Recent events have caused a lot of changes in our lives. When the world declared a pandemic, we were asked to stay in our homes. Some countries impose strict lockdowns and quarantines. Businesses have been told to close, and many of us have found ourselves out of work. It is a time of uncertainty.
One of the greatest attributes humans have is the ability to adapt and overcome. We have seen many changes throughout history. What starts off feeling abnormal, eventually becomes the new normal. It is the key to our survival as a species, to be able to adapt, diversify, grow and learn.
Financial pressures and the constant noise from the media can make it very difficult to find a positive way of moving forward. We are worried about our loved ones, concerned about the future and anxious about work. We have no control over how this will play out, but we can control how we react, what we feel and how much we do.
In the past, we struggled with the work-life balance. Pouring hours into our commitments to businesses, or on projects and the one thing most of us wish we had, was more time. Time to be with our family, time to finish projects in the house, time for ourselves. We may also have felt stuck in our careers, possessing a vision of the future but unable to create it due to the daily struggles we were facing. One thing we have at this moment is time.
While money may be an issue, you don’t have to sit still. Now is the right time to do something brave and plan for the future. This is especially true if you have spent years toying over a business idea, but never let it see more than a pipe dream.
Business ideas need work. So use this time to create a really comprehensive business plan. Get inspired by the idea of coming out of this crisis with a new life ahead. Something you are passionate about. If you utilize the time you have now to work on your ideas, you may find that you can move forward and start a business of your own.
If you’ve been struggling with a lack of routine, this will give you purpose. You will wake up with a feeling of achievement. Your plan will awaken your drive to succeed and may help you feel confident and excited about the days ahead. Even if you don’t end up where you want to be at the end of this pandemic, it will help improve your journey through it.
Your first steps should be to write down your idea and everything you need to do to build a plan. There are some useful guides on the internet which will help you work through the detailed process of business planning.
Once you know what you need to do, you should consider time blocking. This method is used by a lot of successful business owners and can be really useful if you are working from home. A time block is as simple as it sounds. Think of it as a more comprehensive To-Do list. You just use it in a calendar and allocate times to each task. This will help you dedicate time and move forward constructively.
You should use times when you know you are most productive to work on the most critical tasks. You also can time block your family commitments to make sure you are getting a balance between your new working day and your family life. It can also help act as a friendly ‘do not disturb’ if you are working at home with family members. If they know you have two hours blocked out to work on your plan, they can leave you to work, undisturbed.
You also need to set up space in your home where you feel creative and focussed. If you have a home office, that’s perfect. If you don’t, you may choose to create a temporary space in your bedroom or in a quieter room in your home. Ideally, this should be a room where there is less traffic from children or husbands.
Even though lots of companies are closed, they have found other ways of working. So you will be able to talk through ideas and do research with other business owners. You may need to speak to a financial advisor to help you create a financial forecast for the business. When the time is right, you could contact an e-commerce agency to help guide you through processes of getting your business set up online.
Of course, there will be charges if you outsource, so don’t spend money until you know you are ready to take your plan to the next level. You should have an understanding of how much these services will cost so you can work them into your budget plans. Obtain quotes and stay in touch with any company who is happy to provide them, chances are they will give you plenty of ideas you haven’t thought through yet, and this will help you build a relationship when you do decide to get going.
Research your competitors to make sure you have a unique selling point or that your service will stand out from the crowd. You should use social media sites such as LinkedIn to research these brands. You can also use social media to help you build your marketing plan. Keep an eye on what other companies do, how they use Instagram and how much engagement they receive. Social media is a free form of marketing, so it will be a useful tool if you take the next steps in starting a business.
Finally, research any funds that are available for new businesses or to your specific market and sector. You might discover you have access to a grant that can make your dream a reality.
Get busy and make this crisis into a positive for you and your family. Your future could be better when we finally reach the other side!