It’s coming up to a year until we heard that dreaded word uttered for the first time ‘lockdown’. It has been the toughest year for many businesses and individuals yet it has also been a time for reflection and reassessing many things in life and business. People want to work differently and that is OK.
The evening of March 23rd 2020, prime minister Boris Johnson uttered those words that will go down in history
From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.
– Boris Johnson to the British public, 23/03/20
Those initial fears that this would last longer than 3 weeks seem to fade into the background now we realise we have been at this on and off for almost a year.
This latest lockdown has been harder than the others. No unseasonably early summer with light nights spent in the garden with a beer in hand. We couldn’t stomach another banana bread baking and tasting session. We’ve been through everything on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ and our terrestrial channel services on demand. I mean, there’s been nothing else to do!
Seeing Massive Shifts in the Way We Work
Our work and home environment is the one that has become so intrinsically linked and this is one area in which we will see massive shifts.
We have proved that we can work from home. Albeit it has been an absolute minefield for some who have had home schooling thrown into the mix, or the tragedy of COVID-related illness and death. There is no doubt that this time has been incredibly hard.
Yet it is also a time where we get to reassess what is important. In both work and life.
Moving forwards, business owners are of course regular normal everyday people, arguably with more on their shoulders with a team to support alongside the usual lockdown pressures and the business enforced closures or restrictions too.
Business owners have had time to sit back and reflect during the worry. We are looking for ways to work smarter and more efficiently, not harder.
Business Burnout – Working Smarter Not Harder
I have written about business burnout many times throughout the past year. The first lockdown was tough but people adapted and pivoted. The second lockdown was equally tough for many businesses. I have noticed a distinct fighting spirit in this third lockdown coupled with a lot of pensive assessment of how business gets to look in the future.
Many retail outlets have strengthened their online presence and e-commerce capabilities.
Many leisure businesses like gyms and fitness clubs are looking to increase their online offering along with streamlining timetables or coming up with creative ways to ensure client retention and even better client services and accountability.
Hospitality venues are wondering if an early closure could work moving forwards to reduce overheads after the enforced 10 pm curfew towards the second half of 2020 for bars and restaurants.
Beauty and hairdressing professionals are working hard to create at-home services that bolt on to their traditional 1:1 services and also thinking of moving into the training space to train other up and coming professionals in their arena.
Online tours are working well for businesses in the wedding sector, estate agencies and events. People are putting the work in now to secure future bookings and increase deposit based cashflow to help in the short term.
Many businesses might be looking to outsource jobs that they fell into like marketing, sales, accountancy and more. When you start a business it’s passion and ambition that sets you out of the starting blocks and before you know it, the burden of all jobs seems to fall on your plate until you can get to a revenue increase that allows for outsourcing or team building.
Awaiting a Roadmap
While we await an announcement of a roadmap out of lockdown, businesses are on pause knowing when they can reopen and under what new restrictions. While we await that decision and announcement, it is a good time to really get honest with yourself about how you want your business to look moving forwards. Do you want to put working hour boundaries in place? Outsource tasks that are not your natural skillset or areas of expertise? Scale down parts of your business? Scale-up more profitable revenue streams?
Some of these decisions would be better made with sound financial advice and data. That’s why we love Float Cashflow Forecasting which has been invaluable in the pandemic to show our clients the impact of different decisions on their cashflow.
Virtual Business Finance Surgery Every Monday Morning
While you await the decision from the prime minister on how the UK will move out of this current lockdown, if you are assessing the future of your business and you would like a free no-obligation chat to go through any potential financial decisions and how they could impact your business in future, please do book in to one of our virtual business finance surgeries held every Monday morning. These are not a sales call, this was our way to give back and volunteer our expertise to help out in what has been the biggest global disaster since the second world war.