Your business and the pandemic
This page contains resources and links that are available for you to use to support your mindset, planning, marketing and comms for your business for Spring 2020 during the pandemic outbreak.
There will be:
- Pandemic and Business related workshop and podcast recordings
- FAQs that I’m seeing and answering in my small business community
- Trusted business and mindset sources that I recommend
This content is free to consume. If you’ve found it helpful, join my email list where you will hear how I plan to more personally support you and your business in the coming months. I help business owners to lead for their businesses to succeed with more ease.
NEXT FREE Masterclass: Wednesday 31st March 8pm UK time
**Lead your business online for sustainable sales and success**
Join my Facebook group to join the Masterclass:
Workshop Replay: Planning for and managing your business during the pandemic
A live workshop discussing business planning, mindset, money and comms
Live replay: Talking about and selling your services during the Pandemic
IG Live replay with Emily and Vanessa Rinaldi aka @MrsSocial where we discussed talking about your service based business right now; marketing, promotion and how you might use ads during the pandemic
Podcast Episode: Supporting Business Owners through the unknown
A podcast discussing the ways small business owners, particularly in this case photographers, can manage their minds and businesses during the pandemic
- I can’t concentrate on anything right now – I’m really distracted by everything
Totally feel this. Now that we’re all connecting online we’re almost HYPER connecting online and it’s a LOT.
It’s amazing, it’s community, it’s connection but it’s also BUZZING and ADRENALINE fuelled and EXHAUSTING.
Despite going digital and using it to literally live and work full time now, NOW more than ever is the time when we need to have digital hygiene in place.
If you can, be aware of what’s taking up more of your time than you want, and what’s wasting and overloading your time and mind too.
Also, what’s sucking your energy and making you feel worse – this will be different for all of us.
What’s going to help you get focus right now?
I think that as the weeks progress, we’ll all go through stages of change with our emotions and business thoughts so managing our minds and building resilience (without being forced to feel positive, or anything other than what you are feeling) is important.
We’re all just getting used to the changes, and I do think some sort of rhythm will fall into place as some point soon. I’m not downplaying the pandemic, rather saying that we’ll adjust to some things as the news settles in some ways.
Keeping our focus and energy conserved will probably be vital. Especially if you’re about to start homeschooling alongside your business too.
So what I’m saying is… get online to get connected for your community. But also get offline so you don’t feel too wired and buzzed and hyper connected. Got it?!
- My business is completely offline – should I be pivoting to online now
If you’re an offline business and you were due to start work on an online project already, and it excites you, and you were going ahead around now, then OF COURSE you should still be going ahead with this – no question!
If you’re an offline business and you’ve always WANTED to start something online then, same as above; this is a great opportunity to use the time (obviously your personal circumstances notwithstanding here) to do this.
If you’re an offline business and you’re feeling PRESSURE to start something online, then take a step back and breathe. You do not HAVE to suddenly start a whole new service or business online. Please work out what you WANT for your business in the next 12 weeks; if going online might help you, support you and you think it can feel good for YOU, then great – I totally advocate you doing it!
If you’re feeling pressure because loads of other people are saying they also want to do it, and the market is crowded etc etc – the SAME messaging here applies as it always has done. You are unique, how you support and help your community is exactly what they’ll remember right now, and how you can provide them with the right things right now is exactly what they want form YOU. They already trust YOU as someone they spend in-person time with so why wouldn’t they want to see and trust you even more now?
- If I do go online more I’ve never learnt how to sell or launch online
I think I’m going to offer a specific class on this w/c 23rd March. I’ll let you know. I’ve launched, sold and coached online for the last 5 years. I love it. You can too (even if you’re not a coach).
- I don’t know what to say to my customers/community so I haven’t said anything
I don’t believe we should ignore what’s happening – we can’t – but I do think it helps to talk about it from your real perspective. That doesn’t have to be full of drama and excessive emotion if it would make you feel vulnerable. It just needs to be real, when you can.
However if you’re struggling right now and it feels wrong to share anything, don’t feel pressure – look after yourself, and maybe someone else can share things for you for your existing customers or your online audience; on your email, your door, your social media then that might help.
A lot depends on how you’ve always communicated with your customers and clients before now – so go with your instinct and release pressure to anything other than what you decide.
- It feels really uncomfortable to talk about my services and business now given the pandemic
You can and should talk about your services and business – it’s yours to do what you like with. You have every right to share what you need and if it’s going to be supportive and helpful then even more so.
You also have every right to still WANT to offer services for money and make money – you are also likely a small business who is looking to survive through all this too.
