On Vacation? It is possible to be productive with your feet in the sand.
You may think relaxation and owning a business don’t quite go hand in hand. But we beg to differ. It’s probably tough to totally disconnect on vacation but if you must connect, you must. Our word of advice? Use the time to clear your mind and think about the high-level business-building topics you can’t normally spend time on. You’re not busy doing day-to-day tasks, so you can reset and refocus on ways to improve or grow, in your vacation downtime.
Why is this beneficial?
This type of thinking is crucial to the health and prosperity of your business, and what better chance than when you have some downtime. Odds are, that you love what you are doing or building, and won’t just forget about things completely while you’re away. So why not use that precious time for something super important in regards to the health of your business?
(And just a quick aside, we aren’t suggesting that you should spend all of your downtime on vacation thinking about business strategy— it’s equally important to the health of your business (and your own health, for that matter!) to actually decompress a bit—we’re merely recommending that if you just can’t disconnect or if you’re looking to refocus while sunning on the beach, there are some productive ways to go about it.)
Below are a few suggestions- but of course, you should adapt to the needs of your own organization.
1. Check out the competition.
There’s always someone out there doing it bigger, better, or different. But we’re going to guess that as an entrepreneurial-spirited person, there’s always a fire in you to try to be the best. So how is company X doing it? What ideas can you “borrow” and adapt to your own style? What shortcomings do they have that you want to make a mental note to avoid? All of this can be valuable in the development of your own success.
Check out your biggest competitor’s blog, social media, and any press on them you may come across. Chances are you’ll learn a ton about their business and operational models, as well as how they are gaining new clients, if you’re able to figure out some of their marketing objectives.
You might be on vacation to surf the waves, but when was the last time you surfed the internet? Open up your laptop, and just start browsing the web. Chances are, you’ll come across articles, blogs, videos and more to spur ideas about your own endeavors. Check industry publications’ websites along with competitor and even websites your potential customers frequent so you can learn more about their buying habits.
3. Evaluate your existing strategies
What’s working? What isn’t? Make a priority list of what you want to discard, change, or fix when you get back. Things like: your current bookkeeping system. How you take orders. Your physical and online presence. Your marketing efforts. Your staff.
4. Finally accomplish that one thing you’ve been wanting to do
We all have that one thing that we put on the back-burner until we “have time”. Well guess what? Now you have time! Imagine how accomplished you will feel when that thing that’s been nagging at you for months is finally done! ✅
5. Explore new markets
You may think you have your target market nailed down. But what about those you aren’t addressing? Is there any other group you could be providing a product or service to? Think about ways to address them, and come up with a plan for when you get back from vacation.
6. Evaluate your social media presence
In today’s market, you 100% MUST use social media. If your customers can’t find you on at the very least Facebook, in their minds you don’t really have credibility you need in their minds. Take a few minutes to think about how your market uses social media and if you are posting consistently and with the right content. Want more info? Check out our checklist for social media marketing success for how you can be most successful in your efforts.
On vacation is a great time to reach out to potential customers. Why? You’re more relaxed, making talking to strangers a bit less intimidating. So talk up your biz and don’t be afraid to ask another person about theirs.
8. Think like a customer
Step inside the mind of your buyer. Try to think like they do for a bit. How do they perceive your brand? Are you offering something that solves for their needs? Can they easily locate information about your offering? What do you feel is missing? Or is there too much of?
9. Examine your brand and your marketing program.
Did you know that the Small Business Administration recommends that as a general rule, if you’re profitable, you should be spending 7-8% of your profits on marketing? Step back and look at how you are reaching your customers- channels like your web presence, direct mail, social media marketing, and advertising should all feel on-brand and while that’s important, you should first and foremost have a plan in place. A solid blueprint for what marketing you should be doing and how to go about it will produce the returns you are looking for. If you don’t know where to start, we can help.
10. Bounce ideas off your vacation partner and friends
It’s a great time while vacationing to spitball thoughts and plans with the people you trust most. You never know what insight and ideas someone who isn’t “in it” all day may have.
A Workbook for Startups
A powerful and comprehensive conversation-starting tool for developing your brand’s core messages. You’ll need this before you start working on anything visual.