10 Apr Keep calm and carry on… doing great business: four ways to stay positive
Within the space of a month, most of us have had to adapt to completely different ways of working (and living). In the blink of an eye, random living spaces such as our dining areas or spare rooms have transformed into makeshift offices as we do our best to keep going through these uncertain times. And although we all know it’s safer to #StayAtHome, constant reminders from the media – coupled with the sudden lack of office banter – is enough to depress even the most upbeat among us from time to time.
But the important thing to remember is that it won’t last forever, and there are plenty of ways to stay positive about your business, while staying at home.
1. Smash that never-ending to-do list
This time last year, we wrote about the importance of taking a step back and assessing how much time you spend IN your business vs ON your business, and one of the things we suggested was to take a day out each week to focus specifically on business planning and development. If you find that your workload is quieter than normal, then this is actually the perfect opportunity to carry out all the things you’ve been meaning to for some time, in order to drive your business forward when the workload picks up again.
For instance, you could focus on your online marketing and SEO, as well as making a conscious effort to update your online content. This could include refreshing various landing pages on your website, drafting topical blogposts and newsletters, or creating engaging posts for your social media pages. Now might even be a good time to set up a new social media platform if you feel the need to reach a new audience.
Meanwhile, it’s also a good time to research competitors and update your overall business plan to reflect the year’s events. If you need guidance on any of the above, there are a number of online courses available, or of course, you can ask us!
2. A problem shared….
Remember that whatever your individual circumstances at the moment, we’re all in this together. Don’t be afraid to share your feelings and frustrations with other fellow business owners and colleagues. The chances are, they’ll be just as relieved to share their troubles with you as well. And in turn, lending a listening ear will also make you feel good inside. Don’t just rely on work meetings for work’s sake. In lieu of the five-minute natter by the office kettle or the water cooler that sets us up for the day, a number of our colleagues and clients have been organising ‘tea break’ calls once or twice a day, which anyone in the team can join, as and when they wish. Alternatively, why not suggest a weekly evening social with colleagues or other business owners? Or a weekly quiz, or perhaps even a workout challenge? Don’t forget to FaceTime friends as well throughout the day and talk about how you’re coping with everything. This kind of support will help to boost your mood and overall confidence in how things are going.
3. Figure out the financials
Another important element of running a business, which often gets neglected due to time pressures, is managing cash flow and budget planning. It’s a good idea to work out what you are entitled to from the Government, depending on the type/size of your business, in advance of the schemes being rolled out, and to prioritise how you might need to use any funding to keep your business afloat. Consider whether there are any ways you can reduce overheads, such as utilities for any office space that you’re not currently using.
4. Adapt and evolve
One of the most important attributes of being a business owner is the ability to be responsive to external influences such as the economy, or indeed the current pandemic we are facing, and to evolve the business as necessary. If there doesn’t seem to be much demand for your current products or services, it might be time to consider new business avenues. Is there a service you could adapt to provide remotely to your customers, or a brand-new product you could offer, given current priorities? The world is changing daily at the moment, so it’s worth asking: does your business need to adapt to accommodate these changes?
Remember, it is ok to feel down, and it is ok to be stressed about all the things you think you can’t control. Some of these things you really can’t control at the moment. But rather than dwelling on the current situation, use it to your advantage, to tick off all the things you’ve always wished you had the time to do. And of course, use it to enjoy, and create memories with your family. Let’s #SupportSmall and help each other get through this together.