Top 5 Tips to Manage Your Business (and keep your sanity) During COVID-19
These are really crazy times, following are my top 5 tips to help you manage your business and keep your sanity during COVID-19 style crazy times!
- Don’t Panic!
In the immortal words of the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Don’t Panic (and maybe also keep a towel handy in case you are in an area affected by the toilet paper shortage). A resource I have found particularly helpful lately is the app Calm. My whole family has been using Calm for years and more recently I have added the shortcut to my browser for those times I find my anxiety levels rising sharply at the number of emails in my inbox or things on my to-do list that keep getting bumped. Just a few minutes of focusing on your breath can clear your mind and bring everything back into perspective.
- Look Around for Inspiration
Necessity is the mother of invention! Spending time in isolation can create an environment to nurture your creativity and outside the box thinking. Ensure you allow time in your day to pause, think and reflect. Look at what those around you are doing and draw inspiration from their ideas. Most importantly, don’t force it. You don’t have to come up with a fresh new idea yesterday, your best move might be to spend a week or two mulling over how you can tweak an old one to make it more attractive and effective in these current times.
- Hold your Goals Tightly and your Strategy Lightly
Now is the ultimate time to focus on your end goal. What do you want to achieve for your business in the longer term? If your 12 month goal was a financial one, maybe put that aside for the moment and focus on your slightly longer term 2 or 5 year goals. What can you do now to help move you in that direction? If you are really stuck on ideas – now is the perfect time to build your email list. What valuable free content can you create and give away (in exchange for an email address of course)? Spend this time to build your sales funnels so that when we come out the other side of this crisis, you have a committed and engaged list of subscribers ready to invest in you and your products or services.
- Be Kind to Yourself
If you have kids, you have no doubt already discovered with startling clarity that home schooling while trying to run a business is damn hard work. Add to that the extra obstacles of isolation and the realised or potential financial stress facing most of us and you are in for a perfect storm. Realise that you are a human being going through a very difficult time and treat yourself accordingly. Make space to go for a walk, read a book, take a bath or just sit in silence and breathe. Your productivity is going to decrease, that is a given. Put an out of office notification on your email letting clients and colleagues know that you are slowing down to stay the course. You are not alone, we are all in this together. Give kindness and understanding and you will get it in return.
- Take Stock of your Expenses
Yep, now is the perfect time to know your numbers. Now before you roll your eyes and skip over this section, hear me out as I have a couple of useful ideas for you…
Using a spreadsheet (or a piece of paper if you are a bit old-school) go through your bank and credit card statements and capture all your monthly and annual expenses. Break down your annual costs into monthly amounts so you are comparing oranges to oranges, then work your way down the column reviewing each expense. Do you really need it? Is there a cheaper or free option that will meet your needs just a well? Can you swap providers for a better deal? A saving of just $9 a month adds up to over $100 per year – That’s extra money in your pocket!
For the costs you have identified as being able to reduce or eradicate, create a plan and transfer this to your to-do list so it actually gets done. If you have any particularly high expenses that you can’t do without consider reaching out to the company and asking if they have any assistance available. I did this on behalf of a client last week resulting in an offer of two free months on her current plan, saving her just under $250. You might also want to keep an eye out for my next Tech Bytes blog post in which I will be providing advice on the COVID-19 offers that a lot of companies are offering to their subscribers to help see them through this period.
If you want to be really smart about this, I highly recommend getting your hands on Profit First Australia’s FREE Preparing for Profit First Worksheet. You can sign up to receive a copy here. The worksheet and accompanying email series helps you review your business’ current financial situation, goals, income and projections, expenses and pricing. It’s all explained in plain English and completely free. Please note that Inspired Office is in no way affiliated with Profit First or Profit First Australia – we have just found these to be AMAZING resources and wanted to share the love 😘