With the coronavirus hitting the US hard, a lot of us are finding ourselves working from home unexpectedly or facing a slowdown in business. This was a shock to my system as well. I’m used to a jam-packed day filled with conference calls, meetings and traveling to see clients. With schools closed in many states and a lot of us having to work from home, we have to make a lot of changes to still function as business owners. So what can we do for the moment and make this a productive time? Here are some ideas on making the best of this time so when the world turns right-side-up again we can hit the ground running.
Analyze and create
This is a perfect time to look at your social media messaging and content. I would start with a review of your current social efforts and see if that is working for your business. Did your videos get better engagement than your feed posts? Is your audience engaging more on Linkedin than Facebook? Where are you seeing the most growth? Look at all your metrics and then create content to support your findings. Social networks change by the day and if you haven’t looked at your metrics in a while it is a worthwhile activity. You might be surprised. After you have figured out where you need to be focusing your efforts then create create create! Use a social scheduling tool such as Later.com to schedule out months worth of content on any of your channels and you could be done for the next few months.
Learn something new
I have purchased so many courses on platforms like teachable and udemy. You can learn anything you have ever been interested or learn something to expand upon your business. They have courses in every category, health, and wellness, fitness, marketing, tech… The sky is the limit! They are usually several lessons presented to you through the platform via video episodes and often times have downloadable pdfs and workbooks to support the course. It’s always great to stretch and expand your knowledge and skillsets.
Audible is another great resource for learning new skill, keeping up on industry developments, work on self-growth, business growth or just inspiration to keep going. I will often times have an audible book playing in the background as I’m working or listen as I’m lying in bed and scrolling through the news on my phone. Hearing other people share common experiences is something that makes us feel less alone, more inspired and could spark your next great idea.
START something new
We are always on the go go go and rarely get to work on our own businesses. (Ummm, my first blog post in over a year for example). Now we are forced to take a different approach to our days and might have a bit more downtime. I’m a serial entrepreneur and avid creator so when I get extra time that means I get to create new things. My advice for you is to create a list of all the services or products you have ever wanted to offer. Maybe you want to create an apparel line to support the culture of your business. Maybe you have a course idea that you haven’t gotten to develop yet. Or maybe you want to start a completely new service line for your clients. Look at your list and say the ideas out loud. Which makes your heart jump with excitement and brain spin with ideas? That’s the one! Now that you have your idea and target, reverse engineer the idea until you have a clear, actionable plan to follow and get moving. (More on this later)
Review your branding and messaging
I started my business 20 years ago. Over the years I have rebranded 3 times and relaunched the MOKA site several times. I also have design ADHD so I really enjoy the process of brand evolution. But over time your messaging and branding should be revised to make sure it still communicates your current message and culture. Are you still speaking to the same audience? Has your business changed over the years where you now offer more services or completely changed something and now your messaging doesn’t really fit your company? How about your brand tone? Does the voice you use in your communications still fit your ideal client? It’s important to re-evaluate every few years or with a big change. This doesn’t always have to be a sweeping change but could mean that your branding gets a slight tweak. You could revise or expand on your brand colors to reflect the growth and diversity of your company. Or perhaps your very formal social voice isn’t quite hitting the right note anymore. Whatever you discover, come up with a plan for implementation and have fun with it.
Do you have a self care routine? This was a foreign concept to me before 2018. I subscribed to the hustle and grind lifestyle like I thought I was supposed to. If you weren’t working you weren’t making money. Right? This works for some of us, but in my experience, I have found that if you aren’t taking the time to care for yourself then you have nothing to give.
Take a look at your routines. Are you eating properly, following a fitness routine? Making time for mental health? There are many ways to check these boxes and you have to figure out what is right for you, but the important thing is that you MAKE the time to do this. I had to change my schedule to accommodate a morning routine that makes me feel prepared for my day and healthy. I schedule my fitness like a non-negotiable meeting. I meal prep so that I have no excuses when it comes to choosing clean, nutritious food. I wake up before my kids to be able to plan, meditate and apply my skincare routine. Your wellness, of course, will look completely different, but this is the perfect time to see where you can enhance your routine and change some habits. Even committing to making one small change can result in a happier, more energetic you with a clear mind ready to take on every day.
Whatever you decide to do, please don’t panic. We can choose to look at things in a different light. We can make lemons from lemonade and use the time to create amazing profit-producing things for our businesses or level-up our own skills and knowledge. It’s all about keeping the right mindset. As Marie Forleo says, “everything is figureoutable”. We will get through this.