Recovery after COVID-19: we are here to help
Whether your business suffered catastrophic effects as a result of the economic and social changes wrought by COVID-19, or you are simply looking for a little reassurance and a nudge back onto the right path, there are some key areas that you can address to get your business – and yourself – back to some sense of normality. Here are some of the things we would recommend:
Before you can successfully get your business back on track, you need to make sure you have the energy and mindset to focus – that means making sure you’re at your best. The months of lockdown affected many people in different ways, but increased levels of anxiety were reported throughout as an extremely common experience.
Anxiety itself can be helpful; a low level of fear ensures that we take action to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Panic, however, has a detrimental effect; it causes us to lose focus, become immobilised and unable to make decisions, and results in poor judgement.
Some of the most effective steps you can take in looking after yourself and keeping your anxiety levels in check will not only ensure you are well-prepared to deal with your work life, but will make you feel much better all round:
- Self-reflection – Take some time each day to consider how the day has impacted you and to think about your responses to the events that occurred. Self-awareness can help us to recognise our fears and nip them in the bud so that we can refocus our energy
- Find the positive – Whilst we can’t control events, we can control how we choose to perceive them. Look for the good in situations and where your reaction to an event is automatically negative, take some time to work out whether there might be an opportunity there rather than a threat. If you have had a bad day, focus on one thing that you are grateful for
- Eat well – Healthy eating not only helps to build your immune system but will also give you more energy and help you to concentrate
- Take time out – It is down to you to find your own way to create a sense of calm and allow yourself the head space for clear judgement. Some great ways to give yourself downtime for reflection are:
– Exercise – Whether it is walking your dog, ten minutes of sit-ups, or an hour of cardio, this can be a great way to relieve stress and promote those feel-good hormones
– Contact with others – Try to make time to engage with those who make you smile or laugh, the people in your life who are supportive and have similar interests. Whether a quick message, a video call or a socially distanced coffee, a chat with someone you care about will give you a boost
– Relaxation – We each have our own preferences for powering down. Yours might be a long, hot bath, a cuppa in the garden or some meditation; whichever one allows you to exhale, make the time for it.
Just as with self care, whilst some level of concern about the future of your business is both healthy and helpful, panic is not. Now is not the time for knee-jerk reactions; dramatic changes in direction, for some businesses, have been both necessary and fruitful – but decisions should be taken objectively and with a clear mind.
We have found ourselves launched very suddenly into a low-touch economy, where person-to-person engagement has been minimised, payments are contactless, purchases are delivered to our doorstep and video calls have become the norm.
These changes are widely considered to have been inevitable – COVID 19 has simply accelerated them greatly. There are some things you can do, with this in mind, to ensure the future of your business:
- Look at your customers’ needs – What are your customers struggling with? What are their challenges? If you can find that out – through listening to them, asking them questions or engaging on social media – you can adjust your offering to gain some competitive advantage. It doesn’t necessarily mean a product change, it might be as simple as taking card payments rather than cash; being able to support them with finance or staged payments to spread their financial outlay; or supporting them with advice on your specific area of knowledge or expertise through an online chat platform.
- Consider your long-term objectives – Does your strategy still work in light of COVID 19? Review what you set out to achieve within the next 6-12 months. If your marketplace has changed so dramatically that you need to steer in a new direction, look at your options and set some alternative strategic goals and break these down into tactics and then bite-sized actions. If your long-term goals are achievable but not within the time frame you set, then review your plans for the coming year; perhaps hold off on larger investments, or look at reducing overhead costs in line with a more realistic projection. If you are lucky enough to be in a position of opportunity, then now is the time to get ahead; experienced and highly skilled personnel have become available as a result of the unfortunate staff cuts some businesses have had to make – you might scoop up someone who can take your business to the next level.
- Give yourself a break – The past 6 months have been extremely challenging. Whether you have been at the heart of sudden demand for your service or whether your business levels nosedived, the pressure will have taken its toll. Both you and your team deserve some collective recognition for what you have achieved together, as well as some down time.
COVID-19 has created very sudden and unforeseen challenges; some of those leading to opportunity, some leading to the collapse of both businesses and peoples’ lives. Most of us have spent the time somewhere in between, trying to make the best of things and waiting for the economic and social landscape to improve.
As things stand, this may be as normal as we get for a while, so if you are looking for financial support or business advice, we can help with that. Ease a little of your load and talk to us – you never know, it might be one more step back to normality for you and your business.