Hope you’re doing well and staying positive as we do our best to run our business during lockdown, with a few more weeks to go.
In the past fortnight, I’ve spent hours on calls and video conferences with people in distress about the impact of the continued lockdown on their business. I spent a few days early on in that same state of “fear-verging-on-panic” myself – but I’ve shaken it off by taking focused, decisive, determined ACTION.
By choosing to take ACTION, I have stopped fretting about the things I cannot control and focused my attention on the things I can control, or at least influence.
On March 18th, I spent a full day drafting my action plan
- making a list of all my ideas about things I COULD do
- you can call this blue-sky thinking, brainstorming, mind mapping, starbursting – I call it ideation and I like it so much I named my company after it
- deciding what I SHOULD do from that list
- I shortlisted the ideas most likely to be effective, profitable and “do-able” right now during lockdown
- making a commitment to myself about what I WOULD do
- Deadlines are highly motivating things. So are written down SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timebound, exciting, realistic). I put mine down in writing, and up on my whiteboard – where I see them first thing every morning
- drafting a plan
- a WIP plan – which gets tweaked and modified as I go along and learn what’s working and what’s not
All the days since March 18th, I have been determinedly and energetically following through on my plan. I am making good progress, and I feel like I’m back in the driving seat again. I’ve also been too busy to panic – which is a good thing. I put this on the board in my home office – to remind me to stay focused on my action plan if I go astray
Here are some actions you can take this week, to make things better for you now, and in the long term.
1. Take ACTION by Finding your Tribe
As Solo-preneurs and leaders of SMEs, we were often isolated before this lockdown even came along! We are even more alone in the world these days, so engaging with like-minded people who are in the same boat is comforting. But, remember what Jim Rohn said? We are the sum of the 5 people we spend most time with – so for God’s sake choose them wisely.
Find the forums where you can connect and engage remotely with positive people, brilliant minds, the inspired and the inspiring and STAY AWAY FROM THE REST, because they’ll do you no good at all, at all. Connect through social media, online networking events from BNI or Network Ireland, or even free webinars for training – like the ones on offer through your Local Enterprise office. I, and others like me, are running training and webinars over the next few weeks, which are usually fee-based but are now mostly free. These are chances to learn something, and also to connect with the other folks attending the training. Check your local listings or Eventbrite for subjects that interest you, and here are some of my upcoming events:
2. Take Action by applying for the help that’s going!
- I shared details on the Local Enterprise Office Business Continuity Voucher when it was first announced. The response to this initiative has been huge, and lots of smart businesses are taking it up. I have already been appointed to work with many different businesses on their sales and marketing at no cost to them, through this program, and there are many other highly skilled consultants available too. Apply for the help here or on your county Local Enterprise Office website, or call me on 087 109 4522 if you want my input on how it could be used in your business.
- The already good Trading Online Voucher program from Local Enterprise Offices, has just gotten a whole lot better.
- Now 90% of the cost of your web development project is covered (it used to be 50%)
- You can draw down the grant in instalments, so you’re not waiting a long time for your money
- Even if you were awarded the grant before, you can get it again
- 1/3 of the money can be spent on advertising (Imagine getting 90% of your advertising costs covered for the next few months?!)
- Applications for both these grants are easy and approvals are prompt – so APPLY!
3. Take Action by checking if you are covered for loss of income under your business insurance
Whether your business can make a claim in relation to loss of profits or earnings because of closure due to COVID-19 will depend on the specifics of your policy. One of my clients found out he was fully covered for loss of income but most people I work with are not. It’s worth checking the small print to review your terms and conditions – and if you find them as confusing as I did, ask an independent expert.
I rang Brendan Boyle Claims on 087 2673390 last week, as he is my trusted resource for all things insurance-related. He examined my policy and found that I did NOT have cover – but your policy might have, and if you don’t claim it, you sure won’t get it. Brendan is offering a free consultation to help SME’s understand if they have a justified claim or not, so feel free to call him for the best advice available at no cost.
4. If you’re still not sure what to do – arrange a call with a sales and marketing expert from our team. That’s one action you can take NOW.
Good luck with taking your own decisive focused and determined actions this week.
Here’s a “light-a-fire-under-you” quote from Mark Twain that’s on my board beside my SMART goals.
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started”.
Wishing you well in this crisis and beyond,