Like most small businesses, Unrivald Digital has seen a drop-off in client work as a result of closures, slowdowns and social distancing. How are we responding to that change?
We’re choosing to use the unexpected time wisely, by positioning ourselves to come out on the other side of the pandemic stronger and better able to provide value to our customers! We’ve been fortunate to remain healthy so far (knocks on wood!), and hope you are too. Here are some ideas for keeping the lights on at your business while it’s anything but business-as-usual.
Invest in your business
There’s a lot going on right now, and uncertainty is sky high for many small businesses. Will you be able to recover from shutting down your store? How will you pay your bills?
The Business Council of Alberta published a great opinion piece with some practical ideas for steps you can take today to help mitigate the impact of a shutdown. Valuable advice for all of us!
Getting things done
Are you familiar with the phrase the shoemaker’s children have no shoes? It usually refers to an expert who is so busy plying their trade that their skill isn’t aimed at their own business (or family). Think of a plumber whose family home has a leaky faucet, or painter who has been too busy to finish painting their own living room.
Or a marketing company who hadn’t had any time to update their own website!
That’s one way we’re filling the gaps in the calendar – by refreshing our own site, so it better showcases the solutions we’re experts in, thus making it a better sales tool once the world finds its feet again. Watch for it, coming soon!
TIP: If you’ve been putting off updating your website, doing inventory, cleaning out your inbox, updating your email marketing templates, whatever – now is the time to take care of those tasks.
Offer a helping hand
When our sales meetings and project work slowed down, we identified ways we could help small businesses, hoping to create valuable relationships now that may bear fruit later. How’d we do that? By running social media ads offering our services to small businesses in need – assisting them to make COVID-19 updates on their websites.
Did we mention we offered to do that for free?
In the course of a few days, we had many small businesses without their own marketing teams reach out to us looking for assistance.
Will that tactic pan out for us? It’s too early to tell. But we know it was the right thing to do to help folks who’ve been dealt a potentially business-closing blow, and we were happy to help. It keeps us busy and focused on doing quality work for people in the same boat as us, and that helps us to stay positive.
Tip: Find a way to help others while maintaining your social distance. Focusing on the needs of others helps to keep you moving forward in difficult times.
Invest in yourself
You’re at home, maybe with time on your hands, and there’s only so many games of Candy Crush and Netflix binge watching you can do without getting bored. Why not use the time to make an investment in yourself?
Brushing up your skills
When things are busy, the last thing on our to-do list is taking part in the many webinars, online courses or even reading the news! Another way we’re using this time productively is to make sure that everyone on the team has an opportunity to catch up on the world around them, and improve their skills for when we come out the other side.
Maintaining a positive attitude
We’re trying to remain upbeat and positive, despite the doom and gloom. We discovered how we can add funny backgrounds to our video conference calls, we discuss the positive changes in the weather (some of us feel recharged after some time in the sun!), and that helps. Try a meditation app, participate in an online yoga class, or soak in a hot bath with a nice glass of wine to stay relaxed and de-stressed.
Blair, our founder, suggests cutting back on watching the news, tuning in to comedies and uplifting documentaries, and reading a Chicken Soup for the Soul book. He also runs daily and gets plenty of sleep, staying as healthy as he can to stay positive.
Learning something new
There’s nothing like learning a new skill to get you out of your head. With time on your hands, why not pick up a new language, test drive some new software, experiment with art, try a new recipe – doing unfamiliar things helps to channel the energy you may normally focus into your business.
Tip: Staying busy and positive can help keep away the worry and doubt about the future.
Stay in touch
We’ve connected with our clients during this time, letting them know how the pandemic has affected our business operations, and what we’re doing to ensure that we can still help them manage their business. If you haven’t done the same, please contact us: we can help you put together an email or an update on your website about what your business is going through. And if that message changes as the situation evolves, you’ll want to keep your customers informed.
Reconnecting where it really matters
Of course, we’re not just spending this time working. Like many of you, we’re using this unexpected period to reconnect (at a safe distance) with the family and friends that matter to us. Social distancing should not lead to complete isolation. I’m hearing from friends I’ve fallen out of touch with, and seeing old familiar faces popping up on social media, looking to check in and share stories.
Blair suggests planning for alone time so that those important relationships aren’t strained. He reminds himself to be kind to himself and the people in his inner circle at a time when tensions are high. He’s staying in touch with friends and family on social media, SMS and via video conferencing.
Remember that it’s okay to not be okay during this uncertain time. If you need support during this time, Alberta Health Services has a list of mental health services you can access. Don’t let pride prevent you from getting the help you need.
The last word…
Things aren’t great, but they will improve. What we do until then will shape the future we enter. Will you join us in staying positive and focused? Use this time wisely and focus on what you have control over, rather than what you don’t.
Want to spitball some ideas to bring your business back stronger than ever? Book a call with us today. We’re here to help!