If you’re a small business owner or a freelancer, you’ll likely to have days when not much is happening. If you’re anything like me then you’ll start panicking that you’ll never get work ever again. At times like this, I tend to frantically refresh my inbox every 5 seconds in the vain hope that some work will pop right in there, and I’ll meal plan baked beans on toast for the rest of the year.
Thankfully, it always turns around, and I soon have more work than I can cope with – a definite case of feast or famine. And as this has happened many times in the past, I’ve learned to just go with the flow and use the free time to do a little spring cleaning and get rid of the clutter (Marie Kondo would be proud). They say that a tidy workspace is a tidy mind and it’s true because once the work does start pouring in again, I’ll feel much more in control.
Here’s a simple list of things you can do to get through the quiet period and make sure you’re prepared for when the elephants start stampeding again.
- Organise client work – my husband often reprimands me for the disorganisation of my client files, so making sure all my client work is in the correct folder is the first thing I do. If you create subfolders for different types of work, you always know where to find something.
- Check your invoices – you probably haven’t had the time to keep on top of invoices – so bring everything up-to-date now, ensuring that there are no missing payments. You can also update business expenses now too.
- Outline your goals for the coming week, month, year. What are you looking to achieve? What can you do to make sure you get there? What will your business look like this time next year if you achieve everything you hope?
- Plan some time networking – find your tribe online or book onto some network meetings, you may meet some potential new clients.
- Clean up – do a bit of housework and clear out your inbox of stuff you no longer need, especially if it’s going back a few years. Aim for inbox zero. Put what’s left into email folders.
- Remove email subscriptions – If they no longer serve you, cull them. Questions to ask as you’re doing it; how is this helping my business? Am I learning new skills or information? Does it fit with the goals I’ve outlined? If not, it’s just clutter.
- Revive your website – check that it’s up-to-date. Do you have new projects to add to your portfolio? Can you get some more testimonials?
- Update your LinkedIn profile – Does it include your most recent experience and goals? Freshen it up a little and look at it from the point of view of a prospective client.
- Update Buffer – add in some new articles to periodically tweet, including older evergreen posts. Update your social media marketing plan – keep that connection with followers going.
- Take a long walk and consider all the ways you can improve your business, market yourself and get some new clients.
That’s it. Just a few things you can do to make the most of a quiet phase. You’ll feel in control and ready to tackle the inevitable upcoming busy period with ease.
Over to you. What else can you do to get your life organised?
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