Like you, never in my 10 years of owning a business have I witnessed such mass interruption which is affecting us all in some way, either in business, personally or both.
What I have experienced in the last 14 days working closely with my clients has been really interesting.
We are all different and cope with things in our own way. What works for some won’t work for others.
I am sure that like me, you have witnessed a huge amount of panic selling across all social platforms, our inboxes are inundated with online program after program and free this and that.
Personally I feel that those early offers have fallen on deaf ears, I believe we needed the last two weeks to process our thoughts and emotions on the enforced changes, adapt to our new norm and find our groove.
I have been reassuring clients that it is ok not to have launched anything new yet, and to focus providing the very best support to their existing clients which is where my effort has been.
I feel that now more than ever our customers need to feel safe. We can play our part in helping them feel that way, by being open and honest in our communication, keeping them informed of any changes to our service and being the experts in our field, the other thing we can do is to offer them a community, now is not the time to work in Silo.
I have seen an increase in the number of people asking to join my business Facebook group – Business Bitesize.
During my Mastermind groups, I have seen where working together and sharing challenges has resulted in some fantastic opportunities for new areas of business, just by allowing others to look in, solutions have been found. Pull on your professional network right now and let them to help you adapt your business to survive this period of uncertainty.
Many clients have witnessed members of their teams really step up and support them where others have seen employees disappoint and almost push against them.
During change and adversity we value and remember the people that support us, but as leaders we recognise that people react differently and what you may be seeing from some is fear and anxiety not acts of rebellion.
Communication is everything, some of your team will need more direction and reassurance than others, some do not cope well with change and others may be experiencing personal challenges and complete isolation, you can offer support and a community by hosting team group chats.
Lots of fantastic leaders have been holding after work virtual team drinks and quizzes.
The last thing you want is your team feeling disconnected and a low morale, as when normal life resumes and it will at some point, you will need your team to return with their A game.
Keeping your team motivated and engaged is critical to the success of your come back.
Now is the time to add real value to your audience. What do they need right now that you can offer?
How can you help make their lives easier as they survive this crisis?
How can you adapt your product or service so your customers can still buy from you?
What are you learning from these weeks, that will change your business forever?
There have been some real heroes throughout this, and we will all remember their efforts.
SME’s are known for their grit and determination, business is tough at the best of times, some of us thrive on the tough times and challenge.
I have seen two types of business owners recently, one who rolls their sleeves up, embraces the change, adapts, shows flexibility and flair, who isn’t afraid to try new technology and is comfortable sharing their emotions and vulnerabilities. I do not worry about these at all as their business will grow stronger because of this pandemic.
Other business owners cannot process the fear, or push beyond the panic, they are sending out mixed messages and instead of using strategy there are pushing the hard sell. When they finally lift their head to gain a sense of clarity it will sadly be too late.
There is so much help out there right now, some will be relevant to you but lots wont, try not to listen to too many opinions as it can become conflicting.
Trust your instinct, it has gotten you this far.
Do what is right for you and what feels like the right thing.
Don’t be afraid to change the course if it is not working.
Don’t be alone, there is no need, share your emotions and be honest.
Let people help, as lots of us genuinely can and want to.
I initially got lost in the panic, and was feeling frustrated that I didn’t have an online programme to boost and protect sales. Thankfully my coach helped me see that my business will be stronger due to the support and value I was offering to my existing clients.
I feel proud at how I have and will continue to serve them, in the strength of my community and at how strong the bond has grown in my Mastermind programmes.
When life regains some resemblance of how we once knew it, I will be at peace with my actions and strength during this time.
How will you feel when you reflect?