10 things to remember when things are uncertain…

Troutsdale Farm Holiday Cottages

This is a slimmed down version fo a bonus How To Guide I sent out to the Member’s Club earlier today.

Emily Whitehead, founder of Simply Great Britain

When times are uncertain, it is clear that practical tips, community and staying connected is crucial.

Here are some reminders for micro business owners.

  1. There is only now. Bloody obvious but so true. None of us know what will happen, so focus on what you can achieve in each moment. Another social post, another bookkeeping job, website update or simply a cup of tea.
  2. Take a break. If you are clouded by worry or concern, take a break, a walk or get fresh air. It is vital that you are breathing deeply and getting exercise to help you focus, sleep and rest.
  3. Keep talking. You’re not alone and now is the time to lean into a community, ask for help or simply test out your ideas. Member’s Club re opens on March 24th.
  4. Get online. Do you have any of your products or services that you can take online? This could be virtual workshops, new e-commerce opportunities, sharing your expertise, swapping meeting for video calls etc. If you can plan ahead now, there will be less panic if we all have to stay indoors for a bit.
  5. Income streams. This may relate to point 4, but take a moment to stand back and look at your income streams. Is there something that you can add to what you do? A new service or a product package? It might be pricing structure that you can change. For example if you are selling holidays, can you re structure how people pay? They may be more inclined to book a break later in the year if they only have to pay a deposit. If this is something you offer, highlight it in social posts or add to the front of your website. Perhaps you could write a blog about UK holidays and the benefits of family time, health & countryside for those who are cancelling or deciding against foreign travel in 2020.
  6. Prepare for working from home. If you need to work from home for a while, then have you got everything you need there? Prepare now & it will reduce your anxiety. For example you may need to be sure you can control stock levels from home or have you got access to your website to make important changes quickly and easily? Can you clear a corner of your home now so that there is not a gap in your workflow.
  7. Talk to your customers openly. So many of you have amazing relationships with your customers. Think about ways you can reassure them, entertain them, inspire them or solve their problems in light of coronavirus. Even if they are avoiding making buying decisions now, you will be front of mind as soon as they are spending, shopping or visiting again. This is a moment to shine.
  8. If you are a freelancer & have clients to work for, ask them now about how you could work creatively in the coming weeks to get stuff done in a new way. Adopt technology to make work as flexible and customer friendly as possible. Examples like Trello, Slack, Zoom & Facebook Workplace could work brilliantly for you.
  9. Collaborate. As part of a community, is there anything that you can support each other? Does this uncertainty give you ideas about collaboration? For example, can you offer something special with a neighbour to incentivise someone to buy? Think: holiday cottage break with free breakfast basket or discounted massage or buy our products online and we’ll throw in a free guide to…
  10. Share your stories. This is not a time to feel small. Being vulnerable and human is ok and, in fact, desirable. I don’t mean whinging but I do mean sharing the moments your business was able to help someone in need or sharing how your tiny business is more flexible & nimble for their customers than big corporates. Think: corner shop or local gift shop able to sell, wrap & leave outside for collection versus Amazon refusing to deliver or Tesco’s shelves being empty.

Emily x