Top tips for small businesses owners during another lockdown
A surprise to some, an inevitable outcome for others regardless of our opinions, it seems that just as we started to adjust to our “new normal”, a new wave of restrictions have been imposed and surviving lockdown has begun to enter our minds. Some will take the new lockdown measures in their stride and others will find it more difficult than before.
Unlike the last lockdown, the new lockdown measures are focused on the balance between the economy and protecting lives. This has provided opportunities for businesses, in some industries, to continue working and has therefore provided a focus point for some, that wasn’t there during the previous lockdown.
As the lockdown deadline approaches, we wanted to share our small business top tips for business owners to help you stay positive, use your time wisely and to plan ahead.
We are all in this situation together, but we are most definitely all on different journeys. Our endurance, attitude, commitment, perseverance, and accountability will be tested like never before.
Now it the time to focus on being the best leader you can be to help others during this time of surviving lockdown. Draw on the leader within and understand that you are not alone. It is all about people and relationships.
- Start with your own self-care: take time to yourself. Your mindset will help you navigate calmly through these challenging times
- Routine: find a routine that works for you. Get up at the same time as normal and give yourself longer to get prepared for your working day. Take lunch breaks away from your desk. When you need 5 minutes, get up and go for a walk even if its just around the house. Can you promote this type of routine for your employees too?
- Employees wellbeing: consider where you might need to be more flexible. What is acceptable now we’re remote working? What can be done to promote positive mental health in these times? Try to help alleviate the additional pressures that come with these restrictions.
- Keep talking: having a focused and positive mindset with open communication will boost productivity. When your team members look back at this challenging time, the support you provided them will be remembered.
Stay connected, work collaboratively, listen, and support each other and remember that it is good to talk. Be kind to yourself and take it one day at a time.
2. Get Organised
As business owners there is no scroll of paper long enough to detail our extensive to-do lists. However, surviving lockdown can be enhanced by ticking off some of those important jobs and even some jobs we just haven’t even thought about yet…
- Money, Money, Money: When was the last time you completed an expenses audit? Do you need or use everything you’re currently paying for? Can you make some sensible savings? Do you need to produce a cashflow forecast to understand what your next 12 months could look like? Could you benefit from any of the government support schemes?
- Time, what time?: Can you or your team members utilise time previously spent on travel & countless meetings to make improvements to the business? Which systems or processes are not working as they should be? Could a virtual project team be set up to review, assess and suggest changes? Could you use this opportunity to go paperless and embrace digital working?
- The dream team: How will you ensure your team members are fully supported during this time? Has lockdown made you consider your organisational structure? Could your team members benefit from personal development during lockdown and complete training courses?
- Recovery planning: What does your business look like in 2021 and beyond? Could you map this out and turn it into a recovery business plan? Could you use this time to plan the changes your business needs to make to survive, grow and thrive post-COVID? Do you need to produce a short-term marketing recovery plan for when lockdown is lifted?
Use this time away from the office to gain a fresh perspective, to create plans for the future and introduce improvements to your business.
3. Stay Customer Centric
Understanding your customers and their needs is vital to the success of your business. Just as your business isn’t the same as it was pre-COVID, your customers businesses are also likely to be different. This is a great time to understand exactly what your customers want and focus on staying customer centric. Surviving lockdown could be crucial to their success.
- Communication is key: When was the last time your customers heard from you? Do you have a marketing & communications plan? How can you to stay front of mind? Could you use this time to attract new customers?
- Customer service: How can you retain and grow your customer loyalty? Can your customer experience be improved? Can any customer services processes be improved?
- Product offering: Do your products & services have a place in the new normal? Can you use what you have in new ways? Do you need to add to your product or services range to meet new demand?
Making informed decisions is key, so ensuring you know that any changes you make will be in the best interest for your customers and your business will help ensure that your business can grow and survive despite of the tough times we currently find ourselves in.
The team at BAS Associates are using this time to look at our own opportunities for business improvement. With big plans for 2021 and beyond, we look forward to sharing our learnings as we continue to develop the best possible solutions for our clients and continue to look for opportunities to grow our business.
We are dedicated to supporting our clients through these challenging times. So, please contact us to talk more about your business and how we can help you achieve your business goals.