However have context when you are talking about it; have you seen posts, adverts and blogs that don’t mention the pandemic or version thereof? Whilst these might intend to be helpful in not covering it, it can feel like there’s a disconnect in facing something that is really changing so much around us.
- I don’t feel comfortable selling right now
I understand – it’s a strange time. However, I will ask this: have you ever loved or felt comfortable selling? I ask because this time now might simply be highlighting things you felt before anyway – you didn’t love selling before so it’s not going to suddenly grow on you now.
Or is it? Perhaps this is a time for bold non-overthinking? Perhaps this is THE time that it feel easier to just say the things you want to say, to connect with your people, to show up how you’ve felt held back before.
Either way the solution is the same – we should try to always be selling in the best way possible for our customers and clients to buy into us and or our brand; to know, like and trust us and to want to be part of the thing we’re offering.
That might be community, or solution or support in some way, or a product that help them. Whatever it is, know that you have just as much right now to sell as you ever did.
The question we do need to ask ourselves is this (as selfish as it might seem or feel…); Do I want my business to thrive? to grow? to survive? You will and can sell for your business to have these things, and you can do it now.
In order to sell, please don’t feel you have to become someone else, or fake positivity, or even pretend you love selling – it is very likely your customers come to you or want to buy from you anyway because you’re real and you’re you. Use this authenticity now more than ever – talk to your community, be real, show them leadership, share in the spirit of being part of their lives.
You are being of service when you sell – people still need and want many things whilst all this is going on. Sell in the way that makes you feel comfortable but also willing to be uncomfortable – that’s generally how sales can feel anyway without it being a negative feeling.
- I have a really relevant offer/ service that I know will help people right now but what if it’s seen like I’m profiting off of the pandemic?
People will always think what they like, just like you do. So will you let anyone thinking that (which doesn’t have to be true, either) stop you from building and growing your trustworthy, decent business…because you were worried about what people thought of you?
These issues come up for us as business owners all the time, outside of the pandemic, so how can you use the focus that this situation may have given you to your advantage? To ignore or quieten your inner critic and allow yourself to know you’re coming from a place of service and need.
Your offer is relevant, needed and wanted – if you don’t provide it, you are stopping people receiving it.
- Should I be discounting and giving stuff away for free?
A lot is being given away for free or offered right now to support people. For example, the workshop I gave this week and my time to produce this content is free, so I can’t say don’t do free things but the answer is nuanced.
Only you know how much time, effort, capacity and resource (money!) you have to give away for free or discounted right now. Unfortunately it does usually fall on the smaller companies to do this because they (we!) are agile and can create or pivot offers and services pretty quickly. Plus we all want to be seen to be kind.
But honestly – also – don’t do that. I’ve done this for free because I had capacity this week as I was managing my 5 day free course and kept my diary free for that. As things have adjusted with the pandemic I’ve been able to produce content and offer some time.
Not everyone can do that nor wants to. But I would be lying if I didn’t think it would help my brand too – we all would be! (Side note – I don’t really believe in pure altruism – somewhere in us, we do things to help people but to also feel good about it ourselves too!)
You’re a small or medium sized business. Maybe you have small overheads, but changing income right now, or expenses you’re paying back, or a large contract which would have seen you through the next few months or longer which has changed, so don’t go giving things away for free that you still need to make money, and profit, from.
Just because others might be doing it you don’t have to, and you have every right to still earn and make decent money – we all do.
Use your entrepreneurial spirit to offer and sell the best things you know will help people right now and into their future.
Plus – we value things that are valuable so the more free stuff there is the less it’s valued overall. Obviously don’t inflate prices like we’re hearing from companies do, but work the the notion that we can all keep the economy a little more propped if we too don’t freeze in our pricing, investments and growth.
- All I can think about is homeschooling right now – how can I leave my business for the moment and come back to it when I’m able to?
No sweat – if you can, close down projects with good communication and settle invoices and expenses where possible. Release the need to think about your business whilst you’ve made the decision to refocus for the moment. It will be there, you will be here, things will change and settle.
- All I can think about is homeschooling right now – how can still run my business whilst doing that?
Get rid of the extra things that have been weighing your business down – these might have changed for you anyway. Be bold and create focus and clarity on what you want to achieve in the next 12 weeks (that’s a great timeframe we’d use in planning your business anyway),
What results do you still want to see and focus on and how you can achieve those things with a limited, and/or changing timetable (likely for both you and the kids).
Release yourself from pressure to achieve too much right now – things will settle down in some way soon and you’ll find a version of a rhythm that will work for your household.
Make time for time out – out of your business and out of being a parent and teacher if you can. I know that feel impossible, but if you can prioritise that you’ll feel clearer in the myriad of responsibilities of each day. Have fun where you bloomin can too 🙂