One of the under-recognized groups that are being affected by social distancing, stay at home orders, and shelter in place orders is small business owners. The reasons these various orders can affecting these businesses are varied and include things their customer base not being able to get to them, or conserving spending because of an unsure financial future. This can be super frustrating, and if this is affecting your business, I’m sorry, and I hope we all survive this pandemic unscathed.
If your business is slowing down right now because the pandemic (or if you’re reading this post-pandemic and just want to know what to do when your business is slow), I’ve got several things you can work on to. These tasks won’t necessarily help to build your business now, but they are good for the overall health of your business and will definitely help in the long-term.
1. Start writing blog posts
I know that I have often said that the biggest thing holding me back from blogging more was time. If you have said similar and your business is slow right now, this is the perfect time to get some of those blog posts written.
Blogging is a great option for almost all businesses. Writing about issues that your audience faces, news that will be of interest to them, or about services that you offer help your potential customers to feel more confident in your knowledge and your ability to help them. Additionally, blog posts written with specific keywords in mind are a great way to help encourage search engines to send more traffic to your site.
Not sure what to write about? Check out my free blog post prompts to help you get started.
Tip: you can back or post date your blog posts so that they don’t all go live on your site at the same time. If you’re writing a bunch of posts today, you can change the publish date to have them go live in the future so you’ll fill your content queue for a while. If you want to be able to share all of the posts on social media now, you can change the publish date to be a date in the past so it doesn’t look like to published 20 blog posts at once. Just make sure you don’t back date something to before it was released or something weird like that.
2. Catch up on some of your favorite podcasts
The list of podcasts that I’ve subscribed to is impossibly long. I really am interested in all of those topics, but I find it hard to find time to listen to them. If this sounds like you, now could be a great time to try to get caught up, or at least listen to the ones that have been hanging out in your queue for way too long. Take notes, and try to work on implementing any of your favorite tips.
If you’re looking for some good podcasts, here are some of my favorites related to business and marketing:
- Online Marketing Made Easy by Amy Porterfield
- Mind Your Business Podcast by James Wedmore
- The Certified Bada$$ Online Marketing Podcast by Bobby Klinck (formerly called The Online Genuis Podcast)
3. Finish that course you signed up for and never completed
We’re all guilty of this one, at some point or another. There was that course (free or paid) that was too good to pass up. So we signed up, and we started enthusiastically. But then something got in our way, and we never finished the course. If you’ve got time to spare currently, now might be the perfect time to finish your work.
4. Give your website a good spring cleaning
Websites require proper care and maintenance, just like you house, care, and children. In my experience, many people who are “maintaining” their own websites don’t do a lot of the tasks that need to be done on a regular basis. So, I created this challenge to help guide you on what needs to be done and how to do it. It’s free, and ongoing, so you can start when ever you’re ready. You can sign up at beyondtheoffice.com/springcleaning.
5. Work on repurposing some of your existing content
Repurposing content is one of my favorite things to do to get maximum value out of the time I put into creating content. Plus, it allows different parts of my audience who prefer to consume content in different ways to do it. in a way that works best for them.
I recently wrote a blog post on different ways you can repurpose your content, so check it out to learn some different ways you can use the content you already have.
6. Create social media images for all of your content
If you don’t have ready made images for sharing your content on social media channels, now is a great time to do it. Each platform has specific sizes that they prefer images to be in, and sharing your content using a different image size can result in your image being cropped oddly and maybe cutting off part of the image or text on the image. Additionally, the audience on different social media platforms seem to respond better to, so you’ll want to try to use that sort of image.
Canva is a great way to create images that are perfectly sized for different platforms. If you’re not familiar with it, Canva has a free plan that is great and easy to use, and there’s also a paid upgrade plan that makes it easy to take one image layout and convert it to the different sizes for the different platforms. At the time of writing this, they are also offering a free trial of their premium version to help you decide if its right for you.
What not to do:
There’s also a few things that I recommend you not do during this slow yet chaotic time.
Sign up for a bunch of classes at once
I know this one can be really tempting. You might be thinking about all the unscheduled time you’ll be facing, so why not sign up for 5 new courses, especially if they’re being offered at a discount right now. Well, because signing up for a bunch of different courses at once is never really a good choice. It will likely be hard for you to work on all of them at the same time, and this will lead to stress and anxiety about “getting it right,” which none of us need right now, or ever.
Lower your prices drastically or beg for customers
Offering a temporary discount for your audience could be really helpful, but discounting too much can make you look desperate and cheapen the value of what you are offering. The same goes for begging for customers. I understand business slowdowns can be financially stressful, but devaluing your products and services with your audience will last long past the slowdown period and can affect your ability to grow and strengthen your business when things return to normal.