Do you ever find yourself putting the greater business goals and objectives on the back burner? During the day-to-day, it is difficult to focus on those mundane tasks while trying to keep up with your current workload. Focusing on employees and company culture are two areas that are just as important to the success of your business, but oftentimes get overlooked.

6 Ways to Grow Your Company in Slow Times

The off-season is the perfect time to dedicate to creating and refining best practices and systems for all those back-burner items. It frees up time to collaborate with employees on important issues. Then, as it gets busy through the rest of the year, you simply check to ensure that everything new is being implemented and followed.

Here are six important areas to work on in down times that contribute to company growth.

1 – Establish and Communicate Benefits to Employees

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Employee benefits are incredibly important to not only your retention rates but will also allow your company to thrive and succeed on the business side. Not only is providing your employees with quality benefits important, but it is also your job to communicate what and when those benefits are offered to everyone in the company. When determining what benefits you offer employees, first identify what your competitors are doing, then choose what you want to offer and use it as a recruiting tool.

Communicating these benefits is typically a task that the HR department will take on leading up to the open enrollment period. For small businesses that don’t necessarily have an HR department, the person who currently manages on-boarding and employee benefits will be your go-to.

So, what is open enrollment? This is the period in which employees are eligible to sign-up for or change current benefit enrollments, typically extending from November to January. Host a meeting before this time frame to communicate offered benefits to your employees and allow them time to consider which they might be interested in for the upcoming year.

2 – Reinforce Company Culture

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Culture is a huge part of any business, and this goes without saying but when employees enjoy showing up to work each morning they are more likely to perform at a higher level. Establishing this culture from the beginning is the best way to ensure it sticks. Create something that people want to be a part of and do your best to ensure it doesn’t slip to the wayside.

Reinforce this during the slow times by encouraging fun, non-work related activities to increase morale and motivate your employees. This can boost productivity and can ultimately help get your company out of the slow season you’re experiencing. You might even consider implementing a Friday happy hour, or a quarterly team dinner to reward employees and create a sense of community.

3 – Establish a Clear Mission

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Mission statements and company values are two elements you want to establish and ensure are being displayed by your employees. These can directly influence the way your brand is being portrayed by your potential customers and should start from within. Take some time during the slow months to ensure your employees embody these same values.

If you haven’t yet established values or would like to do a little revamping, now is a perfect time. Come together with your staff to establish the values your brand currently stands for and maybe even ones that you would like to strive for. Then embody these values in your daily tasks and your brand will become stronger than ever.

4 – Optimize Your Website for SEO

how to use SEO keywords

Unlike the previous tips, your website’s SEO will directly impact the growth of your business if done correctly. This is the perfect task to focus on during slow times to help you capture business that may be going to your competitors. Hubspot listed the three components of a strong SEO strategy as technical website setup, content, and links. It’s worth taking the time to engage your team in learning more about these approaches to SEO and how to incorporate them into your current strategies. Research and identify areas on your site that may be lacking and focus on improving your team’s efforts toward increasing your company’s online presence.

5 – Focus Marketing Efforts on Trending Events

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When marketing for anything it’s good to keep up with today’s trends. This goes without saying, but social media is one of the best ways to get your brand noticed without allocating a huge budget. Keep up with the viral sensations and make them your own to create organic traffic to your accounts. In turn, you will notice more and more traffic to your website, which will eventually turn into customers.

Leveraging social media to grow your business will not only gain you customers, but it will also allow you to manage your brand and reputation on the internet. This is important because social media is generally where people go for their news, and oftentimes where people go to complain. Being able to have a handle on who is mentioning your brand and expressing exceptional customer service through social media will only help maintain your brand image in the long run.

6 – Revamp Customer Service

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Speaking of customer service, this is one of the most important roles of your company. Establishing a team of individuals who truly have a passion for the brand and ensuring your customers also have great experiences is key. Making the customer happy will go a long way and can even turn into marketing through word of mouth, which is one of the best forms of marketing. Be sure you are doing what you can to maintain good relationships with your customers by following customer service best practices daily.

Maximizing Productivity in Down Times

These six areas are enough to keep any company productive in a slow season.

  1. Establish and Communicate Benefits to Employees
  2. Reinforce Company Culture
  3. Establish a Clear Mission
  4. Optimize Your Website for SEO
  5. Focus Marketing Efforts on Trending Events
  6. Revamp Customer Service

To get started, just pick one area and commit to working on it. Prioritize any or all of these items during down times and you’ll be set up for even better company growth when times get busy!

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Andre Palko Owner
Andre Palko is founder of the Small Business Rainmaker™ and its free weekly e-newsletter. He is dedicated to delivering award-winning marketing and content that helps business owners thrive in any economy.