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COVID-19 – just another obstacle you can overcome

Business Development

Changing the mindset

I want to push some positivity out to counter what has definitely been the craziest of weeks!

There’s no denying that we’re living through an unprecedented time. It’s happening and none of us truly know where this will end up. As human beings we’re not comfortable with the unknown and combined with “we’ve never experienced anything like this, we don’t even know what this is” is leading to a feeling of a loss of control – it’s a natural survival instinct to panic and worry in this situation.

The reality is, we can’t change the situation we are faced with but we can change how we react to it.

COVID-19 is an obstacle in our business, not a brick wall. As business owners, we are experts in overcoming obstacles. You already have the skill-set to cope.

We all need to look forward to a time where things return to normal but for now:

  • What am I going to focus on?
  • What does it mean for me and my business?
  • How am I going to turn the negative into a positive?

 

1. Calming Down

I’m going to mention a book I regularly go back and read by Sarah Knight – Calm The F@ck Down. Look past the title if you’re easily offended and pick another word – I make no apology, it’s a work of genius. In fact the whole series of her books is quality for everyday work and home life – http://nofucksgivenguides.com/

The flowchart (see below) from the book looks at control in any situation and how to calm down when you’re freaking out.

You can’t control the bigger picture but whilst we’re all freaking out due to apparent impending doom, we’re not in a calm place to think rationally about what we can do.

Embrace the melt down and talk through the fears and worries you are harbouring. List the worries you have, identify the things you have control of and dump the rest!

2. Opportunities

Now you’re calm – if you’re not get back to the flowchart – you can start to think “where are the opportunities in this situation”.

  • What does a successful vision of the future look like?
  • How do I change what I am doing now to adapt to this situation and future-proof from similar future events?
  • What are other similar businesses doing in my sector right now? Could I be replicating them in my business?
  • What are other businesses doing in other sectors? The inventiveness of others could spark some inspiration to do something new or different in your business to keep trade
  • flowing and open up further opportunities.
  • Are there opportunities which exist and I know in the past could have been better explored but just haven’t explored because I stuck with the safer options?
  • If I had a blank canvas to design my business to survive in a situation like this, what would it look like? What can I take from this view of my business into the current situation to identify and explore opportunities and create options.

People still have money. They are still spending. Today they’re buying toilet roll instead of a new car or a holiday so how can you tap into their needs over the next 12 weeks?

It’s clichéd but think outside the box.

Doing nothing is not an option.

3. Cashflow and forecasting

We need to start off on a negative here and build up to the positives.

What’s the worst case scenario over the next three months? If this happens, what will you do? Can you accelerate receipts, can you defer payments, do you have loan payment holiday options, can you secure finance, do you need to make cuts (business and personal)?

Work the scenarios into cashflow forecasting – I can definitely help here – spot the pinch points and work around the problem.

You have options. Again, doing nothing is not an option.

4. Team

If you’ve got a valued team, it is vital that you keep hold of them.

Honest conversations will calm their worries. Give them certainty that they’ll have a job at the end of this and that they will continue to be paid so that together you can get through this.

Leadership at this stage is crucial. Your team will look to you for guidance and strength. If you’re not calm then your team will not feel calm and if you still don’t feel calm, guess what, get back to the flowchart!

By showing loyalty to your team at this time you will be rewarded with loyalty when we come out of the other side.

5. Using your time wisely

Use this time to strengthen the foundation of your business.

Get the things done that you’ve been putting off.

Review and improve your systems and processes.

Think about the things in your business that drag you down and set about changing them.

Explore opportunities you’ve not had time to work on before.

There’s plenty to be done in every business that doesn’t get touched because the day to day get in the way. Use this as an opportunity to work on the things you know need to be done but usually are at the bottom of the pile. Your business will be in a stronger place when this is all over.

6. Marketing & long-term vision

Think about how you keep your customers engaged over this period so that when it is over you’re ready to sell again?

Keep the communication flowing, keep in touch, give your time and support away and your audience will stick by you.

To find out how we here at Elevate can help your business overcome this obstacle, get in touch today.