An unexpected lull can be devastating for a small business. But there is good news — slow markets don’t last forever. While you may not be able to bring business back to a roar as quickly as you’d like, using the downtime while business is slow to prepare for the next upswing is a valuable way you can continue to invest in your business.

If you’re looking for ways to stay productive and keep your business moving forward during a lull, here are four strategies to try.

Improve Operations

Think through the daily operations of your business, especially the pain points. What things do you dislike doing, and why? Is there a task you do every day that only needs to be completed once a week, or vice versa? Determine how you can modify your process to improve your workflow. If you don’t have a process in place for everyday operational needs or frequent operational challenges, now is the perfect time to create one. When business picks up after the slow season, you can spend less time on operational tasks and more time serving your customers.

Connect With Customers

A personal touch can go a long way with customers. In fact, many people who choose to work with small businesses do so because they like the service and personalization that comes with working with them. Take this time to check in with past and existing clients by sending them a hand-written note thanking them for their support or an email following up on a recent project, purchase or meeting. When they’re ready to do business again, you’ll be top of mind.

And if you don’t yet have an email newsletter you use to keep in touch with customers on a more frequent basis, now’s the time to utilize one.

Update Your Website

When was the last time you performed an audit of your website? Check for broken links, outdated content and opportunities to streamline and simplify the experience for your customers. By making sure your website is current and user-friendly, you’re making it easier for potential and current customers to interact with your business.

Refresh Your Social Efforts

Are you posting regular content on your social channels that inspires your followers (and potential customers) to engage? If not, now is a great time to create a plan for your social media efforts. Determine how often you’d like to post, create an archive of evergreen images and content that can be used throughout the year, and consider a platform that will help you manage and schedule posts.

Protect Your Business

At Farm Bureau, your business is our focus. Connect with your agent today to find out how we can help you protect your business.