Life In Lockdown

After finally coming to terms with the impact that our children may not be returning to schools before September, and our repertoires have had to include teaching at all levels. (GCSE maths and science are proving a challenge for me)

There have been noises during the past week that Schools and the premier league may now finish their timetables.

Personally, I feel that our leaders are trying to share hope and optimism, to keep us engaged with their plight in keeping everyone at home. It is easier to accept that the lockdown may be lifted within weeks rather than months.

It helps us to focus on the here and now, and not the long term which can affect our mind-set.

Some will get complacent and their commitment to the cause will lessen because a long term lockdown is too hard to face, but the thought of just a few more weeks is easier for us to bear.

My clients have all been amazing in adapting and accepting this enforced change, and remaining positive.

I am hearing that in business terms it is getting easier, I believe this is due to clarity, confidence, accepting the new norm and finding our own groove.

I believe that in the beginning we all acted a little like clones, judging our offering and services against others and trying to be someone we are not, we all know that this never works.

Again we are all different, this week feels a little flat for me, I think it is because for the last week I have felt like an outsider within my own little family, my boys are on their school Easter holidays and my husband cannot work at the moment due to new build sites being closed, leaving me the only one working in my house for two weeks.

I am lucky that I don’t struggle with self-motivation or discipline and this didn’t put me off of my stride at all, in fact I worked longer hours because I could, but it did make me look long and hard about my own working habits and priorities.

I know the next 4 days will be the same, as I listen to laughter and plans including bike rides, obstacle courses and various other activities, and feel a tinge of sadness that I cannot join them (cleaning out the garage however,  I see as a lucky escape!!!)

Others who I have seen really struggle over the last three weeks, have lept into this week with a new found positive energy, which is great to see.

How do you feel?

Many people say that you should only focus on things that you can control, and this is so true, so right now why are most of us focusing on when lockdown will cease and how will we be introduced back into normal life.

I believe it is because we are creatures of habit and want to return to our normal routines asap, this is where we feel our most comfortable. We have all been pushed out of our comfort zones and for some it has been a nudge too far.

So what can we control?

I have been working with clients in recognising, what is the one thing that will make a difference to our business, what will move us forward, what will make us stronger when we return.

If you are a retailer, what is the next season you need to be ahead of? How well stocked are you?

If you are a manufacturer, What is the next new product which will replace your current best seller? Is this yet designed?

If you are in the service industry, how can you improve your systems and processes to make it easier for your clients to buy and work with you.

I am obviously in the service industry, I have been reviewing my client on boarding system, I follow a certain flow when I first start working with a new client, it works but it is not pretty, I have wanted to improve this for a while.

I also reviewed the biggest weakness in my business, which is lead gen, this has been on my to-do list for more than a long time, but I needed space and the right experts around me to tackle this frog.

I am really pleased with the progress of this over the last three weeks, and will have moved this forward enormously by the end of the month, when new products are added to the Cloud9 menu.

Moving your business forward dosnt have to include major changes, (we have all seen enough of those for a while) but constant review and tweak is what keeps us from becoming stale and then plateauing.

Most of the new clients I meet and work with are in this situation, a business will plateau if the business owner is not continuing to grow and develop.

Old strategies stop working, it becomes harder to achieve the same revenue figures, sales dip and we can’t identify why, our mojo has moseyed on out the door, these are all common results of businesses who plateau.

Let’s focus on the right now, and what we can control.

What can you do right now, this week which will make a difference to your business?

Take each department or role, pull it apart and build it again.

Review your systems and processes.

Review your structure, are people in the right seats, have they got the right skills?

Do a skills gap analysis, remember that anyone who has been furloughed are allowed to carry out training, this is a perfect time to improve the skill set of your teams.

Don’t stand still, keep moving physically and mentally, review, tweak and go again.

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