5 tasks for business owners during downtime

For many businesses in the UK, due to Covid-19, work has slowed down significantly, and for some it has come to a halt. This can be frustrating, but for those sat twiddling their thumbs it is a great opportunity to tick off those pesky activities that you know should have already been done…

So here we are, the top 5 tasks for bored business owners right now:

1. Web Accessibility Audit

The web should be accessible by everyone. There are many benefits to making your website open to people with visual impairments and accessibility issues.

Firstly, you open your website up to a larger audience. You may find that there are very few businesses in your industry that are doing so. By being the first you will become trusted by those who wouldn’t usually be able to communicate with your industry through the internet.

Secondly, Google loves accessibility and inclusivity. If your website ticks the accessibility box, then Google will rank you higher in its search engine. Outperform your competitors by proving you are open for business with more people.

There are a number of tools you can use to scan your web presence for accessibility issues. We have an in-depth guide on how to quickly test your website for vulnerabilities here

2. GDPR Clean Up

It has been almost two years since the General Data Protection Regulation came into force throughout the UK and Europe. While most websites and services we use are fully compliant with GDPR, it can be quite easy to accidentally hold data longer than you should.

Search your emails and storage for CVs, remove phone numbers and email addresses from databases and delete spreadsheets with old contact information on - especially if you’ve been buying data. Remember that GDPR requires you to specify how long you can hold personal data for.

Make a privacy policy and link to it in your website’s footer. This should explain where, why and how long you’re holding data for. This is especially important if you have a lead capture form on your website or use cookies to track visitors.

It may be preferable to start using software to track customer data instead.

3. Cyber Security Preparations 

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has developed the Cyber Essentials scheme in order to help businesses meet a minimum set of security standards. It’s effectively a checklist of tasks to make sure you are following the best practices for data security.

Many public sector (and more recently, private sector) organisations are expecting businesses to have a valid Cyber Essentials certificate in order to work with them. It’s a great trust signal to display on your website. It immediately shows a level of care that your competitors haven’t proven.

If you want to go further, there is the Cyber Essentials Plus scheme which digs a little deeper into your infrastructure. This is generally not required unless you are working with the MoD directly.

A quick step to improve your business’ security right away is to start using a password manager, like LastPass or Dashlane.

4. Spreadsheet Cull & Process Improvements

Many SMEs are built on Excel. As a business grows, spreadsheets start to lose their usefulness. It gets hard to track which files are up-to-date and causes many issues with the above compliance points. Excel Spreadsheets are also really slow.

Now is a good time to take stock of which business processes are being run through spreadsheets and identify what can be done to make these more efficient and safe. Are there issues with auditing and accountability? Can you prove that someone performed a certain action?

If it’s for storing customer records or even job management, there are a multitude of CRM and management solutions available - both off-the-shelf and bespoke. 

5. Maximising Marketing

Marketing is a great way to use your downtime. Get your social media active, catch up with old clients and ask for testimonials or referrals. 

If you’d like to learn all these fancy acronyms marketers use, you could do a free online course about SEO and PPC - you’ll be CTR-ing and SERP-ing with the rest of us.

Who are Smashed Crab Studio?

Now named Smashed Crab Software, we are a bespoke software development company with offices in Hull and Sheffield. We’ve been building data-driven websites for years and we believe the web should be open to and be safe for everyone to use. We have worked across a whole host of industries including education, healthcare and customer services.

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