Return with a Purpose
“I know I should be working on the business rather than in it, but I’m so busy. I just can’t afford to take the time.”
How many times have you said this in the past few months or years?
I know I’ve said it, and as a business coach, I hear this time and time again from many of my clients and in most conversations I have with people.
It’s a major sticking point.
We’ve all got caught on that hamster wheel, putting out fires every day and always looking for that precious time to spend on things that we know will grow our business, but we never quite find the time. It can be exhausting.
Fast forward to today and everything that we thought we knew has changed.
For the first time in our lifetime, most business has come to a grinding halt and we’ve been forced to step off that wheel.
For the first time ever, we have time.
We will probably never get time like this again
Now we can waste this time or…we can use it to create the business that we’ve always wanted. A business that serves the types of clients that we love doing business with, and clients who are profitable so that we can also love the work that we do again.
If you’ve read my previous time-management blog which talks about using the Urgent-Important Matrix, you know that most of our time in our business is taken up by two quadrants:
- The Urgent-ImportantQuadrant – these are tasks with imminent deadlines, any emergencies, pressing problems or last-minute demands, and;
- The Urgent-Not Important Quadrant – these are mainly distractions and interruptions such as emails, calls, meetings etc.
These are the fires that we spend time on every day as a business owner. These are the distractions that stop us from working in the quadrant that we should, and the Urgent always overwhelms the Important.
The quadrant that we all strive to work is the Important-Not Urgent Quadrant – this one involves strategic planning, problem prevention, and self-development; the things that will actually grow our business sustainably.
It’s usually very difficult to find the time to work in this quadrant but for the first time ever, we don’t have these distractions or urgent work to do. We now have the time that we’ve always been looking for to do those high-value tasks and it is very likely that we will never get time like this again.
How to make the most of this time now
There are two phases or stages with this virus when it comes to business: the REACT phase and the ACT phase.
Many of us have already gone through the REACT phase. We’ve been shocked by the global effect of the virus on businesses; we’ve panicked about our own situations and reacted accordingly by either closing the business and furloughing staff or ourselves or moving our products/services online or pivoting in some way.
We’ve assessed cash in and out with a fine tooth comb.
What many of us perhaps haven’t done, however, is thought about how we should then move onto the ACT stage.
As I said, we’ve always been looking for time away from our business to work on it and now we have it, so we need to be using this opportunity to plan to return with a bang and to grow sustainably.
To help you do just that, to navigate this bumpy road over the next few weeks and months, here is my roadmap to return to running your business with confidence.
Here are three areas that you need to be working on:
1) Keep visible throughout – you need an online presence more than ever before so adapt your content strategy and regularly post on your social media and publish relevant articles. (Never before have all of your existing and potential clients been online so much! ) There have been a number of studies going back nearly one century that point out the advantages of maintaining or even increasing ad budgets during a weaker economy. Those advertisers that maintained or grew their ad spending increased sales and market share during the recession and afterwards. I know this is different to any recession before but the studies also show that there is just more trust and loyalty in you and your company if you’ve remained visible & useful and this results in a stronger and quicker recovery.
2) Redo your strategy – think about your existing business. I often ask the question…” If you could start your business again with the knowledge you now have, what would you change?” Well? What needs to change? Take a detailed look at your client base/audience – who are the most profitable clients that you enjoy working with? Be more focused and less generalised. How can you shape your business to better serve these clients? What can you work on now that will make the biggest impact when you’re back up and running? What are your new goals?
3) Prepare your business for relaunch – when you’ve thought about all these questions and you have the answers, you can then start utilising this time now to actually get things done. Now that you have your specific target audience and new strategy, you can update your website and get out quality content consistently that specifically addresses them. Also, think about the resources that your potential clients may be interested in. Now is the time to invest in content so it’s ready when you need it as when you need it, time is likely to be precious and scarce again. It would also be ideal to think about what the new normal maybe after all this; it won’t be business as usual. Remote working, exhibitions, travel….. things will change. What would that mean to your business? What do you need to change to adapt? What are the opportunities?
Do you want to go back to the hamster wheel? Or to a business with direction?
It’s a scary thought but we don’t know how long this will go on for.
That’s why it’s so essential to use this time that we have now to create the business that we want because the type of business that we go back to, the business that we recreate, is the only thing that we can control right now.
When you feel like things have calmed down and you are no longer reacting – and maybe you’ve taken a bit of time to take a deep breath and rest. – take some time to plan and then act.
Approach it as if you’re relaunching your business. If you started your business again with the knowledge you have now from your hard-earned experience, how will your business look, who will you serve, how will you better help them?
Now that you have had the chance to step off that hamster wheel, don’t waste this time just to get back on it further down the line because it will undoubtedly be harder to keep up. Use our three points for an effective return and go back to a business that is more productive, more profitable, and more pleasurable.
If you need any help or guidance with creating the type of business that you want, please feel free to get in touch. I’d be more than happy to have a free 30-minute strategy call with you to help you make the most of the time you have now.
P: 01792 475149