I never really gave much thought to what it might feel like for my animals to be quarantined in my house until the quarantine of 2020 commenced. As a human, an American, a family in my community, and a small business owner, I am reminded every single day that we have little control over much of anything around us right now. Our freedoms are limited, and our media feeds are flooded with inaccurate information. Although we can’t change what’s happening around us, what we can control is our outlook, and how we go about improving our situation.
In business, it’s no different. As a small business owner, I have had to make several pivots in my business, as many of you have done. Some of them have been uncomfortable, and many of them have been stressful. However, some of them have led me to some opportunities for growth, and that’s exciting. The thing we need to ask ourselves is what is the one step we can take from where we are with the tools we have that will bring us closer to our goal. With that in mind, let us talk about some steps we can take to grow your business during the 2020 pandemic.
Single Step We Can Take Today
One of the best things we can do, whether in quarantine or out of quarantine, is to collaborate with others. We all know that businesses build on relationships and that solid customers and referral partners can boost our brand immensely. But did you know that by collaborating, you can also develop ideas? Some of my latest projects have come about because someone offered me an idea that I hadn’t thought of, and I took that idea bridged it with one of my thoughts to create something new. No need to disregard the social distancing rules either. We can use a phone, zoom if we are comfortable, or we can jump on skype. Any of these methods will work, and even if we do not come up with some spectacular idea, we will leave the conversation most likely inspired to do something and we might gain a new friend.
I must throw in a small caveat, though. Just make sure you are collaborating with the right people. I always remind myself that I am like the five people I hang around with on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Therefore, if they are not inspiring me to want to level up, I am letting them go, and I am going to find others that do. In the process of doing these collaborations, the birth of your next big idea may come about.
2.) Read & Listen to Positive Material
Reading and listening to positive material, whether it’s YouTube, a podcast, an audiobook, or a good paperback is so important not only to our businesses but to our mental health. If we are continually watching the news or tuned in to the media regularly, our creativity is going to be flooded with negative images. Nothing good comes flowing out from a negative headspace. We can use this time to inspire ourselves and maybe set a new habit that we can continue once we emerge out of this quarantine. It will not only benefit us now but will help us going forward in both our personal and business lives.
3.)Take a Class or Learn Something
One of the things I decided to do was to take a social psychology class. I thought it would add to my credentials, and if it did nothing more than that, at the very least, maybe it would help me understand what is going on with the world right now. I also jumped in on a marketing class so that I could learn better how to strategize my podcast Starter Girlz and my other social media accounts. Marketing is not an area I enjoy spending my time doing. However, as a small business owner, it’s also something I recognize as essential to the growth of my business. Whatever trade you are in, indeed, there is more to be learned. Why not use the time now to brush up on your skills and hone in on your superpowers? We all know education is never out for the pro, and what better time to do it than now.
4.Hire a Coach
If you are finding it challenging to determine what single step to take, it may be a good idea to hire a coach. This person can often help you visualize the action you need to take to pivot in your business, or they may help inspire you to branch out into something else. The great thing about coaches is that they can often subjectively see a situation and offer suggestions while pushing an individual to think beyond their limitations.
Many of them are trained to take an evocative approach, which means rather than telling you what to do, they will inspire you, so the idea comes from you. Much like doing collaborations, coaches help you strategize your life, your health, and your business. There are many different types of coaches, whether you are looking for a business coach or maybe you are thinking of doing a different adventure and need a transformation coach. Two heads are always better than one when it comes to strategizing.
Helping our community is an excellent way to not only help us as an individual but also to gain exposure for our businesses. People always remember how you make them feel, and in a time where fear is dominating our culture, giving back can ease some of the hostility, frustration, and anxiety. Also, when we are helping others, not only do we become better at being task-oriented and better problem solvers, it also allows us to place focus on someone else’s problems. It gives us a sense of purpose and puts things in perspective. There is always someone that has it much worse than us, and that often can be an eye-opener.
By using our company name and logo behind a cause, we can also create brand awareness. Who doesn’t like a company that doesn’t give back to a community or an organization? The easiest thing to do would be to contact some hospitals or local organizations and see where they need assistance. Let your company be the driving force to make a change.
Wherever you find yourself right now as a small business owner, remember this too shall pass. All things do eventually. It is our time to saddle up as business owners and pivot. Think about what kind of change your company can make and what message you want to give out. We certainly cannot control everything around us, but what we can do is control our mindset, and we can go to work to make a difference in our lives, our family’s lives, and our community.
We can show others than we can rise above adversity and come out stronger than before. We can learn new skills, make new friends, birth new ideas, find mentors to help us see past our limitations, and, most importantly, we can help others in need. By helping ourselves, we can help others, and by helping others, we can help ourselves, and this ultimately helps our businesses. Lastly, take your dogs for a walk. They will love you, and it will do you all some good.