A few weeks ago, on my quiet residential street, I saw Alexander’s cool, kinda vintage, burgundy car go by my window on the bed of a tow truck.
Was this out of the usual? Yep. My typical entertainment through that window consists of commuters (some wave to me, hi!), random deer jaywalking, joggers jogging and dog walkers. Normally, I don't pay much attention to the comings and goings while I’m working.
Then Alexander’s car went by.
And on this day, it feels like a monumental event. I immediately fire off a text to his mom to get all the deets. I had to know. I had to know. Turns out, the car just needed a repair - no big deal. Mystery solved. Phew.
I don’t think I would have noticed his car getting towed on a normal day. But lately, not much has been going on outside that window, due to social distancing and stay at home measures. I guess I am a little more distracted and maybe a little less productive for the same reason. My head is up more, and I’m noticing different things.
That really got me thinking about what we pay attention to in our businesses in quieter times, when we have time to look up and take notice of the things happening around us - things we were too busy to notice before we were forced to slow down.
How can you take advantage of this unusual time, now that your head is up and you have time on your hands?
Here are 6 things you can do that you normally can't fit into your day...
1. Go Directly to Your Own Website
I mean, really take the time to go through your site page by page. Read and click through all the links. Make sure your email sign-up link goes to the right place. Any new clients to add to your client page? Do you have new testimonials to add? Have you changed your services lately? How old is your bio picture? (if it’s pre-1997, it might be time to freshen it up!)
2. Get Planning
Take the time to put a solid plan to some of those big goals you’ve been thinking about. It’s crazy the progress you can make when you break those goals down into bite-sized tasks and start chipping away. Go for it.
3. Polish Up Your Skills
I wasn’t really thinking you should learn how to knit, but what about diving in and figuring out some online tools to help you with communications and meetings (ZOOM), content creation (Picmonkey), CRM (Agilecrm), eCommerce (Shopify) or productivity (Evernote). So many tools. So little time.
4. Fire Up Google
Is there something you’ve been wanting to check out - I mean a deep dive? You’ve got time now, to see what your competitors are doing on Facebook or what’s going on with your existing customers (ask them). What about identifying possible new customers and cool promotion opportunities?
5. Get Yourself Organized
What does your workspace look like? Can you see your desk? Are you happy to spend time there? If not, take the time to clear off your workspace and file away (or throw away) everything that’s getting in the way of your productivity.
6. Put your Expenses in Check
A quick review of your credit card statement might reveal monthly payments for apps or programs you no longer use. I paid for an Adobe product for almost a year after signing up for one month. Ooops. The money you can save by putting those monthly expenses into check regularly can really add up.
PS: I know some of us are actually crazy busy right now in our businesses - I had one client in the food industry tell me he's working twice as hard for half the income right now - your quieter time is ahead, hopefully! (and thank you!)
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The Small Business Guide
Kim Houlahan is a marketing consultant who loves helping small business owners improve their marketing.
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