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Updated: Oct 31, 2017
When you’re a small business owner, it often feels like there isn’t enough time in the workweek to finish all your projects, let alone make headway on new ones. Unfortunately, you can’t stop the clock, but you can take advantage of time outside typical work hours. Enter: the rare and highly anticipated long weekend.
Long weekends are a perfect time to decompress and unplug, but they’re also a great opportunity to squeeze in some extra work, whether you need to play catch up or just want to get ahead of the game. Read on for five easy ways to help cut costs, increase profits, and improve your business over a long weekend.
One of the simplest, most effective ways to increase revenue is to convince previous customers to use your business again. After all, it takes significantly more effort and strategy to appeal to potential customers than it does to people who already know and like your products or services.
With that in mind, drop a message in your customers’ inboxes. Email details about an exciting event that’s coming up or send a simple “Thank You” expressing your sincere gratitude for their business. Here’s the kicker, though: you have to give your customers a compelling reason to buy your products or use your services again, so it’s important to include a discount, free shipping offer, sale notice, or referral offer in your message.
When your workweek is slammed with projects and urgent meetings, your marketing tasks might slide to the bottom of the to-do list. Don’t stress, though: you can use your long weekend to boost your online presence without spending a ton of mental energy or time creating a brand-new marketing agenda. The trick? Focus on creating multi-purpose content
Figure out which of your blog posts are performing well, for example, then create a round-up and share via social media. Or incorporate your customer testimonials into a short video that explains your business and invites the audience to buy your product. Low-cost strategies can have a big impact!
If you don’t have one already, create a spreadsheet that details how much you’re spending on everyday business expenses, such as apps, supplies, and office amenities. For each expense, fill in the cost, then rank each one in terms of value to your business . You might find that your corporate Dropbox account, while useful in theory, isn’t actually valuable since the majority of your employees use Google drive to share photos and files. Analyzing your expenses will give you a clearer idea of which costs may not be necessary for your day-to-day operations.
Being a small business owner means you inevitably spend a large portion of your week doing reactionary work — responding to emails, employee concerns, product issues, and customer complaints as they come up. That’s why the long weekend, when fewer people are online and you have uninterrupted work time, is an excellent opportunity to be proactive with your communication.
Draft emails to people you’ve been meaning to get in touch with, whether it’s a social media consultant, representative from a nearby industry conference, or former colleague. Just make sure you save the emails in your drafts folder to send after the long weekend — you may be working, but the people you’re trying to reach could be enjoying a family BBQ or relaxing poolside.
Taking the time to streamline your work processes can double your productivity and save you from countless headaches. To start, ask yourself, “What is the most tedious, time-consuming, or frustrating task I do on a regular basis, and how can I improve it?” It might be sifting through the team email thread, dealing with invoices, or filing your bank statements and bills. Whatever the problem, come up with a practical solution. That might involve announcing a new communication policy, researching invoicing software, or reorganizing and labeling your files.
Even if you can’t completely solve your problem over the long weekend, you’ll still have a jump start on the process and a solid game plan in place.
Paige Smith is a Content Marketing Writer and Senior Contributing Writer at Funding Circle. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and specializes in writing about the intersection of business, finance, and tech. Paige has written for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies, small business lenders, and business credit resource sites.