All businesses eventually hit slow seasons. But with lower sales often comes less customer interaction and of course, less work around the office. Business downtime happens to the best of us and thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to make the best of it. You can use the time to make a difference in the business or to improve yourself as an employee.
Going crazy with business downtime? Here are 6 beneficial actions to take when business is slow.
1. Get Organized
No matter if you’re a business owner or the marketing expert on the team, chances are you could stand to add some organization into your work life. When there’s business downtime, you’ve got the perfect chance to organize your desk, paperwork, and of course, your inbox. Having things all over the place and dealing with clutter can decrease your efficiency. Take time to categorize and sort through your inbox and sort those files on your desk using folders and labels. Getting organized will make things much easier for you once business does ramp up again.
Business downtime is a great time to send an email to that business owner you met at last week’s tradeshow or to return the call to your new potential client. When you’ve got time to spare, look back through your phone messages, emails, and written notes to get in touch with other business owners, entrepreneurs, clients, and contractors. Networking may be just what you need to get your business up and going again.
3. Research New Marketing Strategies
Using your business downtime to research a topic that will benefit your company just makes sense. We all know that the marketing world continues to change, and what was hot 6 months ago may no longer hold the top spot. If you’ve got a few days to spare, take some time to do some serious marketing research. While researching be sure to figure out:
- What techniques are trending for next year
- How you can reuse existing content
- Ways to improve engagement and interaction with customers
- What your competition is using marketing wise
Coming up with new marketing ideas can save time when your business is ready to push out a new strategy. By doing the research during a business lull, you can think over options and also work with your team to determine the best way forward.
4. Break a Habit
We all pick up bad habits, especially as work life takes over. Maybe you could stand to improve your diet or maybe now is a good time to kick the smoking habit for good. Business downtime is a good way to focus on breaking a habit that will benefit you in your work and personal life. One of the most common habits is smoking.
While smoking has declined to 15 in every 100 adults, it’s still a serious problem. If you’re a smoker, use business downtime as a way to focus on you. There are all sorts of ways to stop smoking for good, including nicotine gum, patches, and even medication.
These days many ex-smokers turn to vaping. With the right coils and e-juice, you can enjoy the sensation of smoking without ever touching a cigarette.
Sitting too much has proven to be detrimental to your health. In fact, being stuck at a desk for hours on end increases the risk of death from cancer and cardiovascular disease. Sitting also puts people at a greater risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome. During your business downtime, it may be tempting to sit around and do mindless activities to pass the time. But, when business is quiet, take some time to focus on you and to boost your overall health. Take at least 30 minutes a day to get in a workout.
Dread slaving away on the treadmill? Avoid the pitfall of thinking you have to do certain exercises. If your heart rate is up, you’re exercising. Try dancing, swimming, boxing, or even a spin class to keep you entertained and interested.
Taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body. On those days when you’re super stressed out or if you find you’re lacking motivation, meditation can help. Meditation has proven to be beneficial in reducing stress, improving concentration, slowing aging, and increasing self-awareness.
You can meditate at your desk, though it may be better to find somewhere neutral and quiet. Meditating outside or in a closed meeting room can help you recharge and hop back on the wagon once business starts rolling again. During your meditation session, be sure to focus on breathing, yourself, and don’t think twice about leaving your troubles at the door.
What do you do during the slow season? How do you use your downtime to better yourself as a person? Share your story in the comments.