Essential advice from non-essential business owners.

In a world that has been turned upside down we need leadership and purpose.

What is one person’s non-essential is another person’s essential. In this context, try explaining to a small business owner that their business (and for many their livelihood & life purpose) is non-essential. When only essential journeys are allowed, why are non-essential businesses allowed to offer click and collect for non-essential items. Such is the fog and frustration.

Through the months and months of lockdown and tier enforced closures, owners of non-essential businesses have shared with me, their experiences of being closed, of having too much time on their hands, of zero sales, of home schooling and 24/7 relationships.

Here’s the advice gleaned from those conversations, that potentially ALL business owners need to hear or be reminded of, not just those deemed non-essential.

  1. Spend time on your business – never again will you get so much time away from the day to day of the business to work ON your business, so make it productive.
  2. Understand your business numbers – walk through the what if’s and the potential impacts on your business, post grants, post furlough and reduced customers.
  3. Understand your positioning in the sector & locality – who are you and what do you bring?
  4. Focusing on the threats, could cost you missed opportunities – get your head up and plan for tomorrow.
  5. Identify the habits & behaviours that have got in the way – work on the those you are going to change, either by doing them less or just stop doing them.
  6. Spend time with your trusted network – the one thing we all have more of (at the moment) is time, so invest some in the relationships you value.
  7. Embrace digital – it will improve your business resilience.
  8. Engage your community – support your physical and digital community where you live, work and play; encourage them, share their posts, and buy from them.
  9. Love yourself and love what you do – the loss of purpose, relationship, routine, income, and wellbeing have affected people’s self-esteem and confidence. Remind yourself of life before lockdown and plan the positive change you want to be.
  10. Remember to make money – it pays the bills, pays the wages of others, and gives you business and life choices.

In a world that has been turned upside down we need leadership and purpose – The Value Innovator.

Since 2013 I have been helping ambitious SMEs with their Strategic and Leadership challenges.

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