One of the downsides of living in a seaside village is that in the summer the whole area gets invaded with tourists and even something as simple as parking your car at the local supermarket becomes a half-hour operation! For the shop and restaurant owners in the village where I live, August is probably the busiest month of the year but for many online businesses, this is one of the quietest times.
In fairness, it isn’t just online businesses that see a downward sales trend in the summer – I know from my banking experience that many offline businesses suffer in the same way. In fairness, it stands to reason – the summer is the time when, historically, huge numbers of people around the world take their annual vacation and therefore they are relaxing on a beach somewhere with their only expenditure being at the pool bar.
For those of us that are still working though, August can be a superb time to get all those jobs done that you have been putting off all year AND to do some serious planning in preparation for the much busier season that is fast approaching.
So, if business is slow and you are sitting around with time on your hands, here are a few ideas to help you use that time more productively…
1. Make a start on that new website that you have been ‘thinking about’ for the past six months.
2. Re-vamp your existing website and give it a fresh, new look!
3. If you use autoresponders on your sites, read your own messages and update them where necessary. So many people set up their autoresponders and NEVER re-read the messages – it is amazing how quickly they can go out of date. (Just done this one myself!)
4. Do you write a newsletter or articles for your Internet business? If so, why not get ahead of yourself and write a few articles/newsletters that you can use over the coming months?
5. Update your pay-per-click advertisements. Like autoresponder messages, PPC ads can get outdated if you don’t revise them from time to time.
6. Make sure you have a backup of everything required to restore your web businesses should something go wrong.
7. Once you have backed everything up, why not give your computer a fresh install of the operating system? Clearing out all that accumulated ‘junk’ will improve the performance no end.
8. Dig out those eBooks that you bought ages ago and just haven’t had time to read yet. Then read them.
9. Take your partner out for a meal as a way of thanking him/her for putting up with you sitting at your computer every evening while they watch TV or look after the kids on their own (I know you do!)
10. Turn the computer off for a few hours and catch up with some of those household jobs that never seem to get done (I’ve just done this one too – I have re-tiled the shower this week!)
11. Ensure that your book-keeping/accounts records are all up to date. In the UK most of us that are self-employed will have received a tax form to complete back in April. If you haven’t filled it in yet, find it and get it done!
12. Tidy your office/workspace. It is amazing how messy a home-office can get (even if it only consists of a desk), so spend an hour tidying your working area. I am sure I read somewhere that it will improve your productivity 🙂 Either way, it is always nice to have a neat desk for a week.
13. While you are tidying up, go through all of your ‘Post-It’ notes or ‘things to do’ lists and decide what is really important and what can be trashed. If you are anything like me, you will have a huge pile of things to do and ‘great ideas’ but they often stay in the pile for months without ever coming to anything. I have just binned about 30 ‘Post-It’ notes dating back to last year because I simply haven’t got time to do everything!
14. Start to think about the upcoming Christmas season. This is the busiest time of the year for many businesses so spend some time planning how you can best take advantage of this seasonal trade. What do you want to have achieved by the end of the year and more importantly, how are you going to achieve it?
15. Take some time off! I know that many of you work part-time on the Internet as well as holding down a full-time job. Everyone deserves a break now and then, so make sure you get yours!
Enjoy the summer folks (although for those of us in the UK, I think we have had the best of it already!!)