SMEs: harness the Easter period to get your houses in order
Instead of despairing about the possible loss of revenue, harness the quiet time to catch up on administrative tasks, says Gary Epstein, MD of EasyBiz.
With three public holidays over two weekends in April and Workers' Day on 1 May, many small to medium enterprises (SMEs) experience a frustrating lull in business activities. Instead of despairing about the possible loss of revenue, business owners can harness the quiet time to catch up on administrative tasks and get their houses in order.
This is according to EasyBiz Managing Director, Gary Epstein, who says many small business owners dread the Easter holidays. "They are often short-staffed, especially if their employees take extended leave and the additional long weekends mean less time to do what they have to do and unwelcome interruptions to their daily business activities."
He suggests SMEs prepare for the hiatus by implementing strategies that will help them rebound once it is business-as-usual again. "The April holiday period provides the perfect opportunity to review the business and draw up plans for the months ahead."
Catch up on admin
A lull in business provides the perfect opportunity for business owners to get to the time-consuming administrative tasks they don't have time for during busy periods, such as communicating with customers, checking stock, preparing reports or updating company records.
Revisit business plans
Often created with the highest intent, business plans often gather dust and are not revisited until the following year. The quieter April period presents the perfect opportunity for business owners to review their business's goals and consider whether they are on track to meet them or if they should be devising new ones for months ahead.
Find ways to stand out
The SME landscape is highly competitive, which means its critical for businesses to differentiate themselves. This means reviewing their communications strategy and determining whether current marketing activities are translating into new business. Brainstorming with employees who don't normally take part in strategy sessions could lead to surprising and previously unexplored marketing ideas.
Install new systems
While some processes and procedures serve the business well for extended periods, many become antiquated and cumbersome, especially with the advance of technology. Quiet periods are often the perfect time to install a new accounting and logistics system or change outdated processes and procedures.
Epstein says the April lull can be equated to the 'quiet before the storm'. "Clever business owners will use the time constructively to prepare themselves for busier times ahead and ensure their businesses are on a sure footing to handle any eventuality."