Published: Tue, 31 Mar 2020 15:29
As Covid-19 gains impact, business owners are having to pivot like super bosses. Yes, I champion #BossMoves, but the #pivotisreal. The need for business owners to carry out preventative measures and damage control on our finances is something else. We have to make some serious boss moves if we are to stay afloat, build or rebuild and thrive. Am I right? ‘Tis time for us to ‘adult’ quick-time!
Amidst all the expletive coronavirus hashtags going in the interwebs, and all of the doom being reported, one thing is clear. We have to make it work. We have no choice. If you know anything about me, you know I prefer to take control of a situation.
The effect of the virus on those who are on lockdown and losing income has prompted me to put together 5 key things that I think small business owners/solopreneurs like us must do right now to stay afloat, to move forward, and to thrive:
Get your money right.
Dig into your financials. Go through every single bit of expenditure – business and personal – pick one to focus on at first.
- Look at all of your expenditure over the past three months.
- Be aware of payments coming up. Write them down so you can be real with it.
- List expenses that are necessary first. This may be fixed or variable costs (utilities, rent, etc.). Place them into one column and all others into another column.
- Write out the contact numbers next to those identified.
- Cancel every unnecessary expense. At this time every little bit helps.
- Reduce or defer payments. If you are so inclined, refer to government websites to see if there is any info that can help you. I have provided some links below. If you’re in the U.S., student loan payments, action of defaults, and interest have been suspended temporarily. Find out more and instructions on what to do here. If you’re in the UK, student loan repayments will stop if your income drops below the threshold. You can see this information here. This is huge for many. Wherever you are based, things can change daily so stay on top of updates. Speak to everyone you pay money to regularly to discuss what is possible. So, whether you have a loan provider, mortgage, landlord, or anything that is a debt or a requirement, contact the provider. Let them know the situation and how you have been affected by the pandemic. Ask for deferrals, postponement, or forgiveness (you never know). If they don’t budge, ask what is possible. Perhaps you may be able to pay just interest without penalty, or some other alternative. Get the name and a reference of the person you speak to. Speak to the supervisor and explain your situation. Be persistent. It doesn’t matter what your financial situation is right now. Good, bad, or other, it makes sense to call/make contact to find out what is possible. It can take stress off for a while. Don’t forget to ask about how the action would impact your loan (for example, additional payments at the end of the loan, increased interest rates, and the amounts, etc.). If you have packages (such as cable or Internet) that could be reduced to the bare basics, do it. Keep in mind hidden annual fees or subscriptions that you forgot about and cancel away!
Once you have finished. Make yourself a cuppa, pour yourself a kombucha or whatever floats your boat! Jot down whatever reductions you have made. Just call up and do your best.
Put together a spending plan.
Keep it to the bare minimum so that you can use any extras to re-invest, save, or use to pay expenses.
Food and toiletries. Look at your eating habits and toiletry habits. This is no shade to the toilet tissue hoarders – promise! Just be sensible and aim to cut down on things you do not need or could buy less of. Some things are a privilege and not a need – let’s be honest.
With that in mind, consider rationing your food. That might sound extreme but for now if your income is challenged, it is what needs to be done.
After you’ve done all this, see how much you have been able to free up.
Tot up your expenses and outgoings so you know the minimum amounts you need to be producing. Keep going until you are sure the list cannot be reduced anymore. Don’t forget to keep your future reinstated loan or other payments in mind.
Use the expense amount to determine your next income move (see number below).
Review your income strategy.
This begins with first reviewing your known income. Look at all sources of income, tot it together and compare to your total from number above. Subtract known income from expenses and see what’s left over.
Next, it’s important to set your intentions so you can build towards that.
Now you know the absolute minimum you need to make each month, you have a start. Now consider what else you could offer. This could mean pivoting or by providing additional services or products. In my client coaching, and in my bestselling book ‘Music & Money’ I help readers figure out exactly how to reach their desired incomes and strategically develop and price services and business offerings to get there. In doing so they know:
- whether what they’re doing is realistic and can adjust and pivot if necessary,
- exactly what to charge,
- how much to charge, and
- what the bleep they’re supposed to be doing from day to day to get there!
I gave the example of this tip in practice this because I personally know how being clear on your financial needs helps you to plan more effectively. It also helps by reducing overwhelm so we can better succeed.
Think about stuff you could sell. Is there anything you have that you could sell to free up cash?
Boost your online presence.
- If you are looking to start or continue successfully online, it might be an ideal time for a #bossmoves overhaul. This could include updating your email signature, website, and social media sites. How? Think about skills you have that are not reflected in your profile and/or website and adjust.
- Identify your USP and incorporate it into your elevator pitch. Basically, the pitch is a short and sweet statement that clearly states who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and how it helps them and for extra dazzle, what’s special and unique about it. As I put it, what’s your special sauce? That, my love can be your online mini bio.
- Review your photo. Does it reflect the person that you want to be portrayed online? Don’t get caught up in whether it’s professional or not. Just put on something appropriate. Spruce yourself up. Stand in front of a neutral background. And pap away! If you’re not alone and have children or others around ask them to help with the shoot. If you’re alone, like me you may have a countdown timer or voice activation on your phone, camera, or remote. Otherwise, hold your device in that selfie stick or your hand, prop it up on a stack of books – do whatever it takes – and keep snapping until you get a good one! We do what we can with what we have, non?
Learn a marketable skill.
Work, products, and services are likely to be increasingly moving online for the foreseeable future, so you may have to evaluate your skill-set and reposition what you can bring to the cyberwebs at this time to be able to survive and thrive. It is easy to be complacent and not really appreciate what you are already good at. However, don’t disregard giving yourself time to have a thorough review of what you’ve got to offer and shine brightly with. You may be surprised. In fact, I’m certain that you WILL be!
Is there something you’ve secretly wanted to do, but put it off? Well, there are bottoms in seats and audiences in front of their devices, out there in the cyberverse, waiting just for you.
Think about your skillset. 1. What does your audience (or any audience you think you can assist) need right now? 2. What skills could you use to create a product or service to offer your audience what it needs right now?
Find your people and identify how you can best serve them with your unique skills.
Then reach out to them!
I do hope this article helps. Think of at least one thing you can take away from this article and implement straight away.
Cheers to your success!
Get in touch:
My business consultancy is working with women business owners needing assistance with researching and applying for Covid-19 relief (including loans, grants, funding, and other resources specific to each business owner).
Here is how we can help you in your business:
1. we can help you identify and find new ways to make money based on your terms and our success blueprint, then show you how to monetise it
2. we can attract your ideal customers and clients using our unique and effective digital marketing strategies, and
3. we help you to set up or build towards online success by carrying out an audit on key business areas to bolster strong areas and strengthen weak ones to increase business effectivity and income.
We’d be happy to help you work on your business instead of working in it. Schedule a free 15 minute chat with me here so we can chat and see how we can best help you.
World Health Organisation | https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
USA Government Small Business Support | https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources
UK Government Business Support | https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (U.S.)| https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/protect-yourself-financially-from-impact-of-coronavirus/
Consumer Protection [Which] (UK) | https://www.which.co.uk/news/coronavirus/
Disclaimer. The content of this article is based on personal opinion. It is not intended to be legal or professional advice, nor should it be construed as such. It is not intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. Legal or professional advice on any content provided in this article should be sought from a licensed lawyer or professional in the reader or recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.