Lockdown has been (and remains) a tough time for business. Having to shut your business at short notice, or switch to an entirely digital, remote-working model, was a stressful experience. But there are things we have taken out of lockdown. Whether it enabled us to explore new ideas or dive into some fresh thinking regarding work, life or a business venture.
So, what lessons did we all learn from this enforced period of business shutdown, quarantine and remote working?
Carrying over the positives from lockdown
Suddenly, your office space lay empty, your employees were spread across various home locations and (crucially) your customer sales and revenue evaporated in the blink of an eye. The amazing thing about human resilience and ingenuity, however, is how quickly businesses DID evolve to cope with this situation.
Teams got used to home-working, video meetings and dealing with customers in the online space. And many of us began to see the positives of this low-impact, remote-working approach.
Are there things you can hang to now in the return to working life?
More time with family – with the daily commute no longer needed, and the ability to work remotely from our own homes, everyone had far more time to spend with their family, their partner or (via video calls) their wider circle of friends and family. Although enforced time together may have added a few strains, this extra time with our nearest and dearest is something we are grateful for – and should aim to continue.
More exercise and fitness time – finding the time to fit in a gym session or run was always tricky. The quieter pace meant that many could follow the latest workout video, go for a run, or get back on our bikes. We know exercise is good for both our physical AND our mental wellbeing – so it’s important to keep this in your daily schedule going forward.
Future planning – working ON the business, rather than IN the business is an aspiration of any ambitious owner, but the time to do this is usually scarce. In lockdown, we’ve had far more time available to think through our core goals, what our next move should be and what our ‘post-coronavirus strategy’ should be.
Using data to understand your customers – Intuition is vital for business owners but if there’s data in your business that you haven’t had the time to review, you may be missing opportunities. For some, lockdown provided some time for analysis such as, learning to use Google Analytics to understand how your customers find you, what your popular pages are, and which products are selling.
Getting in control of your financial model – huge drops in revenue have meant cashflow worries. We’ve been assisting clients to re-evaluate their financial model. Looking at costs, debts and potential revenue streams allows you see how you can reduce cash outflows and boost those all-important cash inflows. Reporting on these metrics will continue to support your business decisions.
None of us know exactly what the ‘new normal’ of business trading will look like. But if you want to be ready for a different kind of business reality, we can help. We’ll work with you to update your goals, strategy and financial model – so you’re ready for the future.
What have you learned as a result of lockdown in both your business and personal life?