Downtime Dreams

Downtime Dreams

It happens.  The quiet, the stillness, the dreaded downtime.

For a business, quiet times can be extremely scary and stressful times.  We often wonder what we’ve done wrong and scramble to try get more business… FAST!  The problem with that, is that fear is the killer of logical thought and creativity, so although the adrenaline may give you an initial burst of productivity, it will burn out and you will be left where you started…. still in the downtime.

So what CAN you do when business is slow?  You’ve come to the right place!  We have some ideas for you.  Ones that will make you feel better as you keep yourself busy, but also that will ensure that this quiet is leading up to, and just before, a storm of business. 

Here comes our list of Dream to-Dos for your Downtime:

1.Research keywords

We don’t often have the time to do this kind of research, but downtimes allow us to do proper work in this area.  Discover the best keywords to use to reach your target audience and think of ways to include these in articles and social media posts.

2. Do market research

You know your product best, but do you know what people are really looking for?  Conduct simple tests to find out what needs and wants you can fulfil.  Ask people in shops why they have chosen one product over another, ask your children’s teachers questions, or do more formal research in the form of questionnaires.  (You could give a small reward to those who participate.)  All of these will help you gain insight that will help your business. 

3.Do a short online course in your field

Short online courses are everywhere!  Many online colleges even offer free semesters or free introductions etc.  Use the downtime opportunity to learn more about an aspect of your work or your field that will help you feel empowered and become an expert.  This is something customers look for in the businesses they support.

4. Update your social media and website content

We say it so often, but your website and social media need to be current and up-to-date, to make it work for you.  When business is quiet, you have ample time to post your heart out.  Think of sharing a mixture of your own work, as well as relevant shared content from pages you follow.

5. Create content calendars for future posts

It won’t always be slow… So why not prepare now for when business picks up again.  Design content calendars outlining posts you can use in the months to come.  Take seasons and holidays into account and make your future posts relevant to the time of year you will be sharing them.

6. Search for images you want to use

Search for royalty free images from the various sites available and save them in a specific folder for future use.  Think about your corporate identity and brand and keep your images in line with that.

7. Take or hire someone to take professional pictures of your products or services

The days of sub-standard photography are coming to an end.  Customers expect quality and you can give them that, as they browse your website and social  media.  If you can’t afford a professional photographer, research techniques, or hire a student photographer at a lower rate.  Having actual images of your specific products or services will go a long way in building brand trust and set you up as an expert in your field.

8. Experiment with different social media platforms and learn which ones are best for your target market

Did you know that there are about seven major social  media platforms?  On top of these, newer platforms are becoming more popular now, as users enjoy video content more and more.  With 3.484 billion social media users worldwide, you can’t afford to miss out on this potential reach!  Download the major platforms, like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Instagram, etc and give them a try.  Depending on your target market and your skill set and interests, you will find which ones work for you.  Use this downtime and these tools to practice and experiment.  Who knows, you may just tap into a market you have never reached before!

9. Try your hand at the latest craze

During busy seasons, who has the time to play with fads and fashions, right?  Well, during a downtime, you have the opportunity to not only play, but learn what people are going crazy for right now.  A good idea is to follow what teens and young adults are doing and jump on that train.  Practice that pout for Instagram, and swing those hips for TikTok… you might just find the next best way to reach potential customers… and you’ll have fun doing it too!

10. Rest

As every good athlete and gym-bunny know, rest is just as important as work.  Downtime can be a good opportunity to just switch off for a day or two.  Recharge your batteries, reflect and take it easy.  After some good R&R, you will most likely find that you feel inspired and ready to fight another day, and you will find that the business comes back, full force. 

Having times where business is quiet can be terrible and stressful, or you can use it to your advantage.  Next time you hit a downtime, try out some or all of these ideas and turn the nightmare into a dream.  Let us know what works for you!

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