10 Filler Activities for the Summer Business Slowdown
Summer is a time for the outdoors, for that well-deserved vacation, and with everyone out and about, it’s also a time that you may notice a slowdown in demand for your products and services. So what can you do during this summer slowdown? Well, it’s a great time to do the work that otherwise never gets done during the busy business year.
Here are 10 filler activities you can do while waiting for business to pick up:
(1) Write a bunch of ads, 3-liners, 4-liners, all the different formats you'll need to submit to ezines. Have a bunch to choose from, and have them ready to go so anytime you need an ad to submit, you've got a selection to pick from.
(2) If you've been publishing an ezine for some length of time now, consider giving it a breath of fresh air. Refresh old columns, inject some new content, give your formatting a new look, play around with fonts and colors, and see if you can't come up with a friendlier, more readable, more exciting ezine.
(3) Take a long hard look at your website. If you’ve had the same design for ages, maybe it’s time to consider a facelift. While some may argue that it’s unwise to change a look-and-feel that your customers have come to identify with your business, I tend to think that an all-too-familiar website can get old and boring. Not much of an incentive to returning visitors.
I’m not saying to change your design every six months, but I think a year or two would be a nice length of time to be thinking about rejuvenating your website and making it more exciting for your visitors to come back. Keep logos and navigation intact so visitors won’t have to waste time learning where everything is again.
(4) Take some time out to ‘meet’ other netpreneurs and do some networking, both offline and online. You can either join a discussion forum or group, or set up your own (but only if you think you will have the time to manage it when summer’s over and the real work begins). Networking’s a great way to find out what’s new, what others are doing, and what you can offer.
(5) Clean up your hard disk. You’ll be surprised at what sort of junk lives in your hard disk. If you’re like me, you’ve probably collected tons of just-in-case stuff that are just laying there waiting for the twelfth of never. Use this downtime to trash useless files, and get the useable ones organized into folders. Give these folders meaningful names so you can easily locate stuff when you need them.
(6) In a dilemma as to what files to delete permanently, and what to keep just-in-case? Back up the just-in-case files to a CD, label it and stash it away. Then delete those files off your hard disk. Now you have an archive of just-in-case files in offline storage, not taking up valuable disk space. This takes some sorting out but it’s well worth the effort.
(7) Okay, let’s be honest, when was the last time you defragmented your hard disk? Can’t remember? And you’re wondering why your PC is dragging its feet when you’re in hurry? Well, guess what, it’s time to do a defrag. The last defrag I did took hours, and that’s because I hadn’t done one in ages. If this sounds like you, I suggest you start one up just before you head out to that pool party, and by the time you get back, you should have a nice neat disk all ready to sprint into action.
(8) One major word of caution: Before you start any kind of spring-cleaning on your PC, do a backup! The reason why I’m emphasizing this is that I’ve been caught without a backup before and it “sure ain’t where you wanna be at”. At any rate, backups should be a regular thing you do, not just a summertime activity. But hey, if you’ve got some time on your hands this summer, by all means, do a full backup of your hard disk.
(9) Get your mailbox organized. With the amount of email we get these days, your mailbox can get pretty messy over a period of time. So while your business day’s not as hectic as usual during summer, create new folders, label them meaningfully, and organize your mail where they belong. If you run several businesses, or are a member of co-ops or affiliate programs, this is a definite must-do! Once you’ve got your folders in place, it’s easy to drag and drop your email to the appropriate folder as they come in.
(10) Okay, now that you’re done with the online housekeeping, how about some offline tidying-up around your work area or home office? Get your paperwork organized into folders. Labeling them in big letters; or better yet, color-coding them makes them easier to find. Keep current folders within reach. Everything else gets stashed away into boxes out of sight until you need them.
Whatever you’re doing this summer, have fun.