With the world turned upside down, individuals and businesses are in a state of flux. True, some businesses and industry sectors are thriving (think hand sanitiser and PPE manufacturers) but for the majority of business owners, times are tough. As business owners, we can do two things – try and go out there and drum up new business or sit back, take stock and use this time for business development and self-development.
Of course, if you have a workforce dependent on you, your choice is likely to be to try and keep going to ensure you can pay wages or at least cover furlough outgoings. But for sole-traders and small businesses, the pandemic has provided a bizarre pause. We aren’t expected to be out and about, getting new clients and striving for more and more income every month. We’re not considered failures if we don’t have a full working day (or any work on the books at all) because everyone is in the same boat. If your business is quiet right now, that’s fine, you’re not alone.
If you are able to continue working and earning money, great! If you aren’t, then let’s think about using this time productively for your company. Business development tasks are often pushed to the side and day to day business requirements take precedent. But business development is important! Whether your website is looking outdated or the content is just no longer relevant, now’s a great time for a refresh. Spend the time writing blogs and schedule them to go out weekly or monthly to ensure a good bank of content. Create posts for your social media profiles (or just set up social media profiles).
Or perhaps you’re looking to modernise. We’re living in a society which has well and truly embraced technology in recent weeks. Now is a great time to set up a Client Relationship Management (CRM) system to improve your customer service and automate and streamline the customer journey. Alternatively, you may want to start using a programme such as Asana, Monday or Trello to organise yourself and/or your team. Getting this set up and becoming familiar with its processes and formats now, when your time isn’t dominated by clients, is a great opportunity to iron out any kinks in your new system.
It’s also a good time to build your professional network. Counterintuitive, right? But networking is still happening Look out for local online business meetings and make new connections virtually. These may become very valuable as we move out of lockdown. Remember, we’re all going through the same thing so as business owners, we can offer one another support and comfort in trying times.
Put simply, let’s take this time to focus on our businesses and make sure we’re in the best possible position to hit the ground running when the lockdown ends. There will be renewed economic growth, although it may be slow to begin with. But let’s make sure that this time is valuable in terms of preparing ourselves and the business for life post Covid-19.
Take Care Of Number 1
And finally, take time for yourself. Read, go for long walks, spend time with your family, write that novel you’ve got in the back of your mind, take up a new hobby. Don’t feel compelled to sit in front of your computer all day every day. Take stock of what really matters to you. Take care of what really matters to you. Build a work-life balance which makes you feel happy and satisfied. Perhaps you’ll be able to maintain this healthy lifestyle post lockdown too!
If you need any help with business development, get in touch with Ruth Lemon Consulting today. With experience in a range of business development areas and an expert copywriter and blog creator, we can help you move forwards in lockdown and get ready for the comeback!