Corona Virus and Support For Your Small Business

It was going to happen.

A speaking gig is now going to be a virtual speaking gig because the organisers have to self isolate. With the Governments update due any minute my thoughts are still very much with the people that I care most about (other than my hubby, kids and dog!) that’s clients, BWN members and Insiders*

The subject for tomorrows speaking engagement has changed too. Originally I was to talk about scaling up businesses and how to manage your time to increase productivity and creativity and obviously profit.

Now of course they want Corona Virus advice.

And while I’m not a doctor and will not  be talking about health there is a lot small business owners can do. Here’s my top tips.

  1. Don’t bury your head. I don’t usually watch the news, however I’m actively watching the news and comparing their advice with WHO, The NHS and the governments advice. (Be mindful of this though – see below). An awesome journalist once advised me that if you read something online if you can’t find it on at least 2 other sites – then don’t use it. That way you are following good advice and not “my mate down the pub” advice.
  2. Contingency planning. Clients and Insiders know that I get them to think about how much money they want to earn each month. This helps them see tangible results and question if what they are doing is really working. If you predominantly deliver face to face products and services what can you put into place? Lisa Hardy from Responsive Roles also owns a beautician’s and Lisa shared some great advice on how to look after your customers and still work. If you don’t have to work face to face what ways could you bring in the income that you could lose? Plan now, don’t assume you can ride the wave. At the worse you could end up with additional income. Make your plan visual, communicate this plan to key people and look for strategic partnerships to ensure success.
  3. Get creative – it can be tricky to think creatively and come up with solutions on what you could do to make up the deficit in your income. Don’t dismiss ideas on cost, time, knowledge or skill – in my experience of coaching I also get people to think “magic wand time” So they free their minds. It is often in the flippant “yes, but I couldn’t do that, could I” statements, that enables coaching clients to create tangible solutions and new products and services. If you really struggle to get creative, post to my mastermind group and we can help you.
  4. Never has there been a better time to create online and if possible automated courses and books. Kerrie Rycraft helps our Insiders work out what they could offer and how to create and sell courses. It’s amazing how it can apply to most industries! If you are don’t feel tech savvy get some help. Which leads me onto….
  5. Don’t go it alone. Utilise your network. Speak to your Insurance broker, accountant, bank, solicitor, financial advisers, cyber security expert (if you don’t have one Jayne from Spritz Monkey is brilliant. And there is a good chance you will need to share more content online – check you do this safely) Coach, health and wellness contacts. Your network will have real value at a time like this so be honest with the right people. If you don’t know who to turn to, email me and if I can’t help I’m likely to know someone through my extensive The Business Womans Network network that can.
  6. Add it all up – What are your liabilities, your monthly expenditure, etc, etc? If you are likely to see a drop in profit have you checked your costs. Is this the perfect time to check you are getting the best deal on your phone, insurances, printer, etc. reducing your costs could have a knock on benefit long term too.
  7. Work on your business not in it” is a phrase I hear from new clients a lot. Well if you have to self isolate or social distance yourself this is the perfect time to really work on your business. Think big. If you could have anything in your business what would you want? What would you have within 5 years? Like thinking creatively (top tip Number 3) don’t dismiss anything. When clients free their mind they come up with amazing solutions and ways to grow their business. So if you are looking to scale up what could you put into place now that would make the Autumn/Winter 2020 exceptional?
  8. Fear – I know a few things about fear and after writing Fight the fear for Pearson’s I can honestly say that unless fear forces you into positive action. Fear is never good for you or your business. You can’t be productive if you are fearful, because you will fear the outcomes, you will assume failure. You can’t concentrate on business if you are fearful you are going to die and go bankrupt. Monitor your fear levels and if they start to spike get a tool kit in place – who will keep you positive? What makes you feel good? What music makes you feel happy? Walk around the garden, watch your favourite feel good film stroke the dog/cat/lizard, but know now what will help you stay positive.
