Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will no doubt know that we are living through unprecedented times.
The Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has adversely affected life as we know it, and as a small business owner, our workloads have either slowed right down or come to a grinding halt.
So how do we make the most out of a bad situation? Global pandemic or not, a lull can present the opportunity to work on things you’ve been neglecting. Now is also a great time to embrace boredom and get creative!
In this post we discuss some things you can do to prepare your business for when things pick up again.
Plan, create and schedule content
We quite often underestimate the effort required in creating a sound content plan, let alone producing the content!
If you’re doing your own content marketing, you may want to consider some of the following…
Brainstorm fresh ideas
Coming up with new ideas isn’t as easy as it seems. Take a moment to look at what’s been working on your social channels, and what hasn’t.
If you’re stuck on ideas, or still trying to figure out how to create content, you can get some inspiration from our guide on creating a content calendar for your business.
Do competitor research
One of the easiest ways to get new ideas for content is to look at what your competitors are doing!
Take a look at the platforms they’re on, posting frequency and post engagement to get a better idea of what’s working for them.
All the different social platforms have a particular audience they’re targeting… do your research and make sure you adjust your content based on the social media platform that you’re posting on. This Sprout Social article helps to break down the demographics of the people who use the various platforms.
However, there are so many things you can look at other than social media to create content for.
EDM’s is just another way to say email marketing. Subscribe to your competitors mailing list to see how they’re doing their email marketing, as well as check out other marketing emails you may subscribe to.
The sorts of things you need to consider is the messaging, frequency of emails you want to send out, design, and most importantly, CTA’s – a call to action to make someone click a link, submit a form or make a phone call!
Having owned a business usually makes you a subject matter expert in the area you specialise in. Why not write about your experiences, or give some handy tips? A blog post is a great way to keep the content on your website fresh, as well as give your brand a human face and/or voice.
Speaking of websites, why not change it up a bit? Give your site a refreshing new design, update any images and content. A mini makeover always helps you feel that little bit more alive.
Review your expenses
Essentials vs Nice to Have’s
Many, if not most, small business owners use their own money to fund their business. Take time to review all your business and personal subscriptions. Is there anything that isn’t necessary, like a gym membership you don’t use? Could you downgrade your subscription plans, or possibly get rid of ones you don’t need and replace with free alternatives?
Review your phone and internet plans
Look at what you’re paying for, and shop around to see if anyone else is offering a better deal. Ask your provider if they can price match.
Speak to your bank
If your lull is due to a crisis like the Coronavirus, speak to your bank to see if they offer any concessions for small business owners.
Declutter your workspace
How easy is it to forget what you have on your desk, in your drawers and filing cabinet? Let’s be honest, we’ve all found things in here that we could’ve chucked out weeks or even months ago.
Take the time to sift through what you really need, and organise these into categories so you can easily find them in the future.
Clean your computer and accessories
We’re all human and sometimes, our hardware may not be in the best physical shape. Use this time to clean the muck and grime off your keyboard, mouse, or even your work phone!
This is also a great time to clear the dust behind your computer monitors, and even re-arrange your various cables!
Images of desks: mariekondo
Organise your computer
Clean up your desktop
Clear the files you don’t need, and organise those that you do into folders.
Back up your files
Make copies of important files you can’t afford to lose.
Delete things you don’t need anymore
Is there a better time to check how much storage your computer has?
Create extra space by deleting files you haven’t touched in years, as well as duplicates of files. You know, the files that look like the ones on the right? (Image source: UX Collective)
We hope this has given you some inspiration on what you can do during these testing times.
It’s always good, and so much more productive to look for the silver lining in situations, and the effort you put in now will hopefully make life just that little bit easier when things get back to normal.
Are you interested in reading more blog posts from us? Check out our Little blog of big ideas!
Part One: The Little Big Shop checklist for setting up your online business
Part Two: The Little Big Shop checklist for branding and design
Part Three: The Little Big Shop checklist for website creation
Part Four: The Little Big Shop checklist for website images