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Originally Posted On: https://www.bizmilk.com/staying-productive-downtime/
If we have learned anything from this current health crisis, it’s that it is important to stay busy when your normal routine is disrupted. For many of us, our normal routine means seeing clients and working to improve and grow our businesses.
We typically do this by going to the office, meeting with clients, strategizing with teammates, etc. It’s important to stay productive when we cannot do what we love. Here are a few ideas to bridge the gap until life is back to normal…whatever that means for you!
Work on Your Website
If you’re stuck at home, like we are, now is a great time to work on your website. You don’t have to be a web guru to help grow your web presence. Talk to your website manager, SEO company, digital marketing company or whoever you work with about how you can help! You are the expert in your field, and this is a great time to share some of the thoughts that make you the pro that you are. If you don’t have a blog, start one. Writing content for your website that is specific to your business is a great way to tell your prospects, along with Google, Bing and other search engines, exactly why you are the best choice. Start with at least 500 words on a very specific niche in your business. If you’re a landscaper, talk about the benefit of hiring a local fertilizing company versus a national chain. If you’re a roofer, write about roof repair and why it can’t be ignored.
Creating relevant content is a great way to spend a couple of hours each week, or better yet each day, that may otherwise be wasted watching television or playing video games. Look through pictures from jobsites that may be a good fit for your website. Most sites are starved for good content, text and images. You likely have plenty of images to choose from, you just haven’t had time to focus on them. Now you do!
Meet by Video Conference
Just because you are stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t meet with your clients, employees or stakeholders. There are many options available to put you face-to-face with the people that matter to your company. Simply curling up on the couch and letting this opportunity pass you by could cost you thousands in the future. It could cost you the business itself. Whether you use Google Meet, GoToMeeting, Zoom or another video conferencing tool, be proactive and setup meetings with your most valuable assets….the people that keep you in business!
Make Your Business “Lean”
If you are unfamiliar with “Lean” business practices, you are missing out on a great opportunity to save money and become more efficient. Lean is a part of Continuous Process Improvement, or CPI, and is a strategy to minimize waste within an organization or within a process. It is designed to remove defects and processes that do not directly impact a process by changing the fit, form or function in that process. In other words, unless the step directly changes the product or process, it’s gotta go! It means you end up needing less human effort, less money (capital), less time and less room to do the same work you do now. A dollar you don’t spend is a dollar you don’t have to earn.
Lean processes should become embedded in the way a company works over time. It is not a short-term fix for a problem, but a long-term change in the way a company thinks and works. For example, one of the targets in Lean is to reduce the number of defects in a process. In our business, consider a website developer that has completed a website build, only to be “quality checked” by someone else in the company. Regardless whether the QC person finds a defect or not, the time spent verifying the work was wasted. It could have been better spent doing something productive instead of checking someone else’s work. Imagine if the QC person finds discrepancies that require rework! Now the initial developer must go back and do it again. You can quickly see the waste adding up!
A Lean business will have processes in place to make sure the person building the site does so without the need of oversight, eliminating the need for QC and rework. There are many online resources for business leaders interested in learning more about Lean specifically and CPI in general.
The Bottom Line
We all hope to never face a situation like this again. One that separates us from our daily lives and routines. Those that come out the other side in the best shape will be the ones that take advantage of this time and stay productive. Start implementing some of these ideas now, because before you know it, life will return to “normal” and you won’t have the time you have right now.