  9. Keep it clean – I’m not going to talk health and hygiene but be mindful where you get your advice from, an Insider who is also a chef drafted into help top restaurants and their teams, Paul Boorman shared some surprising information on the 3 levels of clean. Phones, laptops, homes, faces and hands….and social media. There is a lot of panic and even if you are feeling it don’t spread it. In the 2nd World War they had to chop soldiers limbs off with no morphine because they’d run out – they told the soldiers that they had morphine and filled their drips with in essence water. No one experienced more pain because they believed they were getting the real thing. It is sensible to have a level of fear but if your fear is getting too big, don’t buy into the panic conversations online. Head to groups like the Insiders where you know you will get support and can be honest without worrying that you are spreading harmful negativity. Which friends can you rely on to video chat with?
  10. Isolation is a dangerous thing. I compiled a survey last year that looked at self employed people and loneliness. 100% of replies said they felt isolated and alone. The Corona Virus could make a lot of people feel very isolated. Know now where you can go virtually to get support. (And yes you can message me.) Ensure you watch the stuff online that makes you happy. Keeping positive is good for reducing isolation and another reason why you need to utilise your network’s net worth. Remember if you get stressed you can damage your mental health and when you damage your mental health you can damage your physical health too. As a mental health ambassador there is a lot of external support out there so if you start to suffer reach out.
  11. Mindfulness, mediation, a long bath, a good read – what will help you stay calm. See below. Don’t drop the things that make you happy, calm and in control of life.
  12. A new perspective. For most of us it’s going to be very inconvenient, costly and have knock on effects that could take 18 months or longer to overcome, not good right? But get a new perspective, if there’s no travelling then you’ve just gained many hours to do what you want. You could have that bath during the day, watch a film, bake a cake, do the things at the weekend that you love in the week – get a perspective that looks for the positives. It’s not always easy and its’ not being flippant, but it helps us to keep calm and feel in control. When we feel out of control we can suffer in many ways, not just physically and emotionally – our ability to make good professional decisions can be impacted on too. So for instance “think how much money you will save on fuel” “think how nice it will be to spend quality time with your loved ones in the week” “Think how much extra work you can get done with no commuting to do” etc, etc.
  13. Don’t drop all structure. If you’ve meetings and clients booked aim to keep working with them remotely. If the family is home create ground rules so your business doesn’t suffer. Promise them some of your time too and stick to it. A lack of structure can feel good for a few days but can quickly make you procrastinate and lose motivation. And it’s not so easy to get that back!
  14. Rely on tech – I’ve been looking into tech for longer conference calls. With coaching clients I tend to use messenger or Skype, but that’s not ideal for 80 guests. What other tech will help you stay connected, work on your business and stay secure? I know a lot of VA’s who love tech so if you are looking for a solution, just say. Not only that this extra time is a great opportunity to…
  15. Try new things. In business we can get so structured that we don’t make the time to try new things. Someone recommends a site or an app and we write it down but take no action. Our brains actively benefit from us taking on new challenges. “CCSU Business & Development advises that, practicing a new skilli increases the density of your myelin, or the white matter in your brain that helps improve performance on a number of tasks.” Meaning you learn better and could even prevent dementia.
  16. And lastly don’t forget other small businesses – if you can every day share at least one small business to your story. Recommend and review one on Google My Business, LinkedIn or Facebook. Share their posts – if you are finding it tough, it’s likely they are too.

Stay safe, stay healthy, eat right, lean on the right people and let me know how you get on.

More than ever myself and The Business Womans Network are coming together to create solutions to help you remotely access some of the top speakers in the UK so you don’t just survive this, you thrive!

We’ve putting together a list of speakers that quite frankly is blowing me away they are that awesome – all keen to ensure my customers and Insiders get what they need. As always with me it’s low cost and the mastermind group is just £5 a month. I’m far too generous but then that’s my ethos – as passionate about your success as you are – just give me a chance to prove it.

If you are already an Insider I’m adding a bounce back from disaster top tips worksheet to the Insiders confidential mastermind group so you can monitor your actions and results. It will be under files.

*My confidential mastermind group.

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