Keeping a business running through a global pandemic is quite a challenge right? You may not be able to work in close proximity with your colleagues, suppliers, or customers. Homeschooling may have been a challenge until two weeks ago.
But many did get more time than they had before COVID changed the shape of our world.
Being a business person, it’s unlikely you sat watching hours of Netflix. But if you’re given the gift of time, how best to use it?
I spend my life helping entrepreneurs get more time to do things that grow their businesses. So I thought it might be useful to give you some ideas that could give your business a kickstart whilst we live by Government guidelines.
- Complete your 2019/20 Tax Return – This will not only help you forecast your tax payment but will allow you to look at costs that could be cut to alleviate your cash flow during the pandemic.
- Review your website – It’s amazing how many websites have broken links, lack strong images or just don’t flow. Now’s the time to take your most critical eye, fix the errors, add vital information, and increase the number of testimonials. Why not get friends or business contacts to have a look too. Their feedback could be valuable in making your website a better experience for future visitors.
- Learn a new skill – It’s never been easier to take an online course to build new skills. Not only will it make you more knowledgeable and maybe influence how you run your business, but it also has great benefits to mental wellbeing and neuroplasticity (that’s the thing that makes depression and dementia far less likely).
- Brainstorm – Create an ideas/dream board using images and words to focus your mind on things that really matter in your life and business. If you’re struggling with a particular issue, use mind-mapping to think through possible solutions.
Want to launch a new product or service? Brainstorm what would make the biggest impact and how to do it.
- Define your ideal customer – Which customers do you do your best work for? Who are the most profitable? Take some time to analyse your client base and understand what your ideal customer looks like. And be specific. Don’t say women who run their own business. Think about age range, business sectors you specialise in or particularly enjoy, key challenges you can solve, their typical interests. Write it all down and then plan how to market to that group as a priority.
- Get financial help – The Government has been trying to keep our economy stable by providing all sorts of grants and loans to business. Investigate what you are entitled to because it could be the difference between taking on an apprentice or doing everything yourself, investing in a new system, or making do with one that delivers poor customer experience. Several of my clients have been pleasantly surprised to find they can claim significant amounts, helping them to plan for business growth rather than stagnation.
- Use payment holidays – If you rent premises, talk to your landlord and see if any payment holidays are available. If you have a car lease or a business loan, again it is possible that you may be able to cease payments for a couple of months. You still have to pay the money owed, but the cash flow boost may help you through a tough period.
- Talk to your customers – Communicate lots with your customer base. Whether you call them to find out how they are and if they need help, email them with tips, ideas, or offers or you send the occasional letter, stay in touch. Don’t let a pandemic get in the way of your relationship. And update your social media regularly. Turn up and be consistent.
- Interact with your network – Look at your business buddies’ websites and social media platforms. Like and share blogs and social media posts. They will more often than not reciprocate. And comment. It’s great to ask questions. It helps the post go further and builds your relationship with your contact. Chances are you will make more contacts as a result.
I hope these tips have given you some food for thought that could help you in your business. If you have any others you’ve focused on over recent months, do tell us in the comments section. And I’d love to know which of these you’re going to do to take your business forward.
Stay safe, stay healthy, and thrive!