Unfortunately, every business will, from time to time, suffer from slow periods of work and orders alike. This, unfortunately, is the true nature of business. However, sitting there idle is not going to improve your business, utilize dead money or get the orders in the door.
Take the time to train your employees
Having fully trained employees is not something that should be underrated, and there is no better time than when there is not enough work to go around to train staff, even if it is just in updating any company policies or procedures.
You can even start to train your employees to multitask in this time so that should you get a slow period again in the future, your employees will be able to shift around to cover work that has been accrued in another department.
Re-organize working areas
With this in mind, it is also a good time to look at how the workflows around your site and make the necessary adjustments to the layout so that your employees can spend more time working when the busy period kicks back in and less time getting their work from A to B. in this you may also find that installing a conveyor system may help with gaining extra production speed of your overall site.
Get value from your drivers
The last thing you want is to have your drivers sitting around doing nothing due to there not being any shipments waiting to go out to customers. However, there are businesses such as Shiply that run websites where there is ad-hoc shipping work advertised for just these moments in time when your drivers are wandering around with their truck either empty or half full.
Indeed, being able to pick additional shipping work up as and when your business needs it, or the funds that it will provide can be the difference between keeping a valued driver employed or having to reduce his pay due to lack of work.
Stock take and shift slow-moving items
Stocktaking can be a really big headache, and yearly stock takes always seem to fall when the business is at its busiest. However, it is highly beneficial to run stock takes throughout the year to make sure that any auditors are unlikely to find discrepancies with your stock levels.
When there is some company downtime, it is the ideal time to get to grips with stock held around your site and to take the opportunity to analyze any products that have been sitting in storage too long without selling and put together a marketing strategy to get them moving out the door for additional funds.
To wrap it all up
You should embrace the time that you have when the work is running slow, or the order book seems to be struggling to get your business shipshape on the inside (while obviously, getting your marketing department and your research department to get their heads together and start brainstorming your businesses way out of the quiet period).