In our 20 years of business we have learned a few hacks that have helped us stay focused and on track regardless of the circumstances.
We have survived 9/11, the financial crisis, Brexit and we will survive the coronavirus. So will you. We appreciate that things are temporarily difficult, however this is not the time to throw your hands up in the air and give in. No, this is the time to dig deep, use your creativity and find a solution that works for you.
We had a few thoughts on how you can navigate this current period of difficulty and still stay top of your game.
Here they are:
Face your mirror. Look at your business realistically and assess where it’s at. Often in times of hardship we go into denial and put our head in the sand. Face it and understand where things are at and then create a plan. Create a realistic plan which will give you a roadmap of what you need to do and in turn will reduce stress and give you some control back. Know your risks and consider your worst case scenario no matter how painful and work backwards from there taking action as and when you need to.
Change is constant: The rules of engagement are always changing. There is always fluctuation in the market and new ways of doing things. Nothing different here. We are very lucky that we live in the age of technology where there are new routes to market. We can keep our business alive. Embrace online free tools and mobilize your team to work remotely and focus on shifting your sales strategy to sell online. Give your team flexibility to ensure they can manage their home situation too.
Check your insurance and contracts: Are you and your team covered to work from home? Your laptops, phones, other equipment. Do you have business interruption insurance? If so what does that mean for you and how can you make a claim? Check your staff contracts and understand how much sick pay your staff are entitled to.
Stay calm safe and well. Be obsessive about hygiene to prevent the spread of the virus. Eat and sleep well, spend time on your hobbies or doing what you love. Keep your exercise regime going. Run outside, do body weight exercises, spend time in your outside spaces. It’s spring. Enjoy your environment. Stay calm, there is no need to run for the hills, yes take precautions, but don’t panic. This period will end and the fundamentals of this country are strong. We will bounce back. Take good care of your mental health
The economy is not dead. Keep business going. Communicate transparently with your customers. Figure out a way you can still serve them. Find a new way. It is vital that we keep things going. Look at costs and reduce all but essential costs across your business. Can you encourage your staff to take some annual leave now when things are quiet? Or some unpaid leave or reduced pay for a few weeks to help give you some time to create a plan? Focus your resources on the things that will make the biggest difference to the business right now. Have a look at your business development channels and what can work in this new environment, sales pipeline, marketing activities focus more online and create engagement – share your story with your customers, work on new product development, manage your cashflow and if in need find funding routes to help you bridge this gap. Check out the government website and understand the support available. http://bit.ly/2vwKk18 We need to be sensible with our spending, however don’t stop spending – we are a local economy.
So what can you do?
Count your blessings: Every day when you get up and before you get out of bed, list off at least ten things that you are grateful for, Your health, your family, your house, your breakfast, your ability to be creative, your warm duvet etc. At least ten things! During the last few weeks we have all seen the horror stories of job losses, people infected and deaths. It’s important to manage our mind and stay positive. Focus on the things we can control, not on what we can’t.
When posting online try to post the feel good stories, more positive pieces to inspire and support others. The stronger we are in our mind the better we will be able to react and see opportunities.
Shift your business online: Anyone in professional services can move their regular services online. Use Zoom, WhatsApp Google Hangouts, Skype they are all free. Set up conferences. Create online classes or training, conduct one to one or one to many sessions online.
Say for example you are a personal trainer. Do a video session with your clients. You go for a run; they go for a run. You do push ups they do push ups. 90% of you will be able to redesign your normal services to an online version. Food businesses or cafés can also shift your services online and arrange deliveries.
Stay connected with your family and friends. Many of us are already self-isolating and it’s likely the country will go into further lock down like our neighbours in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy etc. Call your loved ones regularly and with video chat it’s easy to hang out whilst eating dinner, having a drink, playing games etc, Stay connected.
Connect with your clients: Reach out to everyone on your client list. Check in with them. Listen to their challenges and see how you can help. They will do the same for you. Line up new business for when the crisis eases and create projects that you can do together now.
Give discounts for anyone ordering during the Coronavirus period. This can be applied to any business and enables you to boost cashflow now.
Use the time to upskill and finally catch up on the projects that have been on the back burner.
The more skills and experience you have the better you will be of service to your clients. As business owners we always complain of not having enough time. Use it wisely and make the most of now. We have tonnes of training for you on the platform to do that will help arm you for the future.
Develop new products and services: You are all intelligent creative individuals. Put your thinking cap on and see what alternatives you can offer clients in the interim. Check out your competitors and see if they have thought of something you haven’t.
Work together. It’s never been so important than now to work together. Talk to each other. Help each other. Share your worries and concerns. Talk to your spouse, best friend, advisor, therapist, us. You are not alone.
If you need to talk or need any help. We are there for you. Just call us on 0208 133 2954 or email