So, in those days when you find yourself checking your mail for the tenth time before lunch and floating aimlessly on your various social media platforms, what is a potentially trailblazing entrepreneur to do?
You may have had a busy spell, or in the early stages and work is small and sporadic. There is literally nothing worse than desperately trying to create the illusion of being busy while accomplishing nothing. The harsh truth is, there are dry spells in self-employed work. It is unlikely, in the first year of business anyway, that you have a steady stream of work during the week to keep you busy. That doesn’t mean you can’t be productive. In fact a dry spell from time to time is incredibly useful. It is a time to take stock, check your direction and make some needed changes in preparation for your next working period. Don’t worry, that work will come, just breathe!
Instead of spending time making ‘To Do’ Lists, with which I normally use with gusto to prioritise my workload, I choose a big project I have been meaning to get round to. I use this opportunity to break down the project into tasks and get this done. Focus on this one project and do it well. At the moment I am revising my living business plan (remember we talked about that?). The path to reach my goals has altered somewhat and now is a good time to concentrate on this issue.
Another great use of your business time in-between assignments is to check for training opportunities. Check in your particular line of work whether there are some skills you could gain that would make yourself more attractive to your clientele or would add a new dimension to your products or service. I have a list of training courses I would like to undertake and I also have online testing sites I use to keep my existing skills up to date. You could use this time to hone your skills and add to them. Be match fit!
I also like to drop by fellow proofreaders, editors and associates in my field. By checking what is happening in my line of work I keep my finger on the pulse. I contribute to chat rooms and message boards, comment on related blogs and write future articles for my own blog. Writing ahead of your blogging schedule you can produce a catalogue of articles written with quality content, giving yourself breathing space and maintaining quality blog content.
Finally, this would be a great opportunity to revitalise all advertising, website and social media content. Generally you should be putting up new articles and sharing posts regularly, but there is nothing like a decent overhaul with some sparkling new ideas now that there is a block of time to be put to good use. The next time you feel your wheels are just spinning and you can’t get traction, keep these suggestions in mind. You may not have paying work at the moment, but there is still work to be done. Instead of trawling through social media and emails, you could actually be refining elements of your business that will ultimately attract new interest and bring in those much valued customers.