Making Use of the Downtime

April 11, 2020 by
Making Use of the Downtime
Lighthouse IT Solutions, Matthew Almendinger

Productive tasks to help your business grow during your spare time.

As we begin to enter the warmer seasons, it is natural that small businesses will find their level of activity marginally lower, especially so this year with the COVID-19 virus keeping everyone indoors. While this potential decrease in revenue can be unsettling, the increase in free time can be put to good use. Now is your chance to take an introspective look at the business.

What can be improved, strengthened, or changed?


The best place to start is by reviewing your business's digital security. You should review all the security systems that your company has set up and determine how capable they are of protecting your business and its data. Talk with your employees and make sure that they are aware of what is required of them to keep the business protected. A large part of security is having a plan to mitigate damage and the appropriate follow up in the unfortunate event that your business is the victim of a cyber-attack. Check out Navigate Defense if you want tools to enhance your workforce.


It is always important to make sure that your business is up to date. A simple way to start doing that is to check your website. Look over all the information that is shared and make sure that it is accurate. If you have company accounts on other sites you should verify that info is correct too. Updating contact info on social media tends to get overlooked quite often. In addition, ensure that any interactive or non-static elements of your site, such as links or JavaScript code, are still functioning properly. Downtime is ideal to make major changes to your site. If you find certain pages generate more traffic than others and want to update your site accordingly, now is optimal to do so. Search engine optimization is something that you should be running reports on monthly (at least) already, but now is a great time to increase traffic to your website. This also applies in the event that you want to give your entire site a redesign. Learn more about SEO and how to go beyond it here.


Downtime is excellent for making numerous changes to your business, not just to its website. Staying on the digital side, you could change or start using a new software if you find your current tools lacking. You could even go about restructuring your network if you find that is necessary. On the physical side, if you have equipment or hardware that is out of date, failing, or broken then replace or refurbish it.


The tools your business uses forms it's foundation. Employees are a valued tool that shapes a company. A key to success is always adapting and the employees should too. Stay up to date and provide training to your employees. Perhaps you have a revamped version of their initial training or there is some new procedure or technique that you would like your employees to know how to do. It is always a good idea for your employees to be continually learning, and downtime is an excellent opportunity for you to supply them with those learning materials.


Another productive task is strengthening your bonds with your customers. This can be done in a variety of different ways such as: a blog, webinar, podcast, newsletter, or even a simple email that keeps customers up to date on the current state of your business. If there are customers you have not had contact with recently, you should reconnect with them. For the prospective customers, try and increase communication and secure their patronage. Additionally, talk with your long-time customers and ask them what it is that they like about your business and then market that to other potential customers.

Having downtime means your mind is left to wander, often causing stress and worry. Let's re-imagine what "downtime" stands for. When there is an opportunity to reflect and grow, it shouldn't be passed up.

For more ideas check out U.S. Small Business Administration's post here: