Small Business Advice

Keeping your business productive during lockdown

Jack Stratten

A few tips on how best to spend the downtime

Staying productive and motivated during lockdown for the many small businesses unable to operate is exceptionally hard with all the uncertainty around.

But with focus and dedication, you'll find there are numerous tasks and tactics you can carry out that could either help you do more business now, or at the very least when the country opens up again.

Here are some of our top tips on staying productive...

Finally - you can do more digital marketing

Digital marketing - like social media and regular customer newsletters - is a classic example of something small businesses never have time to do. So perhaps now, finally, is the time.

Schedule some extra posts each week, and spend a bit more time researching and understanding what kind of marketing works for your business. If you haven't already, this might even be the time to improve your set-up - you could use a social media scheduling platform like Hootsuite, or a comprehensive email platform like Mailchimp. Despite being sophisticated, many of these tools are free to use.

Time to learn

Is there anything you've been desperate to learn about for the benefit of your business? Perhaps you wanted to learn to code, or basic bookkeeping, but never had the time?

Not only is now the best chance you might ever get - but also, there is an enormous amount of free, quality learning resource online covering every skills area. Immerse yourself in it, and leave the pandemic with knowledge that can make your business better.

Talk to your customers

You might not be able to sell to them currently, but that doesn't mean you can't communicate with them.

This period could be the perfect time to find out more about them, and what their wants and needs are. You could run a survey, or simply engage them through social media. Either way, everyone is struggling and in most cases, people want to talk and share. This might actually be the perfect chance to really communicate with customers in a way that goes beyond transactions.

Talk more with your staff

Whether your staff are furloughed or not, this is a great opportunity to speak more frequently with your staff. They crave reassurance in an uncertain time, and will value more communication.

Perhaps you could discuss post-lockdown plans, their long-term careers, and where they think the business should be headed. You might even find that you generate some great new ideas to help you bounce back in the future.

Conduct a bill audit

It doesn't sound thrilling, but a bill audit is a massively useful exercise. And after all, when do you normally have time for it?

Check every business expense you have, find out your contract end dates, and start comparing prices. Is there anything you're overpaying for? Is there anything you shouldn't be paying for at all?

This is the perfect time to ensure you're getting the best deals you can on everything.

Stay positive - the future is bright

It's becoming clearer that UK consumers are choosing to shop local during the pandemic - and that they truly want to support independent businesses. Times are tough now, but when the UK opens up again, a local buying boom could be great news for small businesses.

Use this time to be ready and prepared for it.