Many small businesses built on in-person services, like nanny agencies, have seen their operations slow down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if your agency is nearly back to normal now, you may have had to adjust your routine or operations to adapt. That can leave some gaps in your workday that you’re not quite sure how to fill.

If you find yourself with extra time on your hands, here are some suggestions for making the most of it to benefit your agency.

Maximize efficiency

Do you know how you spend your workday? What time are you most productive? When does your energy start to fizzle out?

What about those tasks you feel like you never have time for, or tasks that you know you need to complete but can’t muster up the motivation to do? I have news for ya: you can automate some tasks or delegate them to someone else!

As a solopreneur, you have a lot on your plate. It’s perfectly fine to have a service or hire someone to else help you with background checks, preparing resumes, scheduling and confirming interviews, and other administrative tasks like that.

If you’d rather not automate some tasks, hire part-time virtual assistants. Why have someone work full-time in an office if that doesn’t work for your budgets or needs?

Review where you spend your time everyday to gain insights on where you need help, what can be outsourced, and how you can spend your energy more efficiently for your business.

Get your finances in order

Finances: every nanny agency owner’s favorite task, right? It may not be the most fun item on your to-do list, but getting your finances in order is an essential part of running a successful agency.

Make it a habit to check in on your agency’s finances regularly, and you can see which services are bringing in the most revenue, or how you can grow your agency in the future.

Plus, I’m sure your finances have changed in the wake of COVID-19. You won’t know what changes you need to make or financial assistance you may need until you look at your numbers.

If you need a back-to-basics refresher on financial terms, take a look at this blog post.

Review your USP

Your USP is your Unique Selling Proposition. It’s a brief, straightforward statement that explains what you do.

Never written one? Answer these prompts to put a USP together for your agency:

1. Go Back to the Basics
Review your mission statement and value statement. Who is your target market? What does your agency do?

2. Solve a Problem
What problem does your target market have? How do your services solve that problem?

3. Identify the Differentiators
What makes your solution different or better than what your competitors are offering? What makes your agency unique?

4. Make a Promise
Combine the most important elements of your previous answers into one concise statement. Think of it as a pledge to your customers.

Ta da! You have your USP. If you want, you can also check in on other areas of your agency, like your business model or mission.

Start that project you’ve been putting off

We all have those small goals or little projects that we want to start but never have time for. (See? Time gets in the way again!)

If business is a bit slow, now is the time to tackle those projects. And if you don’t have any projects on your to-do list, here are some ideas:

  • Start a blog, vlog, or podcast.
  • Host a giveaway on social media to attract new clients.
  • Run a social media audit.
  • Ask your current clients for Google or Yelp reviews.
  • Set up a referral program for your clients.
  • Ask for feedback from your nannies and clients.
  • Research trends or news in the nanny industry.
  • Partner with other local businesses to promote your services.

Remember, you don’t have to do all of these things! Pick a few that interest you the most and run with them first to see if it’s something you’d like to stick with long-term.

Take time for yourself

We’ve come to the most difficult idea on this list: taking time for yourself. As a solopreneur, it is so hard to know when to give yourself a break. But making time for self-care is essential for your mental, emotional, and physical health.

Self-care isn’t just about pampering yourself or going on wild online shopping sprees. Give yourself time to do what you enjoy. Work on your hobbies or pick up a new one. Spend time with family and friends. Be kind and positive to yourself.

Regular self-care makes sure we’re at our best so we can give our best to others. As nanny agency owners, we’re used to giving our all to our clients, our nannies, and our business. You deserve that care and appreciation, too!

Can’t seem to tear yourself away from work? Here’s a suggestion that works for me: schedule an appointment with yourself on your calendar. And stick to it!