As I write this, it is pretty much getting to the last 8 weeks of 2022. As I write, the news hasn’t got much cheerier. Talking with clients, members and friends, it is clear that rising fuel prices, striking postal services, staff challenges and more are really taking their toll.
So what can we do to stay steady and make the most of the last 8 weeks of the year. Not only to do good business, but also to be in the best position possible for the beginning of the new year.
I will be hosting a live workshop at 3.30pm today (recording will be in the Member Hub after that) to provide some additional support and ideas to keep us all going.
Here are a few pointers to get you started and to feel more steady.
Start with you - there is so much in the world right now that we have very little control over. This lack of control can really tap into our sense of fear and frustration. It has never been more important to steady yourself first in order that you can approach your challenges with a clear head. Prioritise your self care by adopting good sleep regimes, getting plenty of fresh air and exercise and avoiding the news. If you want to stay informed (who doesn't) then choosing a brief podcast might be preferable - less about scary headlines and more about understanding topics in depth and how you can negotiate them. Most of all, share your fears. We are all in this together and we can offer support, ideas and a shoulder to rest on.
Shine a spotlight on finances - this is not a time to hide from data. Ensure that you know the real time evolution of your business. This will help you feel more in control of things like supply costs, postage costs, pricing etc. Knowledge is power. It might be a good time to hop onto an online accounting software like Xero or Quickbooks to help if you haven't done that yet. Understanding the financial status of your business will help you plan for the next year. Can you deliver products or service in a different way? Can you seek out additional financial support? Is there a way to share space with other micro businesses or can you find new revenue streams to boost income.
Revisit your purpose - your connection to why you do what you do and how it is valuable to your customers has never been more important. Sometimes when times are tricky, we can lose sight of that or feel less impactful. However, your customers still need you and your special magic. Remember they are experiencing much of the same issues as you, so being inspired, connecting with you, learning from you are all really important to them. It might be that they have less to spend but history and data shows us that people still prioritise a few treats, still need business support, still want to do good with their money. Check your content, check the words on your website, check your bios and double check that you're really really sharing your purpose clearly.
Keep connecting - communication is key right now. Everyone is looking for positivity - in the form of happy posts, educational nuggets of gold, inspiring ideas and solutions that really help. What can you do to be part of the positive out there? How can you connect with your customers and audience so that they hang in there and know you're visible. Even if they can't spend with you, they will share your stuff with their friends. Your impact is still so important, don't let lower sales or reduced footfall make you forget that.
Lean in - finally I want to say that the club is here for you all. No question is too daft and no request is unimportant. More minds (& hearts) make things better so dive into the Facebook Group, reach out to me or link up with a fellow member or two.