A couple of nights ago I woke up at 3:00 am and just couldn’t get back to sleep. My mind was racing and my thoughts were all over the place. It doesn’t happen all the time but this was just one of those nights. In my last blog Leading Through Resilience I talked about how your emotions will come in waves as we continue to navigate through this new way of being in the world. I had to remind myself that this also applies to me and to cut myself a break.
I share this to remind all of us that even when we think we are “doing fine” we are still adjusting and living in new reality that none of us could anticipate. So if you are unsure right now about what to do with your business, you are not alone.
We are all experiencing a form of grief and it’s not a linear experience. Don’t push yourself or force productivity out of guilt or worry that you are not doing enough. If you are contacting clients and customers in this state, it will show up in how you are engaging with them and they will sense your stress (or desperation). You want to be calm and confident when you talk to them.
Many small businesses are struggling. Unless your business is considered an essential product or service or you are Amazon you are likely experiencing some challenges. Its easy to get caught up in what you can’t do right now, given all of the current restrictions. So what are some things you can do now that will support you and your business?
This may be a good time for self reflection and development. Focusing on something that helps build your strength as a leader in your business can help you build resilience and confidence as well as give you something positive to channel your energy and do something good for yourself and your business. It can also help you establish some of that much needed structure that I spoke about in my last post.
There are many virtual offerings for developing your leadership capabilities that will help you come out of this more confident that you can take your business forward with the tools and knowledge to do so. Investing in yourself this way will help make all other decisions easier for you as you navigate through this time.
Grow Your Team
If you have a team, investing in developing their ability to work together will help you build a more effective, productivity team and build your collective resiliency for any future challenges. It also provides a much needed moral boost as you signal to your team your intention to grow the business with them and are committed to investing in that. It demonstrates your confidence in your business and in them to move forward.
Grow Your Business
As you think about how you can adapt your business, focus on what is within your control and influence, not on what is outside your control. Consider that your clients and customers are also facing unprecedented challenges. Here are some questions to kick start your creative thinking:
How are your clients or customers impacted by Covid-19?
What do they need from you right now and how can you deliver that to them?
Is there something outside your current offering that you can do for them?
Are there other complementary businesses you can team up with to provide a necessary products or service at this time?
When you have an opportunity to work with clients or customers go above and beyond what they expect. The extra care you give them now will be a good investment in your ongoing relationship and future business opportunities.
Now is also a good time to re-think your marketing messages. Given that everyone is affected by this pandemic in some way, many people are likely more sensitive right now to overly “salesy” or pushy tactics to get their business. I’ve been checking in on clients regularly to see how they are doing and whether I can do anything for them or if they just need a sounding board – someone to listen. Your clients and customers will likely appreciate and remember you for reaching out to see how you can help them, rather than trying to get them to commit to buying from you right now. And if they need help now, they will more likely turn to a supplier who cared more about the relationship than the sale.
If you would like to talk with me directly about how to navigate your business through this time, I invite you to please email me to set up a complementary session. Stay well everyone!
Catherine Meyer is CEO and Founder of Catalyst Leadership Solutions. She provides coaching and leadership solutions to a wide range of businesses and industries. Her focus is on helping business owners and entrepreneurs develop their leadership strengths so that they can build their capabilities, enhance growth, and maximize results for their business If you manage a team as part of your business or are in the process of creating a team, Catherine can help you develop your leadership strength to ensure the success of this phase of your growth.