What should I be doing to/for/at my business during COVID?

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Nobody likes the unknown.  Right now it is hard to forecast, and it is hard to know when a good decision is a safe decision.  Here is what I can tell you, and hope to provide you with some control and confidence in your business:

  1. Business ownership will always have risks.  The economy will always go up and down, and your client needs will also evolve.  I want you to embrace the fact that change and risk are part of life and definitely part of business.  Things will be hard, and then opportunities will bubble up.  You can prepare and plan for those stormy times, and have the confidence that it will get better.
  2. Take the opportunity to dig deep and evaluate how you conduct your business.  Many of us have been forced out of our normal working spaces and into a remote or home based environment.  What is working for you now?  What was a challenge, or continues to be a challenge?  I want  you think about even those basics like:  How do you use technology?  How do you use your personal office space?  What have you found that was a surprise, and you may continue using it once we are back to “normal”?  I know for our office, the ability to communicate quickly and through a variety of technologies (like: MS Teams and Zoom) will be mainstays once we return.
  3. What can you do without? Major changes, especially sudden changes like the COVID pandemic, create a scarcity mindset.  You may have found that those “must haves” are no longer even basic needs.  Can your business survive, and even thrive, without those former expenses?  Have you realized some savings in your business that you could then reallocate elsewhere?
  4. What do you need to invest in?  This is a hard one during this time, but one area I want you to carefully consider.  You need to ALWAYS be evaluating your business to make sure it is healthy.  It is too easy to get busy (and who doesn’t like a busy schedule with lots of business coming in?), and not pay attention to the foundation of where you want to go.  Being aware of upgraded technologies, making sure your security measures are up to snuff, and also ensuring your communication strategy to your client base and prospective client base is top notch.  Without it, you will quickly be behind should another economic dip occur.  If you have the means, create a strategy for investment.  Believe it or not, NOW is the time to invest in infrastructure, best practices, and strategic initiatives.  You will create a more solid, successful business if you use this time to maybe not do things the way they have always been done.

Game Changer

This past week, I made a major career change.  A  year ago, I would have never thought that I’d be making the switch, even though I have always been the type of person who likes to plan ahead and think bigger.  When the invitation to join a thriving partnership came along recently, I was honored and excited for the opportunity.  My internal process of planning for more was put into motion with this invitation, and I was ready to get started.

So, this brings me to a question for you…are you open to engage in new opportunities?  Making changes involves risk.  The risk that the change won’t work out, the risk that you’ll be leaving something solid for something unknown, and most importantly that the risk that you will discover things about yourself that will move you far outside your comfort zone into a place of optimum exertion.  As I was working through this process, I discovered a few things.

1) Opportunity won’t come knocking all by itself

If you are looking for opportunities, whether it is within your current job / lifestyle or for something new, doing nothing and hoping for the best won’t get you anywhere.  You are never a victim of missed opportunities, but instead the instigator of creating them.

2) Successful changes take work

A good work ethic, in my opinion, is the most valuable trait you can possess.  If you are unsure of what to do next, put your nose to the grindstone and do what you know well.  Think of things outside of your day-to-day activities that you can engage in to grow personally and professionally.  Volunteer your time with others to learn new skills, and be both a student and a teacher to balance the give and take atmosphere that you will most definitely create.

3) Pack your own parachute

Planning appropriately for new opportunities helps get you through the “what ifs” of the new risk.  Doing the prep work ahead of time (i.e. researching and understanding the risks involved, creating some possible solutions to how you will overcome these risks) will allow your mind and your heart to fully engage and overcome those new obstacles with ease.