How Small Business Owners Can Stay Productive While Snowed In
The return of the polar vortex has seen many business owners once more forced to contend with subzero temperatures and an abundance of snow. While in some areas the snow and cold are mild enough to allow businesses to remain open, there are other businesses that have been forced to close either because of the white stuff piling up and gumming up transportation, or because their areas have not been able to adequately prepare for post-snowfall response. Issues related to business loans another source of anxiety to owners who are already worried about being snowed in, as every day they are not in operation is a day that revenue is lost. Still, there are things that small business owners can do in order to keep their businesses running in the right track even during snow days. Here are some ideas:
Do you have power and internet? Then you can still work with your employees. While the neighborhood is covered in snow, you and your employees can still loan time to working on strategy. Organize skype meetings with individual employees and take the time that you have to offer them some coaching. During the course of a normal work week, you may find that you don’t have enough time to really follow up on employee performance. When you are snowed in, you should organize mobile meetings with your workers to check in on them, offer advice on how they can improve their performance and engage in some goal setting with them. By doing this, you will be able to approach work with a fresh sense of focus when the weather allows.
No internet? Go over your numbers. It may be the case that your internet or phone lines have gone down as a result of inclement weather, but you can still use your time productively by reviewing you business’s numbers. Performing a miniature audit can help business owners identify what has been working for them and where they may be losing money. In addition, depending on how much business they have lost during their snowy hiatus, it can show them what programs they can put on hold in order to conserve their cash flows while they make up for lost business.
Don’t have access to your business’s data? Perform brand analysis. It may be the case that you are entirely cut off from the electronic data associated with your small business, meaning that you cannot work with employees or go over your numbers. Instead, loan time to refining your business’s brand and message. If you already have an established brand image, then brainstorm new venues to promote your service, and new potential demographics that you can start marketing to. There are many ways that a business that is already successfully promoting a branded service can bolster their recognition and the reach of their marketing. If your business doesn’t have a fully developed brand, then now might be the right time to put in the thinking it takes in order to formulate a branding direction.
Photo Credit to Jon Curnow on Flickr