Posts Tagged ‘how’
Over the last couple of months, I have seen a few other freelancing and small business blogs talk about things to do when work dries up. I guess maybe this is a common topic because the economy is still suffering (so I am told).
My problem with such lists is that they are all painting around the edges with suggestions such as “catch up with filing” or “tidy your storage system” – which is all fine, but I imagine that most freelancers, contractors and small business bods would rather be doing productive work earning cash than taking time to “spruce up your office plants”.
So may I present:
an alternative top 20 list of things to try when things turn quiet:
- Setup or refine adwords – If you don’t have an adwords account, set one up to advertise your services. If you do have adwords in place, try some new ad variations and A/B split test the adverts.
- Refresh your web site – Bring it up to date, and create landing pages for your core skills – linking them to your adword (or other) adverts.
- Create marketing material – Create a brochure, flyers and other material for sales presentations, networking and meetings
- Create client case studies – Case studies create a strong story and you can never have too many. Have them in both printed and web based formats.
- Update your CV – Bring your CV up to date with your latest activities, skills and training
- Scour the contracts boards – There are plenty of web boards with both contract and freelance positions available. Search them every morning and the phone will start ringing.
- Start an a/b split test on your web content – You web site may be good, but could it be better? Use A&B testing to see if your visitors agree. I am going to talk about A&B testing tomorrow.
- Write to previous customers – Use your list of contacts, and send them a (good) mailshot asking if they need more work done.
- Make contact with other freelancers for any off shoot work – Use your outlook, Gmail or Linkedin contacts list and make contacts with your social peers in case they need a helping hand
- Send a mailshot to likely local customers – People love to buy local. Hit the yellow pages and send a mailshot to local companies who could use your services
- Lean a new skill through a 30 day teach yourself book – There are lots of great books available to teach you new skills. Take the time to add to your skill set.
- Streamline your business processes – Look at all the aspects of your business from quotation, to invoicing to support. Are there any parts that can be improved, streamlined or automated.
- Invent a value add to your service – Can you take the slack time to add a new feature of benefit which would make you or your product more sellable?
- Create an off line revenue generation idea – Do some brain storming and start a bolt-on enterprise to generate money whilst you sleep.
- Look for more LinkedIn contacts, and tell all contacts of your availability – If you haven’t updated your LinkedIn contacts for a while, time to see who else is worth adding
- Review your company spending costs – If times are lean, maybe it’s time to review your company spending and see what costs can be cut to increase profit
- Think about taking on a short term Contract – You may prefer working from home on a freelance basis, but when times are tough, don’t rule out taking a short contract through an agency. Very short (day or week length) contracts sometimes pay very well.
- Spend time doing a technology refresh – Look at the tools that you use – can they do with a clean up or upgrade?
- Investigate (R&D) on new products – Things are always changing. Take some time to do some web research or attend open events. What new products are out there, what are suppliers launching?
- Clean your environment and do filing whilst you wait for work to come on – And of course the office clean. But only when you have done everything else and are waiting for the phone to ring.