It was 50 degrees with a chilly drizzle falling in the Chicagoland area. And as I passed by our local farmer’s market — where a whopping four stands were set up — I noticed one stand was selling lemonade.
Well, as you can imagine, they weren’t doing a booming business. In fact, there wasn’t a customer in sight. I felt bad for the vendor, but I also wondered why they even bothered. I mean, as a self-employed individual myself, I can think of multiple other things I could be doing to grow my business or make money other than standing out in the cold not selling anything. So when business is slow, I do my best not to waste time, trying to think outside the box to be productive instead.
When downtimes rear their ugly heads in a small business owner or self-employed person’s life, it can be a great time for some networking. Whether it’s just touching bases with current contacts or spending time online looking for new contacts or potential customers, I find that spending a day or two every month or so building and maintaining my business network helps me sustain my business, and a slow day can be the perfect time for such work.
Even the smallest business or lowliest self-employed person can create their own blog these days. And it doesn’t take all that much in the way of technological knowhow to do so. With sites like Blogger or WordPress, creating and maintaining a blog doesn’t have to be something that takes a great amount of technology-related education.
I probably spend about an hour a week at most maintaining two blogs, and it is an activity that I can play with when things are slow or I’m tired after a long day’s work.
Just about any sort of business these days can use some web content to help promote their products or services. As a self-employed writer, I create such content, so I know just how necessary it is to many businesses and services.
Many such businesses pay good money for this service, and being able to create your own content as a business owner could payoff in big savings. That vendor I mentioned at the lemonade stand might have been better served banging out a few 300 or 400 word articles about the benefits of lemonade, or singing the praises of their product rather than standing their freezing her tail off.
I’ve written about the benefits of steel sheds, hurricane lanterns, gutters, and all sorts of other wacky stuff, so I know the variety of products and services needing such material, and you don’t have to be an Ernest Hemingway to create it.
Economizing and budgeting
Another favorite downtime activity of mine involves economizing my business or business techniques. Looking for ways to cut costs, organize my files, improve my expense tracking or tax documentation, updating processes or work tools (sometimes by going on the Internet or actually going out and buying the things I need), and similar activities can make my work and my work environment more effective and efficient. In this way, even though I might not be making money at the moment, I’m finding ways to make or save money down the road by economizing my work processes.
More From This Contributor:
Building a Revenue Producing Blog
How I Differentiate My Blog
Preparing to Publish My First E-book
The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.