Is your team slacking off when business is slow? Well that’s if they’re even in the office. July and August are traditionally “slower” months in the events industry so people either take the time to go on vacation or just sit at their desk and burn company time. After all, it’s not their fault the phone is not ringing. And we obviously can’t blame the boss for the slower pace. Or can I?
A lull in your industry doesn’t have to mean a lull in your business. If you know slow times are ahead, plan for them! Below is a checklist with 10 things you should be doing while business is slow. All of the tasks below will ensure that your entire team has an active strategy on how to move your business forward even if there are no clients.
1. Website and Social Media
This is a perfect time to audit your "front facing" brand. Your website and social media presence tell a story about your business which should be frequent and consistent. Does your current site express who you are? Are you talking to the right audience? This is also a great opportunity to check out the competition. Are there things about the way they display and communicate their brand that you like?
2. Sales & Marketing Collateral
This is another aspect of your "front facing" brand since these materials are used to attract new clients. Your collateral should be easy to understand and visually pleasing. Also, don't forget to keep the look and language consistent with what's on your website and social media. If you offer services that appeal to separate sets of clients, have individual collateral for each.
When you're super busy, all the admin stuff that would make your life slightly easier if completed just become a blur. Imagine if you had template emails, proposal boilerplates and other documents you can quickly send your clients when you're busy. This absolutely increases productivity if you don't have to draft a contract from scratch or answer the same questions over and over again. Does your company have a list of FAQs? That's actually a great place to start standardizing your process.
4. Workshops and Trainings
No time like the present to sharpen your tools. Analyze the last 6 months of business. What went wrong? What went right? And why? Can some of your successes can be duplicated or mistakes avoided by some professional development? This could take the form of a certificate class in a graduate program or hiring a leadership coach.
5. Digital Organization
Another overlooked aspect of your business that will improve productivity is how easily accessible files are. If you have a team that works from different locations, find a cloud-based file sharing app like Dropbox. That's just the first step though. Don't buy and just dump a bunch of files there. Organize all of your files into folders and as many sub-folders as necessary. Same goes for your emails. If you're the type of person that leaves all your opened emails in your inbox, good for you! But you would increase your efficiency if you didn't have to search in a sea of old emails. Start with one folder for emails and add one per day until it's all organized.
6. Future Planning
Great time to take a step back and think about how your actions today will impact your work tomorrow. What are your personal development goals? What's the date for each goal? What action steps are you taking to ensure you meet those goals? Outside of personal development, think about the business. Answer 2 questions; how do I keep my existing clients and how do I get new ones?
7. Sales Goals & Projections
This is a version of future planning but refers specifically to revenue. If you don't have sales or transaction goals, you should. This helps you and your team be proactive about revenue versus just waiting for the phone to ring and it gives you a mile marker to look forward to. Here is a great resource on how to create a sales forecast: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/77674
Unless you're an accountant, you cringed a little when you saw this bullet point. I don't mean now is the time you learn how to do a balance sheet or a P&L (Profit and Loss) report. But while things are slow, take the time to review your expenses and plan for the future. Some questions to answer are; Are there any places financially you can scale back? After auditing your website and collateral, would you like to set a budget aside for an upgrade? Do you need to hire more staff?
9. Touch base
Written notes are a dying art so imagine my surprise when I received a "just because" card from a venue I worked with months ago. People expect cards on their birthday and for the holidays. Think outside the box and touch base with your old clients by send them a "thought of you, hope all is well" note. The only downside here is less than half of the people you send cards to will actually respond to say "thanks" or "we should catch up". By the law of averages, the more you send the most likely you'll get a worthwhile response. So get a nice pen ready.
I saved the best for last!!! If you're like me, you spend most of the year deleting the wonderful industry parties and miss out on checking out a new venue or tasting a new seasonal menu. Most event professionals know this so they try and keep the fun networking events for the summer. What better way to spend the extra time than on a rooftop with a drink in one hand and a business card in the other. If you're working, you mind as well kill two birds and have some fun too!