The unprecedented situation of Covid-19 and the subsequent lockdown has impacted all of us, but how can you use this time to your advantage to achieve your business goals?
The first important point to note is that if you are furloughing, you are familiar with the rules around this, please refer to our guide here
If however you continue to work but your day to day has changed;
- Maybe you’re new to working from home.
- Perhaps you’ve lost clients.
- Maybe you have staff on sick leave.
- You’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
Perhaps the following hints and tips can help you to maximise lockdown and even improve business for when normality returns.
Working From Home
I’ve spoken to many clients and suppliers recently who have commented that working from home is a huge adjustment. The simplest tips are to maintain routine and a structure to your day.
Create a work space. It doesn’t need to be a fully functional home office, but it should be a space that you can tidy away or hide at the end of your working day so that you can separate your work and home life.
There have probably been days in the office where you’ve craved silence while a colleague chats about their weekend, meanwhile you’re struggling to meet a deadline. Embrace the opportunity to work how you want to – music that you want to listen to or peace and quiet – it’s your choice.
Plan for your day and a have a rough idea of what you want to achieve. Reward your achievements with a break – knowing that you’ll be working toward something will help you to focus.
Attend virtual networking for support, advice, and community. Avanti Networking are offering their usual monthly meetings virtually and are open to visitors. Contact us if you would like to attend this month.
Finally, be strict with your timing, commit yourself to working hours and stick to them.
It’s a sad reality that during this crisis, businesses will lose clients. Consider how you may retain your clients – what do they need from you right now?
You may be able to diversify the product or service you offer – we’ve seen distilleries changing production from Gin to hand sanitizer and pubs who have been able to provide food resources to local communities for example.
Also, people often remember how they have been treated in difficult times- who was there when times were tough.
To help retain clients, are you able to;
- Offer a buy now, pay later service.
- Check in on your known vulnerable clients.
- Provide valuable advice.
Staff on sick leave
Right now for some, business will be busier as clients require help. Losing staff to illness is an unwanted cost at any time but in the midst of a crisis it is also a blow.
- Remember to cover all angles and ensure that the sick leave is handled in line with your HR policy.
- Make sure the workload is covered, and clients are aware of their temporary contact.
- Appreciate the staff who step up to provide much needed cover.
- Looking after your staff will reap rewards later, consider the mental health impact on your staff as they adjust to remote working amid this situation. Speak to expert, Katrina Love who is hosting complimentary Zoom sessions
Of course you’re overwhelmed, you’re dealing with an unprecedented situation and have most likely switched into fight or flight mode.
Above all, stay calm and focused. Take time to consider your options before making big decisions.
There’s a lot of information out there right now, but also much misinformation.
- Check the source before you act
- Take stock of your assets, you may actually have access to collateral without needing to take out a loan.
Shift your focus to better serve your business – we all have projects that we’ve pushed back to meet clients needs. If you’re finding that you now have more time and you’re unsure of how to use it – head back to the drawing board and reignite the passion you have for your business.
- Update the copy on your website.
- Catalogue your content library for ease of use.
- Check your imagery is on brand.
- Update your CPD
- Consider how you can improve your service, plan for relaunch.
- Get your bookwork up to date
- Analyse your finances, where can you maximise your return on investment?
Remember that this situation is not permanent, and when it is safe to do so, we will return to our lives, businesses will be revived and for many – the world will have given them an opportunity to appreciate the little things. Maybe this is a chance to press the reset button? Will you be ready for relaunch day?
The team at Avanti are here to help, in addition to our usual services we’re providing proactive advice for clients to get them the help they need today so they can thrive tomorrow. If you need to file tax returns so you can access the help available to the self employed, why not give us a call 01473 558866.
Avanti – Moving you and your business forward.