Downtime for businesses can be disheartening for morale, especially for business owners. It can be a struggle in the short term to focus on what should be done next as incoming business and revenue comes to a creep. However, there are plenty of tasks you and your employees can take on to improve your business’s existing infrastructure with this newfound time. From improving your company’s website to building customer rapport, below are 15 things we’ve found that are essential for making the best of your business’s downtime.
1. Start Planning Ahead & Setting Goals
Although business may be down for you, this is actually the most optimal time to start planning ahead. During this time you can look back on your business to see what was working, what wasn’t, and how you can be more efficient in the future. Moreover, set a goal for what you would like to accomplish this year, next year, and the next five years or so of your business. This will not only give you something to work towards, but it will also create a benchmark to see how you’re doing.
2. Create (or Claim) Your Google Business Listing and Update It
If you haven’t already claimed your Google Business listing, this is a great time to do it. When business picks back up, customers searching for services you provide will be able to find your company’s information on Google. On the other hand, if you have already claimed your business, take the time to update your listing’s photos, contact, and information. Be sure to provide any additional information that makes your business stand out from the rest in your industry.
3. Organize Each Aspect of Your Business
Review your file cabinets, digital and physical, for any files that could be cleaned out or still need to be filed. If you have an inventory, go through to take account of what you have or need to order in the near future. Organize your files and materials in a way that makes sense to you and your staff so everything is easily accessible.
4. Learn a New Skill or Technique For Your Business
Take the time to learn a new applicable skill to your business that you have been meaning to learn. This can range from new services to learning how to be more efficient in your current services or products you offer. Anything that is relevant to helping make your business is always a great investment.
5. Reach Out to Previous Customers
Reach out to previous customers to see how the product or service you provided is treating them. This shouldn’t solely be a marketing effort to sell them something new, more so to build rapport. Furthermore, you could embed a request for a review of the service you provided an email. To go even further, you could give them a discount on the next time they come in for completing a testimonial or review.
6. Gather & Share Your Customer Testimonials
Sift through your Yelp and Google reviews to find positive reviews to share on your business’s website and social media. Remember, though, quality over quantity is key. Make sure to use testimonials that give detailed information of the service you provided for them and how it turned out.
7. Schedule Out Your Socal Media Posts
While you have the downtime, schedule out some social media posts to autonomously engage your audience daily or weekly. Many social media platforms allow you to schedule content out 6 months or more. Social media posts can range from services or products you provide to fun facts relevant to your business.
8. Review Your Marketing Analytics
Review both your email marketing and website analytics. View the level of engagement of your emails and their bounce back rates. Use this information to create more engagement, continue using similar headlines that have a high open rate, and utilize A/B testing more efficiently. For your website, see which pages website visitors are landing on the most, time spent on them, and see if you are hitting your set goals. If you don’t have goals set, this is a good time to set them for the future. This information can be leveraged to improve your existing marketing, call to action, and website layout.
9. Improve Existing Content of Your Website
Review the existing pages of your website and see if the content could be improved or expanded upon. Photos and videos are a great way to engage website visitors, and they also help boost your Google rankings. Ensure all of your existing or new photos and videos have informative names, alternative text, and if applicable, captions. Additionally, if you have new services you provide, add them to your website as well to inform Google and searchers.
10. Add to Your Website's Blog (or Start One)
As meta as this may sound, start or add informative industry articles to your blog. Think of your blog as a place for information that you'd like to share with your customers that doesn't necessarily fit on your website's existing pages, but it doesn't warrant creating a new page either. Articles can be technical information related to your business that you specialize in, article excerpts relative to your industry, or fun facts about the business and industry.
11. Make Informative Videos
Similar to creating a blog and adding content to your website, creating videos showing skills you specialize in are great for showcasing your business’s capabilities. If the videos are particularly informative, Google will display your videos to searchers above the website queries. These videos are also great for sharing in newsletter emails and on our your business's social media platforms.
12. Strengthen Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Sort through your email marketing list and clean up contacts who are no longer engaging with your emails. Then, brainstorm how to make your emails more engaging to your audience. Likewise, try to target different sectors of your audience by creating lists to tailor specific emails that are appealing to them. Doing so will make your email marketing campaigns feel more personal to the respective audience.
13. Create a Style Guide For Your Business
Take your business's professionalism to next level by designing a style guide for your business’s brand. Ever notice how companies like Netflix, McDonald's, and Amazon consistently use the same colors and fonts, no matter if it's in email, packaging, or promotional items? This is their business brand's style guide. Not only does this help businesses keep track of colors, fonts, and logos for branding, it ensures you, your staff, and outsourced collaborators maintain brand consistency across platforms.
14. Network With Your (Industry's) Community
It’s as simple as it sounds. Network with local non-competing businesses to drum up some business marketing ideas. This could be as simple as starting a Facebook group, casual annual video calls, or attending local business association groups. When done right, proper networking can be just as effective for your business as word of mouth referrals from customers.
15. Seek Outside Help For Your Business
This could be hiring more experienced employees who have a proven track record or seeking out a business coach to help light a path for you. Additionally, you could seek out a mentor within your industry to see how they have managed to achieve success within their business.
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. Let us know if we can help you with anything pertaining to online marketing.