To say that we are entering unprecedented times is a bit of an understatement.
As New Zealand prepares to head into lockdown, no one is quite sure what that might mean for your service business or your family.
So, what can we do?
Run around the yard panicking like a chicken with its head cut off is one option. But, it’s not a good one!
Instead, you need to prepare for something none of us have ever seen before. Should be easy, right?!
All jokes aside, these are going to be an interesting 4 weeks and there are a few things that we can all do to give our businesses the best chance of coming out the other side.
Helping Your Service Business Survive Lockdown
Find Your New Normal
That usual routine of a power hour, getting the kids off to school and working like a mad thing until it is time to pick them up is out the window.
Most of us will be unable to leave the four walls of our own houses. That is unless you run an essential service and need to venture out into the eerily quiet, big wide world.
So, we will all need to find a new level of normal.
Honestly, that is going to look different for everyone. And there is no right way to tackle the situation. It is about finding your flow and your balance.
If you have a business that you are able to continue from home, then do it! It will become a spot of normalcy in a completely abnormal situation.
Strike A Balance
I tell ya, if I see one more Facebook post about how glorious it is that we get to experience home schooling our children, I am going to lose my S H I T.
I love my daughter more than almost anything in the world, but lockdown does not mean I will spend every minute of the next 4 weeks shaping her mind.
And you shouldn’t do that with your children, unless you want to, of course.
There will be a balance to find. A way of ticking all the boxes – time to dedicate to your business and time to dedicate to your family, and don’t forget to take some time for yourself.
No one can tell you what that balance look like. Only you will find your way. And that balance might look different every day. Try to find time to do all the things that fill your cup (and keep the income rolling in) each day.
Life is not going to stop in lockdown, but it is going to change. How you have been trading in your business previously might not be as relevant as it was before the country closed.
So, find a way to make your offers relevant.
People are still going to need stuff. They are still going to need services. But, it might not look the same as it did before.
Think about whether you can get online and offer your services in the way of online meetings, sessions or programmes. It is time to get a bit creative and think outside the box.
Just make sure that the offerings you are developing are relevant to your audience and the situation.
Be Conscious Of Your Finances
Nothing is guaranteed during this time, so you might see a change in your income. As their own finances are impacted, people will start to trim things out of their budget. Your product or service could be one of those things.
So, you will need to spend accordingly in your business.
Now could be an excellent time to go through and remove the subscriptions that you don’t need to minimise your costs over this time.
Remember to be very conscious of your spending as your income could go down during this time. It is better to be cautious and have a bunch of funds left at your disposal when we emerge from lockdown.
Work From Home Efficiently
If you aren’t used to working from home, then the next 4 weeks could be challenging for you. Here are a few tips to make it easier:
Throw Your Normal Routine Out The Window: With your kids and partner at home, it is unlikely that you are going to get 8 uninterrupted hours at your desk like you are used to. So, don’t get hung up on replicating your strict office routine. Choose a window of time that works for you and run with it.
Be Courteous: Your household needs to act like a team and support each other. That means, don’t hog the computer if there are other family members that need to use it too. Don’t let one person become responsible for all the cooking/cleaning/childminding/[insert other jobs here]. Work together to find your new normal.
Don’t Get Hung Up On 9-5: When working from home, the great thing is that you can do it at any time of the day or night. If you are an early riser, then get a couple of hours work in before anyone else gets up. If you prefer to burn the midnight oil, then you can do that too.
Have A Workspace: Create your own home office space. It will help you to get uninterrupted work done as you can let the family know not to disturb you if you are sitting there. Plus, it will help you to have a distinction between home time and work time. It can be all to easy to never switch off if your laptop is always there winking at you.
Watch Out For The Fridge: The fridge will call to you. It will try to beckon you to open its crisp white (or stainless) door to discover the wonders within. Resist its magnetism and try to only visit it on your usual “break” time.
Get In The 21st Century: You don’t have to miss out on meetings just because you can’t hold them face to face. You can use video conferencing software like Zoom or video calling like Skype. There are also lots of great ways to stay in touch with your team with chat apps like Slack, Hangouts or WhatsApp.
Get In The Cloud: Working remotely doesn’t have to be difficult. There are lots of cloud-based systems that will allow you to do everything from email management in Gmail, graphic design in Canva, Word Processing in Google Docs, to accounting in Xero, and calendar management in Acuity.
Feel All The Feels
These are confusing and unsettling times. It is alright to feel overwhelmed, disappointed and angry. Feel those emotions and let them out. But try not to wallow in them.
It is important to remain in a good mindset. If you are struggling, then find someone to talk to. A large part of successfully forging forward through unchartered waters is believing that you can do it. You can only do that with the right mindset.
Keep Your Content Flowing
During this time, many people will be turning to the online space for information, education and entertainment. Which is why it is important to continue distributing your own online content.
Write those blogs, post on social media, create those videos and send those newsletters. When everyone’s feeds and inboxes are flooded with information about the virus, your content will be a welcome relief.
The country has not stopped operating, we are just on pause. The forced isolation will create time for people to get all the things done they have meant to do, but had no time. Your resources and content can help them do it.
Plus, you want to remain visible and credible during this time. Then, you can gradually build your business back up once the lockdown is over.
If you need help creating your content during this time, I am always here to help! Drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need any blog content put together.