Anyone who works in retail knows that business can vary drastically, going from dead to bustling in a matter of minutes. But some days are just plain slow. On those days, it can be easy to lose track of time. For those rare moments when you’ve exhausted your to do list, here are four ways to make the best of a slow business day.
1. Scope out competitors
Checking out what your competitors are doing, especially when it comes to their digital marketing strategy, is a great way to learn what you can do better as a business. Make a list of some of your top competition — or businesses you admire — and head to their websites and social media platforms. Make note of what they’re doing well and what you think they could work on and share what you’ve gleaned with your staff. Seeing what others excel at will help you realize new goals for your own business, or at least start the brainstorming process.
2. Read up
As a business owner in the digital age, learning is an ongoing process. When you have free time, make a habit of reading up on digital marketing, social media and industry trends so you can stay informed and edge out your competition. Some good sites for digital marketing content include www.searchenginewatch.com, www.moz.com and www.social4retail.com. And of course, industry publications (like yours truly) offer tailored insight on everything from marketing to furnishings trends. You never know when you’ll learn something new that could inspire your next big endeavor.
3. Update online directories
Use this opportunity to get your online directories in order, the most important being Google My Business. If you haven’t set up your listing yet, do that as soon as you can. Google will reward you for having a strong page and you’ll make it easier for customers to find you online. The set-up is a simple process that you can easily tackle in a free afternoon. Just follow Google’s instructions. If you already claimed your listing a while ago but haven’t revisited it, use this time to check in on it and make sure everything is up to date. Have your hours, location or services changed, or will they in the future? Make sure your listing reflects that. You can also go above and beyond with your page by adding new photos to your listing, creating Google Posts and replying to reviews. If you have listings on other platforms like Yelp, get in the habit of regularly checking in to update your information and engage with reviewers.
4. Schedule social media posts
While you may usually post to social media on the fly, a bit of down time is the perfect opportunity to schedule some posts ahead of time. Getting in the habit of scheduling posts will make your posting more consistent, can help you be more intentional about your social media strategy and will ultimately make your life easier. It can also help you to free up more time in the future, so the next time you have some down time you don’t need to worry about getting your posts for the day out. Not sure what a strong social media schedule should look like? We’ve got you covered — check out this handy planner from our December issue.
What do you do on a slow business day? Let us know in the comments!
Photo: Pexels user Kaique Rocha