The Small Business Isolation checklist
There are no rules in this uncertain time. I spent the first few weeks of isolation trying to work out what on earth was going on with the world and the last thing I wanted to do was focus in on my business and how I could ‘leverage this time’.
I also didn’t have the energy to ‘show up’ on my social channels when I was feeling like the world had turned upside down. And you know what – that’s ok. I took the time to rest, reset and appreciate that this time will come to an end eventually. I’m now in a different mindset and want to try and provide content to small business owners like myself who might be struggling.
I feel super grateful that my online business can keep ticking along as usual but have spent hours on the phone to friends who have lost jobs or who cannot provide their services any longer. It’s a disorienting time for everyone and some have been hit harder than others.
On a lighter note, I’ve also had conversations with people who are using this new-found time to kickstart that business idea that they’ve put to the back of their mind.
I have pulled together an ‘Isolation Checklist’ that might be helpful if you are a freelance service provider or are trying to cultivate a new business.
Service Based Businesses
“I’m not going to lie… it’s hard to stay motivated these days. But this is a struggle for all of us. I’m trying to stay motivated by painting, working out, unfollowing people on Instagram (who aren’t a positive impact on my life) and following those who are. But most importantly I’m creating more CREATIVE content…”
– Emily Mander Hair
This ‘new normal’ will eventually come to an end and your service based business will resume. Try using this time to:
Do an audit of your social media and website – is it a true reflection of your brand? Does it need to be updated? So many service-based businesses get so caught up in actually doing their job that their website is not up to date or reflective of their latest work and recent growth
Position yourself as an ‘expert’ in your industry. Challenge yourself by ‘going live’ on Instagram and answering questions from your clients. Provide insightful information to educate your followers so that you’re top of mind for clients when this period comes to an end
Review any legal contracts and make sure your T+Cs are up to date
Get in touch with a ‘Virtual Assistant’ to discuss how you could structure your workflow so that when you’re back up and running you have some fail safe processes in place
Publish content that could be helpful for your ideal clients during this time. Are you a nail technician? Teach your clients how to safety remove their gel polish! Are you a hairdresser? Teach your clients how to create a delicious hair mask from scratch. Get on IGTV and get out of your comfort zone!
Online Based Businesses
Having run my business online for nearing five years now, I have never felt so much gratitude that I can, pretty much, continue as usual. However, I know that this is a time to be present and become a useful resource as well as continuing with client work. How can you show up for a community that likely needs you right now?
Show people behind the scenes. For a lot of us, working from home is an everyday occurrence; share your tips and tricks to help others feel less alone
Educate people on what you do, why you do it, and what you’re passionate about – it may provide some inspiration
Now is a great time to refine and hone in on your skillset. There are some fabulous package deals and discounts for various online courses that you can tap into
Boost your visibility with more LIVE videos! Jump on Facebook LIVE or IG LIVE and teach something or answer people’s questions
Take this time to streamline processes for your online business. Get your clients on Dubsado or start managing your projects with Asana. Update your accounting software to a program like Xero
Are your folders in disarray? Why not do an overhaul and make sure everything is sat on the cloud or dropbox and not on your desktop
Product Based Businesses
It’s time to get pro-active. During this time, many people are sat at home, on their phones, looking for distractions. Use this as an opportunity to put your products in the forefront of people’s minds.
If your products aren’t available online, let this be your number 1 priority. Find a web-designer or use a program like ‘WIX’ to set up your best sellers online to start bringing in money
Make sure gift cards are easily available and a simple purchase to make. Make sure you promote this on your social channels!
Reach out to your customer database to keep them in the know and to let them know how they can best support you. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to re-post your offerings
Stay active on social media. People may be making limited purchasing decisions but are more active online and potentially saving items for future purchases.
Educate people on your product. Use this time to tell stories about what you sell and help people imagine themselves being a customer or recipient. Does your product have a role in the home, or will it become relevant when the restrictions are lifted?
Start or grow your email list. If you don’t have a list of engaged customers that you can speak to, this is the time to start growing that list. Get in touch if you need a hand doing this!
Kick-starting a New Businesses
This new-found time could be the ideal situation to jump-start that passion project into a fully-fledged business. I have pulled together a few things that you’ll need to have ready before contacting a designer or web designer:
Think about your ideal work situation. Spend a lot of time envisioning yourself as a business owner. What is your goal as a business? Why will people love to workwith you? What is going to set you apart from your competitors?
Business plan overview. A business plan is a written document that describes your business. It covers objectives, strategies, sales, marketing and financial forecasts
Customer research. Create a survey on ‘survey monkey’ and ask your target audience to fill it out so you can gain some valuable insights into what your audience needs
Write a value statement: what value will you offer your potential customers? What benefits will they get from working with you?
One thing you are going to need to do is register your business. This used to be a complicated process, but websites such as www.companyformations247.co.uk, make it simple and you can register everything within three hours
Fill out my free ‘Brand Personality’ workbook to get a feel for how you’d like your businesses branding to look. Start a Pinterest mood board to help your vision come to life