The trouble with running a business through a pandemic is that no-one hands you a blueprint for success. There simply isn’t one.
Pre-Covid, as you know, I was part of an insanely successful lifestyle biz, organising stag and hen parties. As with any enterprise, there were challenges and rewards; good days and bad days. The point is that, BC (Before Coronavirus) I had a lot of freedom. We were based in the UK and I could do pretty much whatever I wanted. The UK is entrepreneurial and supportive of enterprise. Whatever your politics, a strong Conservative scaffolding encourages small business.
These days, I coach and consult fresh business owners who are feeling the pressure in these uncertain times and who want a bit of guidance. What I’m finding is that, while the pandemic is really difficult to navigate, it’s also holding up an invaluable lens to any and every business model. So I jotted down a checklist of pros and cons for you.
Negative: The pandemic is killing your career dream
Positive: Great to know! At least you won’t waste your time. A lot of people have given up their business dreams because Covid put the brakes on it all. It’s a harsh but fair reality check that’ll avoid you limping along with a plan that won’t work in all weathers.
Negative: It’s all too much effort
Positive: Again, high five. Treat this as the perfect ‘bowing out gracefully’ moment. Pride can so easily get in the way in business but Covid gave everyone the perfect non-negotiable excuse. “I can’t do it: the pandemic made my business dream impossible.” And you’re free.
Negative: You’re grinding to a halt
Positive: Happily, you now have time to take stock. There’s never been a better time to look inwards, to reflect. When I’d talk to business owners about assessing their model or mechanisms, the excuse was always: “I haven’t got enough time.” It’s no longer an excuse.
Pause. Take stock. Trust your instincts and set your ego aside.
Negative: You’ll have a spotlight on you
Positive: Sure, the bank / your investors want to know your every move – but you’ll get better at this quicker, guaranteed. If you stay the course, you’ll succeed through any situation.
My advice, ultimately, is that even though things might look bleak, don’t be scared. Firstly, decide if this is really a goer (do you have the energy? Does it have legs?) Secondly, get your business stabilised. With a bit of luck, you’ll find you evolve along with your market and customers to land happily in the new normal.
Best of luck! And let me know how you get on.