5 Things that business owners could be doing in this period of downtime

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Let’s be honest, from virus outbreaks, economic downturns and financial crisis’, it can become confusing territory when we’re faced with prolonged periods of downtime. While we get plenty of negative information from the news, we should be hunting out the silver lining opportunities that these periods of downtime bring. Collected from conversations with our clients around the world, here’s 5 things you can do in periods of downtime…

1. Network, network, network.
We’ve probably never experienced a time in which so many professionals are plugged into their online devices, with a relatively large amount of free time. Being able to spend this time reaching out and developing conversations with other people in your sector, is a huge opportunity for business owners who often struggle to find the time for this important part of trading and marketing. Think about what value you can bring to your community or industry and openly put it out there, start dialogues on social media threads that are relevant to your space and the outcome will surprise you! We often forget that life-long allies and game-changing connections are made just through taking the time to network.

2. Do your database housekeeping.
Your CRM is your database of your clients (if you don’t have one, then please make it your mission to build one). People often ‘turn off’ when we talk about this, but this is a vital concept to the success of any business. Whether you’re an artist selling music, or a baker selling artisan bread, it’s likely that the data you have on your supporters (or bread buyers), may just be the most valuable thing you have for the future of your business. Taking some time to organise it properly is a critical component to getting it right. This often gets swept under the carpet or left at the bottom of last years ‘to-do’ list, but now you have a great opportunity to get your data neat and tidy, in shape for scaling the future of your business. There are so many reasons why proper CRM management is vital, as we move forward in the years to come, as social media begins to suppress organic reach, and advertising becomes more and more of a free-for-all, your CRM will be the lifeblood and roadmap of your business. Making sure the data in your CRM is clean, repairing wrong or false entries, tagging your users by locations and purchase behaviour, and removing un-engaged users will be a key step into moving forward, stronger than ever, as and when the world gets back on track.

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3. Learn the basics of how to run your own online marketing internally.

You now have the time to devote to learning new skills, and one thing that all business owners need to be developing, if they’re not already, is their knowledge of how to market online in the ever-developing digital sphere. There are countless YouTube tutorials out there that you can binge for free, or if you want a cohesive and complete course on how to build your own ads and strategise campaigns to grow your companies revenue streams, look no further than the Understanding Online Marketing course. It almost doesn’t matter what your industry is, merely knowing what you’re doing with your online strategy and having the basic knowledge of the tools out there is now an ‘extension of the job’, in practically every product or art-form out there. The main area’s of developing your skills should be focused in understanding how to use Facebook/Instagram Business Manager and Google Adwords. In learning the difference between which types of campaigns you can make and how and when is best to use them, you will be able to bring in new customers whilst measuring their behaviours to develop beetter results. This will be an important way for you to keep up-to-date with the latest trends in the digital space, which will help strengthen the success of your business and stop you from the need to rely on outside sources to run your marketing. Everyday we’re helping independent business owners get empowered to learn this vital skill for themselves via our online training even if you have zero experience.

4. Read!
There is such a huge amount of resource out there specific to every industry. Now is the time to get your head into these treasure chests of mental ammunition and develop your wider knowledge of the area in which you are operating and competing. Many people might be hitting the box-sets and online streaming services like Netflix, but this downtime is vital to use productively for your wider business goals and give your mind space to meditate on the smartest ways to approach your growth – as and when things get back on track. Take some time to research some of the key authors in your industry and dive in headfirst! A personal recommendation of a book that I’m currently reading, that is applicable to almost all business owners, is ‘Extreme Ownership’ by Jocko Willink.

5. Keep yourself safe and adapt quickly.
Keeping yourself and your staff safe isn’t an easy thing. We’re not just talking about non-essential travel and working from home, but instead, we’re referring to ways of adapting your business to find the opportunities that might be waiting for you in order to survive long term, and come out of this period in a stronger position. This likely means having to develop within the online sphere. Periods of downtime require a bulletproof mindset of positive and creative thinking on how you can use the time in the most productive and effective ways, in order to adapt to a new landscape of business. Most importantly, keeping yourself informed on the best practices and guidelines, and regularly communicating these to both your clients and staff are crucial aspects for any company. 

If you want to learn more, we’re always sending out advice, tricks, and tips for developing your online presence, to our subscribers via our mailing list. If you have found this article helpful, we have plenty more to share, just click here to sign-up. Or if you are interested in taking a comprehensive online course and gain the ability to run your own marketing campaigns for you business, watch a video on what our Understanding Online Marketing course is all about…

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