The summer of 2019/20 has been hard for so many Australian businesses, what with drought, fires, floods and now the threat of a virus outbreak.
Although it’s hit some businesses way harder than others, lots of us are experiencing a slow patch as a result of the flow-on effect. Even those not directly affected by the bushfires are feeling anxious, angry, and helpless. It’s hard to sit down and write a blog when you’re worrying about your world being on fire!
On the upside, it’s a good opportunity to get stuff done that’s been on the must-do list for a while. Here are some things to do with any spare time you might find on your hands.
- Get your financial affairs up to date
Now is a good time to sort out receipts before tax time. I’m planning to upload details of all my deductible expenses to my online tax agent’s app. I’ve also checked my invoices against payments – and even found an unsent invoice!
- Write blogs and social media posts
It’s a good time to get ahead and write a blog (or many) you can use when you’re busy again and don’t have the time to write (yes, it WILL happen). Choose a few ideas, perhaps linked to times like Easter, start of the footy season, Autumn, Vivid Festival, ski season, and have five or six pieces ready to go.
- Take a break
What better time to go on that trip? Travelling solo can be hugely restoring, as you can spend every moment doing exactly what you want to. My tip: join a walking tour if you’re visiting a city. If you’re going in a group or as a family, why not do the Empty Esky thing and support bushfire-affected communities?
- Do some networking
Actually turn up in person – there’s nothing like it. Find a group of compatible professionals and go along to an event. If you can find one that’s running something you can learn from, so much the better.
- Do a short course
Now’s a good time to learn how to work spreadsheets, build a website or speak in public. There are so many really good, low-cost courses online too. Take a look at Udemy and Skillshare for starters.
- Tidy your office, computer and phone
Use the time to file, sort, organise and declutter, both in your physical environment and your electronic one. Delete those emails you will never read and unsubscribe from those that are no longer valuable to you.
- Help another business owner
This is the most important thing you can do right now. Share, follow and like, and think about what else you can do to help. Buy their product. Use their services. In my area, the Blue Mountains, which has been hard hit by the fires and the drop in tourism, a group is planning to collaborate on offering discounts, referrals and affiliate programs via a women’s networking organisation, Women with Altitude.