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After hours: a business growth strategy for your spare time

Business Advice

After hours: a business growth strategy for your spare time

Updated: 17 August 2020

Running a small business is a 24-hour job. Even when you’re not in the office, finding ways to help your business succeed is always a priority. There are countless things you can do in your spare time which can all feed into your business growth strategy. We’ll explore some of the most popular methods, providing you with a strategy that can help optimise your time and benefit your business in the process.

Social Media

Social media is a fantastic strategy for small businesses to pursue. It’s quick, low-cost, and can help you connect with potential customers across multiple touchpoints. According to recent research, 58% of small business marketers spend at least 10 minutes on social media every day, while 26% spend as much as an hour every day on social media marketing. Spending a few minutes at various intervals during the day can make all the difference. Posts on the way to a meeting or on the way home are easily achievable, and quickly stack up to something that can put you ahead of your competitors.

Different social media channels peak at different times throughout the day; LinkedIn peaks early in the morning, from 7am to 9am and in the evening from 5pm to 6pm. Twitter and Facebook, on the other hand, are most active from midday to early afternoon. A tweet, blog post, Instagram post or story can be produced quickly at any time of the day. They can make a big difference to your marketing efforts, making social media an excellent business growth strategy for you to pursue in your spare time.

Find a Mentor

Small businesses that receive help from a mentor are roughly 20% more likely to experience growth. For many business owners, receiving mentorship in their spare time is not only time-efficient but immensely helpful. It’s a business growth strategy that can have a serious impact on your business’s development. The government-backed MentorsMe initiative makes finding a mentor easy, while there are also plenty of private mentoring programs that business owners can make use of.

Peer-to-peer mentorship can help you improve your business practices, identify solutions you haven’t thought of, keep you focused, and increase productivity. Bouncing ideas off an experienced professional is one of the most helpful things for any business owner. Most mentorship programs only require a couple of hours per month, making it easy to pursue in your spare time.

Despite the short time commitment, the potential for impact on your business is enormous. In the short term, a mentor can help you reduce stress and keep things in perspective, whereas in the long term, mentors can help clarify goals and identify existing problems.

Mobile apps

Use apps in your spare time to free up your workday for essential tasks. The day-to-day travails of running a business can easily get on top of you, so moving tasks to your spare time can have a massive impact on your productivity. Pay invoices on your commute by using an accounting app like FreshBooks or FreeAgent. Use Wunderlist to set your priorities and manage your day from the comfort of your home. By mobilising your business and completing tasks outside the office, apps are a great way to boost your business in your spare time.

Take a Break

It sounds simple, but leaving some time to relax can be one the most important parts of your business growth strategy. We all have a limited amount of cognitive resources, and working flat out throughout the day just increases mental fatigue and makes you burn out quicker. According to a study by Harvard University, sleep deprivation costs US companies an estimated $63.2bn per year in lost productivity. If you really struggle to switch off, you could actually plan relaxation time into your week. Put it in your diary – set it in stone. Switch off your phone and give your brain the downtime it needs to fully prepare you for the day ahead.

Key takeaways

From social media to mentorship, there’s a host of different things you can pursue in your spare time to compliment your business growth strategy. Follow these steps to optimise your time and get a leg up on the competition.

  1. A few minutes each day on social media can help boost your marketing efforts
  2. Chatting to a mentor in your spare time can help you reduce stress and regain perspective
  3. Use time-saving apps to complete tasks in your spare time – do your accounting on your commute, for example
  4. Take a break! You’ll feel better, increase your productivity, and give your brain some time to refuel for the day ahead
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