The power of reviews and how to get good ones
3 ways to use quiet time to push your business forwards
by Holly & Co
There’s no doubt it is hard out there right now and we know that this co-mmunity is feeling it. Whether it’s fallout from Brexit or the pandemic hammering your margins, a Christmas that was tougher than expected or the (ever) rising cost of living – of course small businesses are experiencing the impact of this less-than-perfect storm.
When things get tough, unhelpful feelings and emotions may start rising to the surface again: comparison, self-doubt and, of course, our old friend imposter syndrome. It’s not a nice nor productive place to find yourself – and this is why it is so important to see these quieter moments as an opportunity, not a failure. It’s your chance to reset, review and revive – and here’s your starter for ten on how…
1. Switch off (or dial down) on social
We once believed that taking a few weeks ‘off grid’ would be detrimental to our reach, but it’s becoming clearer that even those posting religiously each and every single day are being hit by that annoying, ever-changing algorithm.
Plus, in times of unrest (whether a global crisis, or an unreliable app), social media will often exacerbate negativity. When you are already feeling vulnerable, this negativity has a cruel habit of working its way into your thoughts and energy, which ultimately affects your ability to run your business with the enthusiasm it needs.
So, what’s the harm in taking a step back, putting the phone away and switching off (literally, if you want to)? Your audience — the ones who really believe in you and your business — will still be there when you’re ready to get back on the horse (or the app).
Whilst you’re stepping back, take a moment to analyse your sales channels. Is Instagram your core (or maybe even your only) sales channel right now? What can you do to change this? Because you have a choice. You can either wait and hope for the algorithm to behave, or you can forward-plan to ensure that you’re never 100% reliant on a social media platform again. Whether that’s developing an email marketing plan and building up a list of subscribers, or planning a retail pop-up or a market stall – we pivoted in the pandemic and we can pivot again.
Whilst you’re stepping back, take a moment to analyse your sales channels. Is Instagram your core (or maybe even your only) sales channel right now? What can you do to change this? Because you have a choice.
2. Focus on your efficiencies
Busy isn’t a badge of honour (louder for the people at the back!) and there will have been times at your ‘busiest’ where certain things haven’t really worked for you. Your processes might have become jumbled or convoluted over time, leading to a lack of efficiency (and sleep, and quality time with your kids, and…*insert yours here*).
Quieter weeks give you the space to review your systems and ways of doing things. What’s working? What isn’t working? What does your small business buddy do that you don’t? Grab a notebook and scribble down everything that springs to mind for your creative process, your ordering system, customer service and marketing. Then identify the low-hanging fruit (the things you can change now) and the slow burners (the things you need to work on in order to change). Feeling productive and moving the dial forward for your business, even in moments where the orders aren’t flooding in, is the key to keeping your enthusiasm and passion for what you do alive.
Sometimes taking a step back (whether you intended to or not) is just as important as the ‘doing’. Perhaps now is the time to give your business its annual MOT and really audit how it’s going. Use this quiet space to remind yourself of your vision, your core values and your ‘what makes you get up in the morning’. It’s an opportunity to check-in to ensure that your business is still beating to the same drum as your brand heart.
Plus, you’ll thank your future self later for all the behind-the-scenes magic you’ve conjured up.
Perhaps now is the time to give your business its annual MOT and really audit how it’s going. Use this quiet space to remind yourself of your vision, your core values and your ‘what makes you get up in the morning’. It’s an opportunity to check-in to ensure that your business is still beating to the same drum as your brand heart.
3. Re-connect with yourself and your creativity
When you have a child they say that you should sleep when the baby sleeps and you can apply this to how you nurture your business. Instead of dreading the hot weather and the lack of sales it brings, get out and enjoy it. More holidays will take place this year than ever before – and you deserve that sun on your face too.
You might discover that you reconnect with your creativity and find inspiration outside of your own four walls. A change of scenery — whether it’s your local park, a friend’s kitchen table or even the beach — can do wonders for your creative spark. The best thoughts and ideas (the ones that get us really excited) often come when we’re relaxing and giving ourselves the time to think, so don’t feel guilty for taking that walk or booking the impromptu trip.
Reframe your mindset and think of quieter moments as a chance to remember why you’re doing this. Re-booting the machine (which is you, by the way) might just work wonders for your business. Don’t wait for someone or something else to save you. Save yourself. You can absolutely do it because there is no better remedy for your business ills than you. Most importantly, keep going. This quiet time could be the best thing that’s happened to your business all year. Make the most of it. The whole co-mmunity is behind you.
- Busy is not a badge of honour, by Soch & Co