As I’m writing this, we’re in the midst of a global pandemic.
If, like mine, your work has started dwindling, you may be looking for some constructive things you can do for your business. And I’m here to help.
Here are 20 practical things you can do for your business right now. From general housekeeping to preparing and creating.
Section One: Housekeeping
1. Give your blog a spring clean
Now is a great time to audit your blog content and make sure it’s the best it can be. To help you, I’ve prepared a handy acronym.
You should make sure all your articles follow the CURVE:
🔹 Current and up to date
🔹 Useful to your audience
🔹 Relevant to where your business is now
🔹 Varied in their subjects and styles
🔹 Exceptional and examples of your best work.
Some articles may have become obsolete and will need to be deleted. But some can be reworked or refreshed and re-promoted.
And if the audit makes you realise you haven’t added anything new for a while, now is a good time to get a new content plan in place (see number 17).
2. Audit your website
Your website could be your lifeline right now — if it’s performing as it should.
Go through each page and make sure:
- You’ve made any necessary changes for the current situation
- All the information is correct and up to date
- Your messages are still on-point and relevant
- The links are working properly and there are no dead-ends
- Your contact forms are working properly.
If your site isn’t bringing in enough business and you need a more in-depth audit, I offer a comprehensive website auditing service.
3. Audit your email
This is a good housekeeping project and is necessary for GDPR.
Go back through your email mailboxes and:
- Archive anything important that you’ll need to refer to again
- Delete any old communications and contact information, in line with your GDPR policies.
4. Review your email signature
Your signature is on every email communication you send out, but after a while you tend to stop noticing it.
Now is a good time to:
- Check your details are up to date
- Make sure all your links are working
- Remove any expired messages or promotions
- Add a message for the current situation, if you need to.
5. Review your online presence
When was the last time you reviewed your online presence? I’m talking about things like your:
- Professional listings
- Social media profiles
- Online advertising
- Business listings.
You could use this time to:
- Make them all visually consistent with each other — using the same photos, logos, taglines etc
- Check your key information is correct and up to date
- Update and improve your personal profiles and bio copy
- Change or update your photograph.
6. Get your accounts up to date
I’ve yet to meet anyone who enjoys getting their accounts in order, but this is a perfect time to do it. Collate, update and cross check your:
- Invoices (in and out)
- Business expenses
- Mileage records
- Bank records.
7. Ask for reviews
If you have clients you’ve worked with recently and forgot to ask them for a review, now could be a good time to do that. Many businesses are closed just now and people will have more time on their hands.
Apparently, Google reviews isn’t working at the moment, but you can still request a testimonial for your website, or an independent review site.
8. Conduct a survey
As many businesses are closed, some people may be glad of a distraction, so if you’ve ever wanted to run a customer survey, now could be a good time.
You can create a survey or questionnaire using SurveyMonkey and share it with your contacts or on social media. And if you have 100 or fewer respondents it’s free.
A survey could help you gain insightful information, like:
- Where people think you could improve
- What else they’d like to see from you
- What they think to a proposed new product or service
- Any ideas or suggestions they might have.
This kind of information could help you improve your current business offering, evaluate new directions and plan more effectively for the future.
9. Refresh your online portfolio
Take some time to update your online portfolio with fresh new work samples or recent case studies. We all evolve and improve over time, so make sure it’s showing your best and most recent work.
Section Two: Adapting
10. Learn some new skills
Put your downtime to good use and invest it in learning some new business skills. There are lots of free tutorials and paid-for courses online that will give you the skills to take your business to the next level.
For example you could learn more about:
- Online/email marketing
- SEO and web development
- Using social media
- Content creation
- Video production
11. Make a useful promotional offer
Do you have specific products or services that would be particularly helpful at this time? This could be a way to secure some new customers when all this blows over.
For example, some online services are offering limited free trials of their products. Some of those who sign up for the trial will undoubtedly become customers. But even if they cancel, they’ll still be on the mailing list.
12. Look for ways to diversify
What can you offer that will be useful to your customers or other businesses right now? It might be something you’ve never thought about before, but something that would be really helpful at this moment.
Here are some things you might consider:
- Introduce new/limited products or services
- Host some online teaching or networking sessions
- Find new ways to use your available resources
- Look at what you have access to and how you can use it.
Section Three: Reaching out
13. Contact your email list
Now is as good a time as any to reach out to your current email list and let them know you’re still around.
You can legitimately contact your list to:
- Announce your emergency measures (Are you still operating? Can you be contacted? Is your online service still available?)
- Answer any FAQs that have arisen because of the current situation
- Provide help or assistance during the current situation
- Report on the results of your survey and the action you’ll be taking
- Highlight any promotional offers or diversification measures you’ve taken.
If you don’t have a list, this could also be a great time to start one! Add a sign-up to your website and post the link for your social media followers and connections.
14. Be active on social media
Not everyone you interact with will be on your email list, so you can make all of the above announcements on social media too.
You can also:
- Experiment by posting new content regularly — see what works and what doesn’t and learn from the experience
- Interact with the posts in your feed by liking and commenting
- Work on building your social media relationships and keeping in touch with your connections
- Offer help if you can support anyone in need — but do so respectfully, don’t hijack someone else’s post and if you’re sending a DM make sure you know who you’re talking to first
- Ask for help, if you need it, and make use of your community.
15. Make a video
With so many people working in isolation now, a video is a fantastic way to connect in a more human way and spread some much-needed positivity.
In your video, you can show some personality and do something constructive and practical for the unusual situation. For example, you might:
✅ Show something useful you’re doing in your community
✅ Show how to prepare a nutritious meal with limited ingredients
✅ Show some interesting ideas and activities for children
✅ Give a helpful tutorial for people who are working from home
✅ Share some useful home-working or home-schooling tips.
Try to prepare some valuable content in advance and avoid posting:
❌ Boring videos about your day-to-day life in lockdown
❌ Negativity that amplifies what everyone is feeling already
❌ Rambling impromptu videos about your thoughts.
16. Schedule a Zoom call
It’s always good to see a friendly face and have a catch up, so if you have clients or friends in the same industry, you can arrange a virtual meeting via video on Zoom.
Section Four: Creating
17. Create a content calendar
You remember that blog you have on your website? The one you always say you’ll start writing, but don’t? Well, now’s your chance!
A content calendar can help you plan a whole year of content for your blog, so you’ll always have something to write about.
And if you need some inspiration, I wrote this article on 101 blog post ideas!
18. Create some new blog content
Once you have your content calendar in place, you can use it to create some new blog posts and store them up to post over the coming months.
Remember, your blog articles should be helpful, insightful and informative — but avoid being too promotional or too focused on your own business.
19. Generate some new leads
This situation will pass and, when it does, you could be glad you took the time to look at your lead generation strategy.
There’s a great article on Hubspot with a whole list of lead generation ideas.
20. Write an e-book for your business
You can create a passive income for your business by writing e-books and selling them on your website.
If you haven’t considered this before and you need some ideas, how about a:
- Step-by-step guide on how to do something
- Simple guide to something people often find complex
- Compilation of useful information
- Book of helpful ideas and suggestions
- Catalogue of useful websites and free tools
- Glossary of helpful terms in your industry
- Content calendar for your industry.
About the author
I’m Jenny Lucas, a freelance copywriter and content writer, based in Leicester.
I can also help you with copy critiques and copy editing. If that would be helpful, please get in touch.