It’s hard work to stay up to date with the algorithm, so people commonly post randomly on their social media channels. They post at random times, the content lacks consistency and it’s likely not on brand.
Use this time to craft your social media strategy the right way and make it work for you.
Establish content pillars and make it fun and engaging.
A business page with nothing on it tells your suspect or prospect that you are closed for business and this is not good for business.
Brainstorm Creative Ways You Can Change Up Your Marketing.
Think on paper. That’s right use a pen & paper for this one, not a screen! A whiteboard and marker are useful and sticky pads work great!
After brainstorming, set your ideas aside for at least a day. If you have more ideas add to it, then categorise and prioritise each one. Pick the three that will create the most value to your customer and provide you with the most revenue.
Take These Three Ideas & Act On Them.
Start by describing the detail and sketch out what you envision.
Describe the purpose, outcomes and method. Set a schedule of when you will launch them and make sure you allocate resources and establish accountability.
Refine Your Systems
When you have no systems, your process gets lost. Systems and processes create accountability.
Start with your organisational chart which provides you with visibility of all the people in your business and use it to make sure the right people are in the right seats!
Review your position descriptions as this defines your people’s duties and responsibility and establish key performance indicators to ensure that things get measured and done.
Systemising your process will allow you to achieve the same results over and over again.
Use Software To Automate And Organize.
For small businesses, repetition is critical, therefore look for things in your business you do more than once as this provides an opportunity for automation.
Some of the benefits of automation include quality, time-saving, accountability, efficiency and reduced costs.
Start by looking into customer data, production, service, billing and collections.
Review your resources so you can deploy them to innovate and drive change within your business.
Examine your product mix and uncover the opportunities to deploy differently. Cut out revenue streams that no longer work and create new ones.