If you have a spare hour, try to spend it working on some quick business wins that really make a difference.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to a small business owner’s spare time. You can either get stuck into some well-earned indulgences, or use the spare time to fine tune your business operations.

If you have a spare hour in your day, there are small yet particularly meaningful objectives you can achieve that have measurable operational results.

In the age of automation, we’ve seen the death of laborious paperwork and the evolution of intuitive time saving software and rapid communication. There’s a good chance you’ll have more spare time in your full time work week compared to only just a few years ago.

What are some quick wins you can tick off with this newfound free time?

1) Check in on your Google Analytics

Are you making full use of Google Analytics for your website? If not, why not?

Google Analytics is a powerful free tool that can be used to understand your website better by delving into:

  • web traffic
  • how people are finding you
  • SEO performance
  • on-page behaviour
  • mobile and device performance
  • most popular pages
  • conversion tracking

By quickly running a few simple reports to read over, you can spend a quick half hour or so getting an insane amount of insight into your website performance and online presence.

Mull this over and start resolving underperforming areas and ticking off quick wins when you have the chance.

2) Double check your security

Many of us have never had to deal with nefarious actors online. But cyber criminals are hell bent on mining your sensitive data, attacking you with ransomware and infecting your systems or devices with a virus.

The threat is very real, hugely damaging and easily mitigated.

If you have half an hour, spending it safeguarding and reviewing your systems is an advantageous use of your time. It could save you immeasurable harm from cyber-attacks or data and device loss.

Steps to protect yourself:

  • review, update or install virus protection software
  • review where you store sensitive files
  • update passwords
  • backup your devices in case of loss or theft
  • think about using VPNs
  • use fingerprint or facial recognition instead of simpler device locking methods

3) Review your accounts receivable

Does your business rely on invoicing customers or clients? Quickly jump into your accounting software and run an accounts receivable report.

Send out some reminders to all those debtors with late invoices to keep your cash flowing and reduce the chance of having bad debts.

4) Do a quick customer retention campaign

Jump into your email marketing system, choose an existing template and bang out a quick retention email. Pop in an existing customer list, choose a promotion or alluring proposition and fire it off.

Rather than courting new customers, customer retention campaigns are a much easier avenue to creating sales.

5) Test your customer journey

If you have a few hours a week or so, put yourself in your customers shoes and see what they see. How is your online customer journey actually going?

  • Are there ways to streamline it?
  • How attractive and simple is your path form marketing efforts, such as social media, to your website?
  • Are you dropping people on your homepage or a tailored landing page?
  • Can you shorten your customer journey at all?
  • Can you make the path to sale more alluring?
  • Are your online forms clunky or asking too much?

Take note of anything you can do to make your customer journey more efficient and attractive. Then make iterative changes when you can.

6) Review your branding

Have a look at all your online branding (from websites to social media to email campaigns) for any inconsistencies or errors.

You don’t need to revamp your entire branding efforts – just do a simple scan. Consistency in branding is often underrated and easily remedied. Sloppy branding denotes an unprofessional or untrustworthy business, so sharpen your eyes. Have a check for:

  • logo size and placement
  • brand colours
  • tone of voice
  • content styling, such as headings, font, and text size

Check out some more easy branding tips here.

7) Check out the competition

This is something you can do on a break, on the train or after dinner instead of watching Netflix. Research your competition!

Pinpoint which businesses you’re either competing with or are similar to.

  • What does their website look like?
  • How are they using social media?
  • What are they blogging about?
  • What’s their price point?
  • Are they running campaigns or promotions?
  • Do they offer something you don’t?
  • How are they branding themselves?
  • What are their key messages?
  • What solutions are they using?

This doesn’t have to be a formal process. But you can casually familiarise yourself with your market competitors and how they approach their intended customers.

You’ll naturally have this research in the back of your mind when you approach your own business activity.

Although admin and distractions easily derail work on your business, spending time achieving quick business wins should be top of mind throughout your week.