To say it's been a ROUGH couple of months in Australia is an understatement. Unprecedented bushfires, freak storm and hail events, and now a worldwide health event - it's not a great time. Small business owners might be feeling the stress worse than the everyday person if income periods they rely on to stay afloat are ruined. Casual employees who lose their shifts and don't get compensated are also at risk.
I wasn't sure about writing this post, because sometimes I feel like running business in the midst of a health crisis is irresponsible or wrong. But it's not - businesses are people's livelihoods and they're how they put food on the table. They have to keep working, marketing, creating - or their entire income stops.
With that said, here are five ideas I've got to stick out the next few months. They're constructive ways you can make the most of this period, even if you have to go into isolation.
Are you happy with your business? Do you feel like you should be offering new services or getting rid of some things that are causing you stress? Now's a great time to have a look at it and start streamlining your business to serve you better. Choose more profitable service streams that cause you less stress, and eliminate the ones that aren't working or make you feel out of control. The best bit is, you can do this without disrupting people because business is quiet.
Have you felt like your branding is outdated or targeting the wrong people? Now's the time to get it fixed up. You can spend plenty of time researching designers, refreshing your logo, getting your website redone and printing some promotional materials so you can hit the ground running when life returns to normal. By tackling those issues now, you get rid of any downtime or awkward periods for your customers who'd otherwise have to deal with the awkward transitional period and "under construction" pages.
Learn some new things! Have you always wanted to learn to use a particular program? Cook a certain dish? Be able to garden? Be better at writing in a compelling way? Take an online course! You can enrich yourself and benefit your business all from the comfort and isolation of your own home. Isolation doesn't have to mean Netflix.
4. Make connections
Get on LinkedIn. Join some Facebook groups. Talk to other small business owners online who are dealing with the same stuff as you right now. At the minimum you might make a new friend - on a larger scale, you might uncover a huge network of likeminded business owners who make great referral partners.
5. Get on socials
Is your social feed looking neglected? Fix that thing up! This is the perfect time to start making some meaningful posts and reaching out to the people around you. Your business will do better if it touches people personally and if people feel understood by you. You might also want to have a look around for some inspiration. Who's doing what you do, and succeeding in it? Why? How could you apply some of that to your own business?
Any other ideas? Let me know in the comments.