While living in this shelter-in-place situation, you might be finding yourself with some extra time on your hands right now. If so, now is the PERFECT time to do some work ON your business. What do I mean? Read on to find out!  

For many of us, we spend most days working IN our business. We respond to emails, answer customer questions, fill orders and make sales. But when do we set aside time to work ON our business? When do we take a step back and examine strategies, markets, make product developments or improvements, or look at our business processes with a keen eye? If you are like me, these are things that need to be done for success and growth but struggle to make time and space to work on these tasks. 

While the market is slower, you might find yourself with some bandwidth to tackle these tasks. Plus, doing something productive in your business will help take your mind off the other stresses that you might be feeling when things slow down. I suggest planting some seeds NOW that you can reap in your business later. 

Here’s a list of ideas for how to work ON your business during COVID-19. 

  1. Focus on what you can do to keep making money during the pandemic. I know I just said to focus on other things besides sales, but if you are a product-based business, do you have curbside pick up set up or local delivery? Need to figure out how to ship orders out rather than relying on walk in traffic? Set up that process now so that you can at least get some money coming in while locations are shut down! You’ll always use a delivery/shipping system in the future and it will help your business be ready to scale. Do the things first each day that make you money. Another idea: look at all the loans or unemployment options now available through the new stimulus package. Then, instead of spiraling into worry or stress, move on to the rest of the things on this list! 
  2. Refine your business processes that always get put on the backburner.  
    I’m taking this time to learn a new accounting software and switching over to Quickbooks Online! It’s been something that was on my list of goals for the year anyways but I never could make the time. No time like the present! Some other process improvement ideas include adding new projects to my portfolio, creating templates that help my workflow move faster (presentation templates for logo design projects, form emails, FAQ pages), or getting my Intern information to start a new project for me! 
  3. Develop marketing and content. 
    I will probably always suggest this one – and I believe it’s always beneficial to take time out to create content that you can use now or in the future. Write that e-book, publish that blog series, or get regular with your email marketing! I’m working on email marketing right now, and also some blogs that I’ve been meaning to write. Being creative at home is HARD. Especially when you have kids at home, so I’ve been carving out early mornings when I can (when I have the energy to get up earlier!) and also nap times when my toddler is down for an hour. Knowing WHEN to attempt creative work is half the battle. Think about what you need to be in a flow of creating. Is it a quiet house? All your supplies spread out? Working in a different room of the house? For me, I need space to spread out supplies (away from little hands!) and an interruption-free period of time. 
  4.  Research, reading, learning…  
    I’m taking some online free classes that are offered by my public library, and there’s plenty of online classes, in a wide range of topics, that are offered right now (some with discounts!) Always wanted to learn knitting or want to hone your writing skills? Sign up and get learning! It’s fun and good for your brain. 
    I’m learning Quickbooks and web coding! What have you always wanted to learn? 
  5.  New client or customer acquisition strategies. 
    I’m working on some presentations to send to potential new clients and sowing seeds now that I will reap later. The key here is research and preparation… I’m just getting some ducks in row, not hard selling anyone right now. Still, I know that when the time is right I’ll be in a good spot to react. Take some time to think about what you can do NOW that will get you some rewards later! Is it product development, market research, or maybe even completing some work on spec to break into a new market? If you have time and space, this is a great time to work on it! 
  6. Redesign your logo, brand or packaging. 
    I’ve been working on these types of projects for some of my clients and I realized, this is a fantastic time to dive into re-doing or re-thinking a part of your business that may have become outdated or needs updating! SO what is it for you? A logo, your brand, or some older packaging? Take the time to walk through the creative process with a graphic designer right now and re-launch your business looking awesome and ready to sell!