Maximize your time and take back your potential by applying these 5 simple tips during your slower months.
Have you ever felt like you were working nonstop to get through the holiday season or push through the influx of summer tourists only feel a little lost when the emails are slow to come in? Every business has a period where they aren’t as busy. This can include seasonal industries such as tourism and hospitality, even real estate, or the beauty industry. By acknowledging when your business has its slower season and implementing these key actions, you are able to maximize your productivity and set yourself up for success for the busy months.
When I say refine your systems, I mean look at the big picture of how you communicate with your clients and peers. This can be difficult to take a step back during the busy season so use your time wisely and look for friction points in your communication flow.
Friction points can be anything from a question that is asked frequently by clients that requires a lengthy response to a complicated pricing menu. What are your automated responses saying to them? What about that question that seems to get asked over and over by prospective clients? Have you made an FAQ page or drafted a template to cut your response time in half?
Take this time to go over the questions that are asked most often, draft up your answers and have them saved for when they’re needed.
I can bet that at some point this month that you have forgotten to post on Instagram or Facebook, or stayed up late to finish a blog that was due the next day because you just didn’t have time to do it when you were supposed to. I get it, we all have busy lives, but by dedicating a few hours a week to social media content creation or writing blog posts, you can save yourself the stress in the future. We already know that being trusted and likable is a HUGE factor when a client is determining if they want to hire you. Use programs like Tailwind of Apphi to schedule social media and schedule blogs months ahead of time. By sitting down once a week or month and planning everything out, creating the content you can save yourself the stress of last-minute posts or completely dropping the ball.
It may sound counter-intuitive when I say use this time to do absolutely nothing related to your business but rest is a huge factor in maintaining an energetic workflow. Harvard Business Review dictates “…without recovery periods, our ability to continue performing at high levels diminishes significantly…taking more vacation results in greater success at work as well as lower stress and more happiness at work and home.” This being said, you cannot attain high levels of success without giving your body and mind a break. Use your downtime to spend quality time with your family, have a staycation or get out of the country for a week or two. Just let your mind rest so you can hit the ground running when you get back. You can use this newfound energy to apply all the tips you’re reading here!
A slower working period is a great time to invest in yourself. The great thing about any industry is trends and knowledge are ever-evolving. If you have a thirst for knowledge and love education, use this time to attend seminars, take online classes. At any given point in time, I am enrolled in at least one class. Sometimes even three! During my slow season, from about January to March, I will attend workshops, pick up extra books and really submerge myself into continuing my education in both marketing and photography. Some of these seminars and retreats are lengthy and time-consuming, choose to take them when things are slower in the office to study more time-intensive information.
At the beginning of your slow season take the time to do a calendar audit. If you are not familiar with this practice it is encouraged by top speakers and business blogs around the world. Everyone from Harvard Business Review to Rachel Hollis stresses the importance of curating a life that is in alignment with where you want to be. By going over your calendar and assessing each and every entry you are able to dig in and study what works for you and what doesn’t. This can help you maintain happiness, allocate resources better and keep you focused on your true goals. By being more cognizant of how you are spending your time you are likely to use it more wisely.
Thank you so much for reading, I have used these tips and more to help create what is now a successful photography business. It took a lot of trial, error, hours reading and a ton of podcasts refine my personal systems during my downtime. I no longer feel lost during my slower season because I know that I am working in a way that will set me up for success in the upcoming months. Each tip I have mentioned here is an actual practice that I use that has helped propel me forward and I hope that you can find similar results by implanting them into your life.
Photo Credit: Storm Pierre Photography
A million cheers to Storm for her great tips. Let’s wish her well as her next journey carries her on to Okinawa, Japan. From what I know, she “has camera…will travel.”
If you cannot join her in Japan, join her mailing list for direct updates and highlights at https://stormpierrephotography.com/
A note from The Small Business Cheerleader™:
I reside and own Ascent Small Business Promotion, LLC, in Farmington Hills, MI. A great author encouraged me to Think and Grow Rich, by choice. So by choice, I hunt goals as a Speaker, Author, Small Business and Non-Profit Consultant, Grant Writer, Young Entrepreneur Mentor and Board Member at the National Association of Women Business Owners Greater Detroit Chapter. Ascent Preparatory Academy For Entrepreneurs is where I share online, self-paced training. Virtual instructors also earn an additional revenue stream by hosting on the Ascent training platform. I’m a Certified Business Advisor with StealthEnomics, as well as an Alumni Recruiter for Coppin State University (HBCU #CoppinProud). A wonderful husband, Ken; 5 children (4 are grown – we’re in the homestretch); 2 grand princesses; and a big dog complete me. I drank the Networking Kool-aid and liked it. You can find my writings in Career Mastered Magazine.
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