Coronavirus has affected every business. Period. Like you, I too am counting the cost to my business and having to cancel work in the foreseeable future which amounts to several thousands of pounds. It’s painful and heart-breaking,railroading through all the hard work I put in gaining that business. And this process is likely to go on for months rather than days. Whilst the Government is logically focused on larger business support, it’s down to us micro business owners to proactively focus on our own businesses.
Here are some tips to help you move forward positively and come out at the other end with a business intact.
1. If working from home, read our blog ‘Working From Home; The Rules’.
2. This includes establishing work time and non-work time. Even if your business has become static, it’s easy to spend the whole of your day and night worrying about it. Consider your household and the impact your worrying may have on them.
3. If you have not written a business plan, do it now. This need not be a lengthy document, just enough of a focus on each aspect of your business to make you think. MENTA can provide you with templates.
4. Identify each service or product you sell. Can they be adapted to sell on-line or ‘at arm’s length’.
5. Can you use technology such as Zoom (see our Blog ‘What is Zoom and How Can you Use it?”).
6. Could you use YouTube or other video streaming channels to promote you and your business.
7. If your business is focused on local customers - can you join a local community support group? Even if you are not making money through this, you will be earning respect and future potential customers.
8. If you are undecided about something, use a SWOT analysis to focus on it (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). Address your Weaknesses & Threats and Acton your Strengths & Opportunities. If you need help with this, see point 15 and get some 1-1 guidance.
9. Go back to your previous and existing customers. What else can you offer them remotely or in a way that removes the need for close contact? Have you obtained testimonials – if not get some and use them in your marketing. Even if you have nothing to offer them during this confinement time, a positive contact from you now will be good for the future.
10. Upgrade your branding. Getting a new logo or refreshing an old one can make you feel more positive and grab your customers attention. There are many low-cost solutions online such as www.designcrowd.co.uk and www.fiverr.com
11. Check out competitors regularly – what are they up to; is there something you can imitate?
12. Network. Use forums, chat rooms. If you can find someone else doing a similar business, but geographically far enough away not to be a competitor, make contact. You may find sharing ideas and frustrations very liberating. Use Zoom / face-time / video calls as much as possible to get a visual interaction.
13. Get on top of your bookkeeping and paperwork. Do your 2019-20 Self-Assessment Tax return early (I can hear your collective groans 😉).
14. Do you need to learn a software package or new skill that will help in the future? Do it now!
15. Seek 1-1 Business Advice. When you are submerged in your own business its easy to lose perspective. Getting advice from people who understand business and have been there, done it them selves, will help you refocus. MENTA offer 1-1 business advice for £50+vat per hour. This can be provided via phone, Whats-app, Skype or Face-time. Click Here for a MENTA 121 Business advice session
'Working From Home' Blog