Practical tips for business owners during another lockdown
January 7, 2021
Try not to worry about or focus what is outside of your control. Nobody knows exactly when this lockdown will end, but we all know it will end. That should be the focus. Stay positive about this point – you now have time to do things that you have not had time to do before. Don’t give up!
Try not to look at the big picture. Try to break things down into small, actionable steps and work on these every day. Do the projects that were put on the long finger. Set a baseline activity chart for yourself (the minimum you will do today to progress, and be happy with.)
Keep in communication with your customers. I know that everyone has switched to selling on line, but keep contact up otherwise also.
Call key clients and discuss their future needs to put dates in the diary for when re-opening happens. Fill up that appointment book for after lockdown.
Ask the question, how can I help in the interim? But shifting your perspective from your own worries, to caring about your customer, you will encourage loyalty at a minimum.
Keep up your social media initiatives.
Keep in contact with other similar businesses. Form a small network where you discuss issues over Zoom calls. Collective energy is very supportive, remember, everyone is in the same boat.
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
Keep in communication with your landlord, local council and enterprise boards who gave support grants. If the landlord sees you are working on filling up your appointment book constantly, they may help you on rent relief. You may also be able to get a short term business support loan.
Succession Plan! Work out flexible credit terms with your suppliers depending on the flow of your business. Ask yourself what modifications you need to make to your business to streamline costs (products/services that don’t necessarily sell but were a nice to have cost your business. Get rid of MUDA (waste). Ask the focus question every day: what’s the real immediate problem I need to tackle, and how can I do something about this today?
Be authentic! It’s not necessary to always be positive, that’s not reality. This is a very, very hard time. Feel the strain some days, but turn this energy into action. Remember why you started the business and don’t give up on it, take small steps to take control. Re-examine your viability and your marketplace and be real about the future. Do you need to make modifications or collaborate with other services? Are you viable as a standalone? Once you know there is a way forward, it’s all down to planning for it.
Look after your wellness and recharge your body and soul. Really inquire as to what changes you can make to yourself and to your relationship with all the stakeholders in your business to make you thrive when you next open the door. And have some fun.. which inspires creativity and innovation.
Have the conversations to make sure staff are engaged and supportive for peak performance. Don’t hold back as to the level of support your business will need when it re-opens. Make them part of the solution. Do all your performance reviews, competency assessments, training plans and CPD now. Ask their opinions on new ideas/services. Explore new thought processes, get creative! Same with clients, suppliers, other business associates, contacts etc. This is your time to be a leader. Every business owner has to have a wide skillset. It’s how you manage relationships with other people, and keeping flexible, adaptive thinking will make you shine. Ask for opinions, remain curious, and engage as much valued/worthwhile help as you can.
Map out your finances clearly and what you have to do to improve them. Have the targets clear and amend them according to how the time goes on (if you are ahead of target, what can you pay off more quickly, if you are behind, where can you focus for additional income etc.)
Reflect on and remember the positives of this experience. We have had more time than ever to reframe, reset and renew relationships with those who matter. Now it’s time to do this for your business.
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