Chances are, you are either coming out of lockdown or are still in lock down for the immediate future (like me in Sydney). If you manage a physical bricks and mortar centre, you have had to close your doors (again) and are counting down the days until you can get things up and running.
Until that day happens, don’t let this precious time go to waste. Now is the time to get round to all those jobs you either never have time to do or just keep putting off. So with more time on your hands, here are my top 10 best things to do while your business is locked down
1. Marketing plans and strategies
Time to review those marketing plans and strategies you put together years ago and are collecting dust in the bottom of a drawer somewhere! If you haven’t got a plan at all, time to start cracking.
Look at what you wanted to achieve – chances are, as your business has developed and grown, your goals have as well. With all the new opportunities with social media, this is an area you may want to update.
Think of all the new opportunities and add them to your plan and take out any strategies which are out of date or didn’t work. Then you are on the right foot when restrictions lift again.
Extra tip: Review and update your plans every 6 to 12 months.
2. Audit your business
Never our favourite thing to do but having some more time on your hands is a golden opportunity to take a step back and review your business and how it is performing and how it can be improved.
The first thing to do is get all your revenues, expenses, costs and all business records ready to go for tax time.
Evaluate how financially strong your business is and what you can do to get it stronger going forward.
Examine your business operations and management to make sure everything is functioning efficiently.
Review all your suppliers to see if you can get a better deal (such as insurance, business loans, credit cards, internet, electricity, IT and so forth). Look at what other suppliers are offering to see if you can get a better deal. This could save your hundreds of dollars over the year.
3. Google Tools
If you run Google Ads for your fitness centre or any group fitness classes and you can’t run any now, then pause them right away. Change them to one-on-one personal training or whatever services you are still offering.
Check out your Google My Business profile (and if you don’t have one, set one up right now). You may need to amend your opening hours and services offered.
Look at Google Insights to see how your web site is performing and how it can work harder for you.
4. Social Media Advertising
If you are still offering some services and goods (whether it is personal training, online classes, meal plans and so forth), keep your advertising going over this time.
This not only keeps you top of mind but as a lot of your competitors are probably not advertising, you will stand out more (plus the less demand on ads means it may be cheaper for you and will put you a step ahead when things return to normal).
5. Review your brand
When was the last time you had a good look at your brand such as your logo, pictures, images, messaging etc? Your business changes over the years – does your branding need to be updated to reflect this? Does it look out of date or does it hold up well today? Does it represent how you want your business to be thought of in the community? Is your brand different from your competitors? Is your brand consistent throughout all your communication channels?
Use this time to ensure your brand represents the experience you want your members to have when interacting with your business.
6. Back-end processes and systems
Time to turn your attention to your back of house – those systems and processes which are the silent engine room of your business.
Review your database – look at all your clients’ details and make sure they are up to date. Look at your leads, if there are some who have been inactive for years and years, try and establish contact otherwise think about removing them from your list.
Time to examine your lead conversion process. Do you have a process in place for handling any leads that come through (such as emails, texts, booking a phone call etc). An effective leads process could be the difference between a lead becoming a paying member or someone you never hear from again.
7. Review all your social media profiles and web site
This is one thing we should be doing on a regular basis as things change so often in the online world.
Have a close look at all your social media channels – should you change your profile pictures, change your description, prices, opening hours and so forth?
Look at the content you are posting – which ones are providing you with the best engagement on? Is your content interesting, informative, entertaining and timely? Is it what your followers want? If you are not sure, then ask them.
Check out your web site, page by page. There may be some content which needs to be updated or changed. Are there any items you could add to your site to make it perform better and generate more leads for your business? How can you improve your web site to make it a better experience for anyone visiting it?
8. Training and upskilling
It is often something we push to the back-burner but no matter what industry you are in, you should always look at improving your knowledge and skills to position you in a stronger position in the market.
One of the big reasons people often choose one business over another is how well qualified their staff are. So always look at developing your skills and abilities to match the demands of your audience. This will help position you as an expert in your industry and give you the edge over your competitors.
9. Connect and Collaborate
Think about who you can with for future partnerships. Investigate similar businesses or influencers who can add value to your business.
Lockdown is a great time to form relationships and build connections for your business. Reach out to those people you want to connect with to form a network. Send them a direct message on Instagram, connect on LinkedIn or send an email to start a conversation.
Don’t forget your community as a whole – is there anything you could contribute to the residents in your area to help them get through this challenging time?
10. Stay in touch
Don’t forget your members, clients and leads, especially now. This is where they most want to hear from you (especially those who are living on their own and have little contact with anyone else).
Look at using a Facebook group to help people feel they are part of a community.
Send them regular emails with challenges, how to cope in lockdown, exercise routines, healthy eating recipes. Let them know you are available to chat with when they are not having a good day.
Get more reviews and testimonials from loyal clients and put them up on all your social media channels. And thank your customers for all their loyalty in the past, during lockdown and how you are looking forward to seeing them again soon.