How Can Businesses Take Advantage of Their Closures?
No one wants to be closed, but stagnancy isn’t an option.
How many times as a business owner have you added to your to-do list before you finished everything?
You know the list I’m talking about; it seems to magically grow every time you think you’re about to get caught up.
I don’t remember the last time I completed an entire list of things before having to tack on more. More times, we’re stuck triaging the plan of attack as the list grows.
Some things get forgotten. Other things, you lose focus on why they were significant in the first place. Well, what better time than right now?
If you’re one of the many who wish they had more time to take care of their list, now’s the time, and here’s why.
Business will be back
It’s only natural for things to bounce back. I know many small business owners are questioning how they’ll make it through this stretch, but the fact remains that business will be back. If you’re still around when it returns, you’re going to want to be ready.
This time away from the constant putting out of fires gives you the opportunity to double down on the things your customers like, cut elements that weren’t working, maybe implement some new programs.
If you make good use of this time, you could see yourself more profitable than you’ve ever been once we can back to business as usual.
Give yourself a clean plate
The stress of running a business is massive. Mostly, it’s because you want to keep progressing, keep innovating, keep getting better.
Now’s the time to give yourself a clean plate — taking care of the little things that make their way to the bottom of any to-do list is how to do that. Repaint that door, change those light fixtures you hate, clear out the clutter that’s somehow found a home everywhere.
You can feel like a brand new business when things return to normal and really wow your customers.
Take your mind off things
Suffice it to say, having time away from regular business comes with significant worries.
Are you going to be able to make rent? What about loans that are steadily accruing interest? How will you pay your staff? Having projects to keep these thoughts from invading your mental space is healthy.
Many of the problems you’re battling can’t be solved right now, so taking control of there things you can help battle stress.
We have to wait to figure out what comes next. Stay busy as a way to lower the mental strain of the situation.
Knowledge is power
The more you know in business, the better you perform. Whether you want to learn better ways to communicate with your team, you want to freshen up your marketing skills, or you want to learn an aspect of your business you never learned, you now have time.
Colleges are offering free classes, local business organizations provide helpful information, and online learning for business management easily accessible. What’s a skill you’ve wanted to learn but never had the time?
Is it time to pivot?
Pivoting is an essential part of business. Knowing when, and if, you need to pivot your business model can propel you to the next level.
And now, more than ever, pivoting quickly and effectively can even save your business.
Take some time to consider if you need to pivot now to maintain viable income. Should you consider a pivot on the other side of this downtime?
Whatever your circumstances, business owners need to consider their options. A pivot may prevent you from having to close your doors, it may make your business more profitable, and this free time may provide you the clarity to realize it.
Small businesses will survive
There are 30.2 million small businesses in America. We account for 99.9% of the job market, providing over 2 million jobs per year. The small business isn’t going anywhere.
So, take the time to knock out your to-do list, try not to stress about things out of your control, and prepare your small business to be its best when the dust settles. Things may not happen the way you want, but you can control how you react to them.
Ric Burnett is a writer currently based in Boston. He contributes regularly to The GoodMen Project and has been published in "The Ascent", "Better Marketing", and "P.S. I Love You" on Medium. Empathetic leadership, building company culture, traveling, learning about new cultures, and experiencing life drive his creative voice.