And why you should consider it too …
The pandemic push to take action
If we ever need a reminder that we shouldn’t have all our business eggs in one basket, it’s right now. The 2020 COVID-19 global pandemic has given all of us a shock and, for me, a great big kick up the backside where my business was concerned.
My business is based on 1-2-1 coaching, group coaching, workshops, and presentations. And I am convinced it will always be the central and pivotal part of what I do. I absolutely love it and know that I make a difference given the feedback and repeat business I get.
But I now know it’s not enough to manage the risk of something like “this”. There’s no second income in this household. There’s no financial support from the government for my business set-up. I needed to adapt quickly – making changes for now, but also for the future.
This is not a “woe is me” story
I’ve felt compelled to share my journey so far, largely because many people have asked me how I’ve been motivated enough to keep pushing forward.
Sharing my experience is not done for sympathy or for recognition. Crikey, it absolutely breaks my heart to see how some people’s businesses have been decimated, and I’m also in awe of how others have innovated and responded.
I’m in that in-between zone – I haven’t lost everything, there’s been a bit of continuity, but there’s also been some opportunity for me to make the most of.
What lockdown meant for my business
At the point of UK lockdown, this is what happened for my business:
- All presentations and workshops with companies cancelled on day one – a third of my projected income stream for the first half of the year gone.
- 1-2-1 coaching – appointments postponed or cancelled – even though these are pre-paid sessions, many clients just weren’t feeling in the right headspace to make changes in their life – the opportunity for selling further sessions or getting new 1-2-1 clients gone – another significant chunk of income gone.
- Sh*t – initial panic.
- Creativity and motivation sets in.
- I get on the phone. A lot.
For me, it was never a consideration to cease trading. There’s plenty I can do from home. I don’t have children to home-school (I know this is a BIG factor in what I’ve been able to do). And because I already work from home, I’m set up for it. Oh yes – I needed to be earning somehow!
A week later:
- The Resilience Formula – I’ve planned out, priced and started talking about an online version of my resilience workshop. And behind the scenes I’ve written a load of the content, chosen my software and asked other small businesses to help me bring this to life quickly. Note: this had been on my plan since 2019 – but you know … I was just too busy.
- Moments Candle Range – everything put in motion to get this additional online product added to my product range within a month. For those people not experiencing any financial distress, this was a perfect time to add some luxury to their homes. Note: I’d invested in a franchise for a luxury candle range a while ago, but with one thing and another, hadn’t done anything about getting it out there yet.
- Lifeline – one very forward-thinking leader brought me in to her confidence and asked me to help her team through the stressful and pressured pandemic period – an honour and a privilege – and also a much appreciated lifeline. Phew! Note: this is a long-term relationship for whom I’d delivered for previously, and always gone over and above for.
5 weeks later:
- Team support with said company is going amazingly well
- The Resilience Formula is live in 2 companies, with a third on the cards
- Moments luxury candle range is launched with a wonderful reception
- Book sales have picked up again – ‘Have It All Without Burning Out’ couldn’t be more relevant right now
- 1-2-1 coaching clients are back at their sessions, now feeling ready to look to the future
It Feels Strange To Be “Lucky” In Lockdown
It’s a really odd feeling, and one that I’ve hesitated about sharing. There is so much suffering right now, yet I’m sat in my home office, still with my health, and working my ass off to advance my business and diversify – with some early positive signs.
Part of me feels hugely proud; another part feels embarrassed that I’ve been able to keep things ticking along, when others are struggling.
What forced me to share this though was 2-fold:
- As mentioned previously – people asking me what I’ve done and how.
- The fact that I’ve seen some mean comments out there on social media, criticising businesses for trying to keep going – which infuriated me. I have nothing but admiration for anyone helping solve others problems in whatever way they can.
My Early Lessons
Here are my early reflections with regards to my own business and experience over the last few weeks:
- Once your core offering is established, be sure to diversify
- A mixture of in-person and online is a good thing
- A mixture of both products and services is wise
- If you’re helping to solve a problem for someone, then there’s always an opportunity
- If your business can support other businesses in the process that’s an added bonus (I’ve given business to 4 other small businesses just getting my course online).
We still don’t know what our future looks like, and when things will begin to change, but I know for sure that I will be heeding my lessons and working to ensure my future business model is always sustainable.
I hope this has helped answer those questions I’ve been asked. But more than anything, I hope it has helped you – whether that’s about you and your business, or helping another business owner.
Let’s do what we can to come through this ready for a powerful bounce-back.
Take care and stay safe everyone.