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Maximizing Downtime To Market Your Small Business


Maximizing downtime to market your small business, clock

Forget making hay! You should be marketing your small business while the sun is shining (and a lot of times well after the sun goes down). With a limited number of hours in the day and more than enough tasks to keep you busy, if you want to grow your business you need to maximize every second. Sound familiar?

If you’re like most small business owners you wear multiple hats. You prioritize what’s on your daily “to do” list based on whether it’s a “need to have” or a “nice to have.” The former gets your immediate attention while the latter gets pushed off for another day. Which then becomes another week. Which then becomes another month. And before you know it, making those updates to your website are nothing but a distant memory.

We all love downtime. It’s a great time to relax, reenergize (even if only for a few minutes) and catch your breath between those hectic spikes in customer traffic. But it’s also a great time to work on marketing your small business. Think about your online and offline efforts. If you had 30 minutes you could carve out during the day, how would you spend that time?

Start by identifying high impact, low time commitment tactics. There are always Facebook pages that need to be updated, tweets that need to be tweeted, new business cards that need to be ordered, and customers waiting for you to respond.

When you knock some of this stuff out early, it not only gives you a sense of progress (think “quick wins”) but it also clears your plate for those unforeseen issues that always have a way of popping up at the worst possible times.

Once you nail some of the small stuff, you can then shift your attention to bigger projects. One thing I like to do when I have some free time is click around my website. As much as I can, I try to look at each page with a fresh set of eyes.

In particular I always want to identify broken links, areas where I can tighten up my content, and any other opportunities to make meaningful updates. You could use the same approach with brochures, flyers, or advertisements in local business publications.

When you have downtime, it’s okay to kick up your feet and recharge your batteries for a little while. But once you catch your second wind, make sure you take advantage of that downtime to ramp up your marketing efforts. You’ll be glad you did. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that “tomorrow” almost always ends up being busier than today.

How do you use short breaks during the day to market your small business?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.


[Image: Flickr user Francis Bijl]

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