In this blog post I’ll be sharing a method, walking you through step by step a process which requires you to follow along by writing down your own answers.
I’m not going to deny my business wasn’t impacted by the current global situation. I too lost clients. The first thing a business does when sales or clients drop is to replace that lost earning. However we’re in unprecedented territory and replacing lost income isn’t that simple right now.
I too was feeling overwhelmed with how I was going to sustain my business and generate new clients.
I found when I pieced each task down to bite sized pieces, it wasn’t as daunting and I felt a sense of confidence because I now had a path to follow. I don’t claim to have the answers but simply want to share and hopefully helps another business.
Ready? Grab a pen and paper and let’s start …
Ask yourself, considering the current circumstances what could you be doing in your business now?
Take the focus away from generating sales for a minute. What else could you be doing in your business right now? I’m talking about the things you want to do in your business but have been pushed down the priority list because you simply didn’t have the time to focus on it.
Things like updating your website, starting your business eNewsletter, finally getting around to asking past customers for reviews, creating how-to videos or other business administrative tasks that you have been wanting to focus on.
Identify and write down up to 4 things you could be doing in your business right now. I’m suggesting only up to 4 ideas so you can avoid feeling overwhelmed with a long list of things.
Don’t over think, or start solutionising, or researching your ideas right now. Just write them down and move onto the next idea and task below.
What do you want to be doing or how do you want your business to operate once this situation is immediately over?
Unfortunately we don’t have a crystal ball and know exactly how long this pandemic will impact our lives and businesses. But ask yourself when this is over and my businesses is allowed to return back to its normal routine or service, what do you want your business to be doing immediately?
Do you want your updated website to be live or approaching launch? Have you identified a service people will need post Covid-19 and want to be offing that immediately? It doesn’t have to be something new it could also be something you’re doing now but more refined, like online quoting or booking.
Again, identify and write down a maximum of 4 things you want your business to be doing immediately after the shut down is lifted.
What are your business goals 3-6 months post Covid-19?
There’s no denying most business are dealing with set backs right now. So once we’re back to our new normal you’ll want to set some new, or updated short and long term business goals.
After Covid-19 is over what do you want your business to be aiming towards?
It could be win back or replace that big client you lost, streamline that service offering you identified, or implement better systems in place to do your business tasks.
Again, keep it to maximum of 4 short term goals and don’t try to think about the how – just write down 4 goals you want to be aiming towards within the first 3-6 months post Covid-19.
Your New Found Focus
Now you’ll have no more than twelve items in your list. These will become the business focus you will centre your attention on going forward, regardless of what you see, read or other brilliant ideas you come up with.
Part of feeling overwhelmed is due to the inability to switch off other distractions and focus on the current or ongoing ideas and tasks.
Sure, entertain those great ideas that come to you in the middle of the night, but write them down and don’t let it grab too much of your attention that you lose momentum on your current plans.
What actions do I need to do to achieve my focus list?
Each focus item you wrote requires action. So for each focus you previously wrote, identify all the main actions that need to happen to complete that task.
Ask yourself how will I achieve this focus?
For example, if one of the things you can do right now is to increase your business awareness or visibility, how can you achieve this?
Ideas you could come up with include:
– Engaging on social media with accounts / customers who meet your demographics.
– Put an ad on Facebook promoting your business
– Collaborate with complimentary businesses
Again, don’t try to figure out the granular details just yet. Write down the actions and ideas as they come to you and move on to the next focus item.
What tasks need to happen to complete the actions?
Each action has a list of tasks that need to happen to achieve it.
For each action ask yourself what needs to happen to complete this task or what do I need to do to complete this task?
For example, updating your website is not just the technical skills to build it but includes tasks like researching potential new layout, working on the content and information on each page of your website, and sourcing or creating images to use, and considering integration features like an online booking or payment system into your website.
Start writing down all the tasks you think are required to complete the action.
I’ve gone through this process end to end and below is an example of what I’m going to focus on now, immediately after Covid-19 is over and 3 months after it’s over.
If you would like a free worksheet template which helps you complete this exercise. Click here and get the worksheet emailed directly to you.
And there you have it. Hopefully this method will give you some guidance and clarity around what parts of your business to put your focus and time towards during these uncertain times. If you have any questions about this blog post, have any questions about how to complete this exercise, or want to let me know your thoughts on this blog post, I’m only an email away. Shoot me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org