AS WORLD EVENTS CREATE FEAR OR UNCERTAINTY, they can negatively influence markets in various industries including our industry. Here are some helpful tips to help you turn any business lull around and get things buzzing again.
1. REVIEW YOUR DATA
Data collection is important all year round. If you’ve been in business for longer than 12 months then your business data may have indicated that this lull was coming. It’s much easier to respond when it’s predictable. Being able to monitor spending patterns helps you allocate staff and resources to minimise waste and maximise opportunities.
2. ASSESS RISK
One important area that all business owners need to handle responsibly is managing risk.
This includes both treatment risk as well as a financial risk. With the current Coronavirus, every business needs to establish risk-management protocols. In this newsletter, we discuss risk management protocols that APAN is introducing to support business owners in a separate article. Please review it for your utmost safety and protection for you and your clients.
There is also currently a financial epidemic so it is important to understand the signs of the times and put appropriate financial management measure in place to protect your cash flow, as well as safeguard your future. We strongly recommend that you sit with your accountant or a qualified financial advisor and discuss your current status and consider the most effective measures to put in place. In terms of financial management provision, please also review our article in this newsletter that relates to our new strategic partner and their amazing provision of cost-effective financial services that can help you move forward while protecting your cash flow.
3. guard a positive mindset
Accepting that any current difficulties are just temporary can bring a calm mind that can more clearly see opportunity. Lack of hope is the biggest killer of innovation. Keep an open mind to improving what you are doing and look for new ways to update what you are currently offering, by doing what you are doing better. Protect your mind to stay focused on solutions. Here are three ways to protect your brain from being stuck in negativity:
- Be kind to yourself and do a little regular exercise – it is not just good for your energy levels, but also for your mood
- Read inspirational books that can educate and stimulate your creative thinking
- Take a break and meet with people who can affirm you and stand with you
- For professional support reach out to APAN we are here for you for support and advice
4. REWRITE YOUR ‘TO DO’ LIST
Things you’ve been putting off until ‘some time’ when you ‘have time’ – well, that time is now! If things have been on your list for a while then first decide if they really need to be done any more. There’s a reason you haven’t prioritised getting them done. Once you have a refreshed list then break it down into actionable steps. Get it done!
5. SET FRESH GOALS
Sometimes when something is not working, consider letting them go and make room for new ideas. Take a couple of hours to map out your business goals. You could do this on your own, or engage a coach, co-worker or partner to help and provide you with some objectivity. Written goals are more likely to be achieved. What you can measure you can achieve. Clearly defined goals get into your subconscious and allow you to identify actions and people you need to achieve your goals – things will start to be clearer to you. Think about how your business runs day-to-day now:
- What frustrates you?
- What frustrates your customers?
- What would you change if money was no object?
- What strengths do you bring to the business?
- What jobs or business tasks would you ideally outsource?
- What are your financial or growth goals for the business?
Now write a story for yourself titled “By This Time Next Year” and incorporate your answers from the list. It’s a vision of how you want your business experience to be going forward.
6. EVALUATE AND SPRING CLEAN
Take stock of stock, consider any changes to the layout, business processes or a website or brand refresh. All these things are easier to do while it’s quiet.
7. TOUCH BASE WITH CONTACTS
Prepare a positive message to inspire your clients and send them an SMS, email or phone calls. Touch base with customers, suppliers or people you think you could collaborate with. The year is still young there is still time to set the tone form improving relationships for the rest of the year.
come up with a list of ideas for fresh posts, create images in Canva or similar, or take photographs of stock. Then you’ll have it ready to auto-post in those busier times.
8. GET FEEDBACK FROM YOUR STAFF
It’s amazing how innovative staff can become if they believe their opinion is respected and valued. Let them share your views with you, especially if they are a different age-group to yours – they may provide you with some tips on how to meet the needs of a niche group that you haven’t considered. The people who work with you and your clients every day can give you valuable insights. Your team will also appreciate being asked what they think – especially if they can see their suggestions being actioned. Here are a few suggestions:
- Ask them what they’d change if they owned the business
- Try to understand their perspective especially if it is different from yours. Keep an open mind and don’t take their feedback as personal criticism.
- You don’t have to action every suggestion, let them know that suggestions could be combined, altered or saved for later consideration.
- Thank them for giving you their opinion and suggestions.
It’s very easy to be so close to your business that you can’t see changes or innovations that could tap into a new market or improve the customer experience to deliver significant growth.
9. ANALYSE AND IMPLEMENT
Review the list of goals you’ve come up with then consider the actions that will help you achieve them:
- Who could you collaborate with?
- Can you introduce a specialist “short-term” to provide you with their expertise?
- Can you sell your products and services that a different platform e.g. expand your social media reach through the addition of another platform?
- Can you apply for a grant that you can qualify for to gain financial assistance?
- Are you accessing the best rates for equipment or product purchases that you need to add to your business to make it more competitive?
10.RE-INVENT AND GET EXCITED ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS AGAIN
Maintaining a positive mindset will allow your creativity to flourish and ignite some new ideas, but you need to remain diligent about investing in study, analysis, research and continuing your learning until your productivity starts to flow again. It is your business and you are the best person to know what will work for you. Don’t restrict yourself to just your industry, study other business models that have experienced breakthroughs and see if you can adopt some of those strategies to make thing happen for you as well. Most importantly, never give in to discouragement.