4 Ways to Maximize Commuting Downtime and Improve Your Small Business

Unfortunately, we can’t avoid traffic forever. But making the best of it can drastically improve your business.

As an entrepreneur, your time isn’t just important; it’s everything. Even if your business is based around products rather than services, you still need to produce what you sell, and run your company.

What you do with down time can make or break your business. It’s important to consider strategies for minimizing the negative impact of traffic. Not the website kind, but the good old fashioned travel type. That’s right. As of 2011, Americans spent on average 38 hours stuck in traffic (more if you live in a major city). The impact can be devastating if you’re an entrepreneur looking to grab every spare second that comes your way. Sitting snarled in traffic can have negative effects on morale, productivity, and the bottom line.

So, what can you do to take control of your downtime and become more productive?


1. Why not try video conferencing?

The technology is certainly available between various websites, applications and technologies such as InterCall, GoToMeeting, and Google’s fairly new Google Hangouts. Video conferencing can drastically reduce the need to travel for client meetings, or checking in on employees. It affords on-the-go entrepreneurs the opportunity to maintain that personal touch that is vital in business without putting on the automobile or frequent flyer mileage.


2. Consider remote work options.

Working at home can also reduce the amount of time spent in traffic for you or your employees. The technology is there to allow us to be just as productive from the spare bedroom as we could from the corporate office. It’s a great way to reduce downtime, and can generally improve your business.


3. Travel during non-peak hour commutes.

If you have a little flexibility in your schedule, it may be time to try some non-peak hour commutes. Simply adjusting the time that you leave home or leave the office can have a drastic impact on the time spent behind the wheel.


4. Make downtime more productive.

If a certain amount of travel time is unavoidable, you may want to consider some strategies for making the downtime productive. Experts still say that using your smart phone in the car is a bad idea. If you have a blue tooth, hands-free device, it may be time to catch up on your phone calls. You could also use the time to catch up on business podcasts or audio books. This could be the ideal window of time for improving your business-related knowledge base and skill sets. If you’re looking to keep up with your social media strategy, you may want to schedule some posts and tweets for while you’ll be in the car. This could be a good time to maintain a strong presence even while you’re otherwise inaccessible.

Unfortunately, we can’t avoid traffic forever. Making the best of it can drastically improve your business.


Matthew Brennan is a marketing writer based in the Chicago area. He regularly writes about content marketing, blogging, and engaging with your audience. He has been published on ProBlogger, Soshable, and Business2Community. Connect with Matthew on his website, www.matthewlbrennan.com, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+.


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