Depending on your industry, there’s usually a season that provides for a bit more down time… a relative breather. For us, that season is summer.
Last week we talked about planning ahead for the holiday season to make sure everything was in order… The same approach can be taken for your business as a whole. When business is busy things change, stockpiles get depleted, and it can be tough to keep track of everything. Take advantage of slower times by using them efficiently, and you’ll be better prepared when things pick up again.
We’ve talked many times about content creation and how challenging it can be to accomplish, especially when there’s business to be done. But writing content doesn’t have to be a big process, as long as you plan accordingly and do little things ahead of time.
Whether it’s once a week or once a month, come up with a regular schedule that you can keep. No one else is going to tell you that you have to post, so give yourself a bit of motivation with reminders every so often.
Setting a schedule isn’t going to do you any good if, when posting time rolls around, you have no idea what you’re going to write about. Keep a document or a note pad handy where you can save ideas for categories or posts. Be specific too. Don’t write down a vague sentence and assume you’ll be able to translate it down the road. Give yourself as much information as possible, short of writing the actual post. Bullet points and lists are a great way to outline the basis for a post and when it comes time to write, they speed up the process.
We tend to ignore things like our own websites unless they’re not working. It’s nothing to be ashamed of… even we at BK are guilty of it at times. Over time though, things change (or need to) on our sites, and going through everything occasionally will help ensure that it’s working properly and representing you well.
Have your services changed since the last time your content was updated? Maybe there’s need for a new page, or another is outdated. Can imagery be updated?
Often times a single page or piece of a website gets updated at a time, and no one takes a step back to look at the big picture. Over time, as the changes snowball, this could lead to broken links or an unintuitive experience for your users. In a perfect world, people would let us know if part of our site was broken, but it really falls upon ourselves to make sure.
Websites are never final and can be changed at any time; don’t be afraid to update and tweak your site to make sure it’s providing your visitors with the best user experience. It’s a nice change from print materials; once they’re printed, they’re printed.
Whether it’s a simple business card or a full array of marketing materials, most businesses use some kind of print collateral year round. All too often we don’t keep track of our numbers, leading to a stress-filled reorder hoping the replacements arrive before the stocks hit zero. This is when mistakes get made.
Down time can be the perfect chance to read through your materials and make sure everything is up to date and correct. It may not be time to order more just yet, but try to create a warning system to alert you when that time comes. Do you have brochures packed in boxes? Put a sticky note on top of the bottom box to remind yourself to order more before you even open it.
No one knows your business better than you. The first task you should do when you have a bit of down time is to brainstorm a list of ideas, like the ones above, for yourself or your employees to do when there’s more down time throughout the year. Once the list is made, come back to it whenever you get a chance; soon it will become second nature.
We often get so busy doing work for our customers and clients that we forget to give our own businesses the attention they deserve. Once you consider how important these small things can be to the well-being and performance of your company, though, they’ll seem well worth the time!
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