I know a lot of people are feeling lost with what they should be working on with their business right now.
Of course the response of “there isn’t anything you should do”, it’s up to you” or “what do you want to do?”, whilst accurate, aren’t the most helpful so, other than noting that if you are comfortable with what you are doing then you should crack on and ignore this blog, I’m going to attempt to offer some guidance.
Let’s start with the elephant in the room. None of us know exactly what is going to happen in the medium term. We know right now there’s no in person training options and everything is online. We hope that at some undefined time in the future we’ll be able to interact as normal. None of us have any idea what the stages in between will be or how long the transition is going to last. It’s natural that this is going to be disconcerting and throw us off our stride. There’s 2 extreme ways we can address this.
- Ignore that unknown period in the middle
- Plan for every possible option we can think of
Of course, somewhere in the middle can also work but I’m going to start with the first one. Let’s pretend that the middle ground doesn’t exist just for the next few minutes.
In terms of your business is there anything you need to put in place for the current situation? Are your current clients happy and progressing? Are you happy with the number you have or taking action to try to increase the numbers as applicable?
If you have things that you want to do in this category then that forms your priority right now.
Of course, sometimes it feels like we aren’t doing what we need to when it comes to keeping clients happy no matter what we do. If you have a feeling that you aren’t doing enough or the right things etc then I’d just like to point out that no one does. Look at the data you have, how are your clients doing? Is there anything they think they need but aren’t getting? Are they making progress / getting benefits (bearing in mind that their goals may have changed – see my blog on meeting psychological needs in a changing world)? What feedback are you getting?
If you are getting good feedback, the chances are you are doing exactly what you need to be doing, keep up the good work!
Second Area To Consider
If this is under control then let’s leapfrog over the transition period and think about what business as usual was like. What were your plans before Covid 19 hit and threw everything into a tailspin? Are there any that you could work on now?
This one is a bit tricky as we have a large unknown on the horizon but there are still a lot of tasks that can still be done for “after” that have relevance in whatever scenario we end up with. E.G. if you planned to work on your onboarding process then that could still be a good project to do now, just note which parts need to be amended as things change.
It can also be worth looking over those long term and “one day” goals. Skip the options that don’t work now, consider the ones that can be adapted and short list any that could be a go. Always wanted to write a book for clients? Design a tracking log book? Create a website? These are all things that could be jumped up the list in the current circumstances.
Preparing For The Unknown
This is a massive balancing act and as a result there’s going to be a fine line when it comes to investing time and energy into different scenarios. If this causes undue stress I would recommend skipping this section and focusing on the areas you know you can control, however, if you want to think about different options then here are a few things to consider:
- If 1:2:1 was allowed how could you deliver a service that would allow you to maintain distance between clients and you? How could you ensure the hygiene of kit and any shared areas?
- Could you offer a varied service if different demographics are allowed to do different things at different times?
- Could you consider outdoor training or mobile training options? What would distancing and hygiene considerations look like?
- Could you offer a hybrid service combining online with a less frequent, more controlled, in person element?
Depending on what your “normal” looks like some of these might be easily accomplished for some of you and some will be complete non starters. Some of you may decide to skip some of the middle ground options and maintain an online based service a bit longer regardless of any changes in the rules. Remember that right now it’s an impossible one to plan for and no one knows what will happen, so please don’t let this section cause you stress. If you are comfortable thinking about the different options then you could put aside some time to create a few If / Then options for your service.
It is important to keep your existing audience engaged and aware of your existence, regardless of what happens next, so, if you are still working with clients, share what you are doing and client stories and successes etc. If you aren’t working with clients share useful, helpful, actionable content and tips. Check out my blog on things you can do to help small businesses, including yours for more ideas on this area.
Here are a few questions that might help you decide on where to point your time and energy if none of the areas covered so far have created a priority for you.
- Do you have a business goal already? If so, do you have everything you can in place to track progress? Is there anything you could put in place now or work on towards it? Are there any skill or knowledge gaps you could focus on right now?
- Are you happy with your skills, processes and knowledge in the following areas?
- Lead tracking
- Lead generation
- Service Delivery
If all of that is looking good then maybe it’s time to look at some personal goals, if there are areas you can work on then prioritise them. Depending on how you are feeling you might want to split them down into sections or only pick things that appeal to you as “fun” thing to work on at the moment. See my blog on procrastination, motivation and finding what works for you for more on that side of things.
If you are struggling right now then please don’t use this to put pressure on yourself. However, if you want to work on something to do with your business but aren’t sure where to start hopefully this has given you some ideas.