A Guide To Using Business Downtime Productively

Business downtime is often avoidable. If you have a plan in place to stop things from going wrong, keep your profiles secure and make sure you take all manner of other safety precautions, then downtime can be seriously minimized. That being said, you can’t always stop downtime from happening. Just take a look at the situation many business owners are in right now. COVID-19 has brought the world to a standstill. Certain essential businesses are still operating, but many of them have had to close or stay partly open. This means that a lot of employees have had to be furloughed until further notice. Some of them are working from home, but many of them are not working at all.

Regardless of the situation, businesses are losing money right now. Even those that are still able to operate will lose money as the rest of the world is not operating alongside. This can be stressful when your business is your livelihood and you have mouths to feed (both your own family and the people you employ).

Here, you’ll find a few ways you can begin using downtime productively. It might be the last thing you want to do in the midst of a global pandemic, but it could leave you in a better position once this is all over.

Learn A New Skill

Start by learning a new skill. There are all kinds of skill platforms you can use to do this: skillshare, Udemy, even Masterclass where you can learn from celebrities who have mastered their craft!

It doesn’t matter whether you’re learning something you’ve always wanted to learn, or whether you’re learning something related to your business. Learning is something every entrepreneur should continue to do. It doesn’t matter how successful your business is. You need to continue to learn!

You could start by looking at feedback you’ve had from employees. If your communication skills are lacking, could you improve those? Could you improve your written communication or problem solving skills? Maybe you could learn a little bit about web design, or heck, even the ukulele.

Come Up With An Idea For A New Product/Service 

See if there’s a way you can come up with an idea for a new product or service. You could have a fully formed plan ready to go when all of this is over if you dedicate enough time to it! Can you come up with an idea that could complement your current offering?

See If You Have Any Stock You Can Sell

You may still need money to tide you over, and government support may not be available – or may not be enough. See if you have any stock that you could sell. You could sell or recycle old equipment, and even sell toner. Make a list of the things you don’t really need that you could cash in on right now. Not only will you declutter, you’ll make some extra cash.

Figure Out If There’s A Way You Can Conduct Business Online From Home

Most businesses would have previously said that there’s no way their business can be conducted from home. However, they have been forced to test the theory. Many kinks still need to be ironed out, but it turns out that most businesses can be successful online. You might not be able to do everything you usually do, but is there an element that you can switch to online?

Look at what other similar companies are doing right now to get an idea of what you could be doing.

Look Into Passive Income

Passive income could be a way for you to keep making money no matter what, but it takes an initial time investment to set up. Once that is done, you can make money while you sleep. Passive income could come from affiliate links, YouTube videos, and even Ebooks. If you have information to share, then share it!

Take Care Of Health And Wellbeing

Your health and wellbeing matters. The last thing you want to do is go back to the office thinking of everything you’re behind on. Do some stretching, bodyweight exercises, and walking when you can. Meditate. Practice self care like that’s your job. Eat vegetables. It can be tempting to let everything slip, but in the end, you’ll only feel worse.

Read More

Use this time to read the books you’ve had on your list for a long time. Listen to audiobooks while you run or cook or clean. Read before bed and in the afternoons.

Take Another Look At Your Business Plan And Goals 

How about taking another look at your business plan and goals? Perhaps it could be updated now to suit the current situation or where you will be when this is over. It’s important to look at this every so often anyway, so make the time to do it now.

Make Time To Do Nothing 

As an entrepreneur and business owner, making time to do nothing might seem absolutely ridiculous. When you can try to stay busy learning new skills and coming up with future plants for your business, isn’t that what you should be doing? You can use this time to do that, of course, but making time to do nothing is completely valid too. You’re probably not going to feel like staying productive 24/7 when all of this is going on. Use the time you don’t feel like doing anything to relax and unwind. Maybe even meditate or journal. You never know what answers might come to you when you are being purposely still! Doing nothing isn’t really doing nothing. It’s good for your body and mind and many entrepreneurs admit that this is how they come up with ideas…they just seem to flow to them. Try it and see if anything happens for you.

How are you going to use this downtime? Do you think you will be able to make improvements to your business? Let us know in the comments!

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