Your business probably looks a lot different today than it did 30 or 60 days ago. Maybe things have slowed down drastically, perhaps you’re lucky, and they’re going like gangbusters. Either way, what you planned on doing right now likely isn’t what you’re doing. My friend, you are not alone. We’re all in this together, and things have changed so fast that sometimes it’s hard to know what to do to keep our businesses moving forward.
Right now, you need to look at your business very honestly and determine what’s working and what isn’t. If you’re like me and you’ve got your kids at home with you, you likely have a lot less time available than you’re used to, so you may need to scale back a bit for your sanity. I know I have. If you’re juggling your corporate job and a side business, you may feel maxed out and need to step back, or you may want to jump in full force. Whatever your situation is and however things are going for you right now, you’re doing great, and you can do this. You can go at whatever speed works for you.
Plan – what were you planning on doing in your business during Q2? What can you do now? What adjustments do you need to make? Work through the 5 P’s and then write something down and execute upon that plan. It’s easier to move forward each day when you know what you’re focusing on, especially when your time is limited. Over the weekend, I got out the dry erase marker cleaner and wiped my calendar clean from April – August and started over completely. 😭 What I had planned for Q2 and Q3 isn’t going to happen with my preschooler at home with me for the coming months.
Pivot – are there things in your business that don’t work as they are but could work if you adjust your messaging or your offer a bit to be more authentic for the times we’re experiencing right now? I’ve had to do this a bit. If you’ve read my emails recently, you’ve seen notes about COVID, mentions about this email having been written previously, and updates about the situation we’re all facing right now. I’ve also started rerunning some Facebook ads in preparation for a launch in May, and the ad copy has all pivoted to work better right now.
Pause - are there things you were planning on launching soon that you can’t launch right now? Are there products or services that you can’t offer or don’t want to offer due to COVID-19? If you work with clients 1:1 in-person or have people come to your business location, you might want to pause those offerings entirely for a bit, BUT maybe they could be pivoted so you can still serve your customers and bring in revenue. Be creative before you pause something completely challenge yourself to see if you can pivot it into something that works in today’s economy. You might surprise yourself.
Provide – above all, focus on your customers and serve them well. Take care of your customers, teach them, offer solutions to their problems, and take care of them. If you have something you can create that addresses a new need, maybe it’s the time to bring a new product to them. It’s OK to sell right now, but make sure you stay focused on providing value for your customers, or you will appear sleazy, and no one wants that.
Purge – are there things you have in your business that don’t serve you anymore? Maybe it’s time to purge them completely. A reflection time like the one we’re in can be great for business growth and idea development. Look at everything you offer and decide if it’s serving you and your customers well. If it needs adjusting a bit to be a better solution, then pivot it, if it doesn’t provide value or align with what you’re doing anymore, it’s OK to purge. You don’t have to keep offering something that doesn’t serve you or your customers. That’s a waste of effort.
Am I following my own advice?
I am and it’s making a difference. Like many of us, the first few weeks were tough. I am not used to having my preschooler at home with me all day. He’s used to being in school, learning, and playing with his friends, and suddenly he was at home with mom all day, every day. They went on Spring Break on March 6th and were supposed to return March 17th, but the school didn’t reopen due to the pandemic. We had a great Spring Break, but those first few weeks at home were hard. This is our 6th week at home post Spring Break, and we’ve found a good schedule. It took some trial and error for sure.
I initially paused the development of Business Builder’s Blueprint, my new course, which is supposed to launch in the early fall, after school resumes. I didn’t see how I could work on it with him at home. Then I had a fantastic conversation with an old colleague from my corporate career who challenged me to look at things differently and keep working on it because she felt that it was going to help people so much with this new world that we’re living in. I was worried about working on it with my son in the background, and she laughed and said, everyone is in the same position right now, it’s OK if you hear him in the background. It’s life today, and I hope we don’t ever go back to the “fake perfect” that we’re used to portraying. So, that program will still launch, hopefully in September. It’s going to be interesting to work on recording and editing videos with a little one at home, but as she said, if he’s in the background, people will understand because we’re all in the same spot right now.
I also pivoted my Q2 plan and am focusing on teaching Marketing Foundations starting in May because this is something that will help you, my students, and generate income for the business. Now is a great time to focus on the foundations of marketing and growing your business, so that’s where we’re going. I’ve been working on a new webinar and training, and details will be released soon. The webinars will be in early May, and then we’ll kick off class together in early June.
I started planning again. I’m a girl who loves a good plan to work against, and I’ll be honest, during the first few weeks of this, I made a lot of daily schedules for my son and me, but I didn’t do much to work on my business and plan. My weekly Big 3 quickly dropped to Big 1 or Big 2 with little bit at home. Once they announced schools would not reopen for the remainder of the school year, it helped me. It’s easier to plan when you know for sure what you’re juggling and for how long.
As I mentioned, I updated my planning calendar over the weekend, and I also got my Full Focus Planner back out and started using it for the first time in a month. This week I feel much more settled and focused. My son and I worked out a schedule where mommy now has about 3 hours a day to work, and that’s helped a lot. He gets an hour of ABC Mouse in the morning and a 2 hour free TV block after lunch (to watch something that’s mommy approved ;) ), and I get to work twice a day. When I walk in my office in the morning, I open my planner and get to work because I know my time is limited, I can’t get sucked into Facebook or email or whatever else. I have to focus, or I won’t keep up, and that’s helping me stay productive.
How about you? How are things going there? Have you taken a look at your Q2 plan and made adjustments? I want you to go through everything and look at it with the 5P’s in mind. What do you need to pivot, what needs to pause, what should be purged and create a plan and then think about how you can provide for your audience. It’s OK to focus on your business right now. It’s OK to sell right now. We’ll talk about all of this a bit more in future posts. Find your balance with all of your responsibilities. If you’ve got kids at home, consider the TV trade-off to get your work done. I sat down and discussed things with my son and asked him what he wanted and he wanted to watch a movie during quiet time (he decided this was the perfect time to drop his nap 😭) and was OK with letting mommy work in her office if he could watch a movie instead of taking a nap. It’s a win-win for us. We both get what we want, and I’ve scheduled our day so that he has 1:1 time with mom before and after quiet time for other activities. It’s working for us. Maybe it will help you find what works for you.
Hang in there. We’re all going through this together. It’s a crazy time, but we’re going to see things change a lot as we come out of it and find our new normal. I don’t know what normal will look like yet, but I’m curious to find out. Let me know if you’re pivoting and what your Q2 plans look like now. I want to help you succeed right now too.