Five Rainy Day Tasks for Business Owners

We had a state holiday last Friday and the weather over the weekend made hiking and going to the beach inadvisable. So, we had what I would call three “rainy days,” days that are perfect for working on organization and long-range projects that seldom get done on normal business days.

Here are five things I like to do for my business on “rainy days.”

  1. Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe. Unsubscribe. If you’re like me, you get tons of email a day, much of it junk mail and newsletters. My spam filter does a great job on the junk mail, but I do get a lot of newsletters and product announcements and other unwanted mail. I like to go through my inbox at least once every two months and aggressively unsubscribe to all the email that is not core to running my business. I also turn off all Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter notifications. My goal is to reduce my daily Inbox volume to just what is important.
  2. Computer maintenance. I delete programs I no longer use. I check for updates and run the “complete scan” on my security software. I check for updates. I clear off the desktop. I should do these things weekly (which I do for security software), but it’s good to do them all at once.
  3. Review accounts. I sort my accounts based on the sales amount. I go through the top five and see if there is anything we are not doing that we should. This might include following up with Thank You notes, a “how’s it going?” chat or recommending new products we have. For a nice three-day weekend, I’ll often go through the top twenty.
  4. Idea seek. Rainy days are a great time to see what’s new in our industry. I check the websites of our suppliers to see if there are new tools or products that would expand our offerings or make our jobs easier. I enjoy watching shows like “The Profit” to see how others succeed and fail.
  5. Seek leads. This is a task we do every day, but on rainy days I can dig deeper. I’ll have a look through the newspaper to see if there are any new businesses. I also enjoy taking a stroll around town to see if there is anything new. I also mine our online sources for new businesses. Part of this is also cleaning up our database to remove businesses that have closed, which in Kona is about 15% every year.
  6. Clean. Not much to say about this!

“Rainy days” are, of course, a metaphor for days when you can’t go out and do what you want. These down days, however, can be some of the most productive days for those running a business. Imagine if you can cut down your email by half, or if you can speed up your computer? Imagine identifying a client that needs some special attention? Imagine finding ten new leads and landing two of them as new clients? These are the things we can neglect when we’re in the hustle and bustle of answering the phone, talking with clients and making products.

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