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Reigniting your business life after lockdown – our guide to coming out the other side

17th April 2020

It’s fair to say that over the past month or so, we have been on more than a rollercoaster of a ride as we have grappled to get used to our new normal. Often it has felt like we were being catapulted on a big dipper of uncertainty out into cyberspace with little idea of where we’d end up or even if we would find our way back to where we were originally heading. During this time, many businesses have struggled, some have thrived, while others have successfully adapted to a massively changing and unpredictable marketplace.

However it has affected you and your business, here are some ideas for what you can do to avoid a crash landing and ensure you have a smooth and gradual decent back down to more solid ground.

Recognise and reward your staff

 Staff are often lauded as a business’s best asset and rightly so. While a business owner might be the foundation of a company, you should never underestimate how your team act as the bricks and mortar, holding everything together on top and preventing it all from tumbling down. It’s highly likely that, if your staff have remained in the business, they have worked harder than ever to prevent cracks from forming and have perhaps had to make certain sacrifices to get the job done. Therefore, make sure you recognise their achievements and discuss with them openly and often how this could look. It might be you want to buy everyone a drink or that you choose to promise them a bonus when things get back on track. Whatever you decide, always remember there is plenty of value in recognition and reward for keeping your staff motivated and on side.

Thank your loyal customers, stick by your super suppliers

Many businesses during the lockdown might have felt overwhelmed by the amount of support they have received from loyal customers and trustworthy suppliers. Don’t let positive engagement disintegrate as soon as things start to get better. Ensure you continue to keep in regular contact with those who have backed you during the bad times and think about how you might be able to reward them for the ways they have helped make a difference. For example, you might want to offer your best customers added value or transfer more business to a supplier that has proved reliable in a crisis.

Realise things won’t be the same as they were before

Clearly no one can predict what will happen next, but what we do know is it is highly likely that the business landscape will be looking a lot different than it was at the beginning of our journey out into cyberspace. It’s unwise to think you can revert to your original plans of taking on extra staff or implementing a big expansion. Instead, take stock of what you have and think about ways in which you can adapt further. Is there an alternative product or service you can offer in addition to your mainstream business or the items that kept you afloat during the tough times?  Allocate time to creating a contingency plan for the future and consider the various scenarios that could cause difficulty for you and your business should things change again. Then ensure you back them up with solid and realistic solutions.

Take some time to yourself

 It might sound like madness to stop when all you want to do is keep going for fear of things falling apart, but taking some time to yourself is still incredibly important to ensure your own health and wellbeing is looked after. After all, if you’re at burnout, it certainly won’t help your business and, in some cases, it could cause long term negative effects for you and your company. Allocating just thirty minutes a day to release your thoughts and unwind from the day’s stresses will help you to stay focused and refreshed. If you’re unsure where to start, then consider utilising a mindfulness app like Calm which offers useful tools and guidance for both businesses and individuals on relieving and managing stress.

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ARTICLE BY:

Peter Sutton - Managing Director

Driven by the desire to create the very best user experience for clients, Peter founded PMW almost 30 years ago, bringing with him a wealth of experience in the media and marketing industry.

Peter has led the creative team on numerous high-profile projects with clients including Sony, Born Free, British Heart Foundation, and Disney, to name but a few.

His hard work and dedication to clients has led to incredible results, winning acclaim and awards along the way. The small business he created now employs more than 30 staff and is a great source of pride to Peter.

He cites working on a millennium project to create the world’s largest time vault and organising Dame Vera Lynn’s 100th birthday celebrations among the highlights of his distinguished career.

A former athlete – excelling at both discus and shotput – these days dad of two Peter prefers to explore the countryside with his wife, Sandra, and their two Labs, Bugsie and Pip. He still finds time to complete the odd challenge though, taking on the gruelling Three Peaks and a blister-busting 100k non-stop walk from Putney to Henley, raising thousands of pounds for charity.

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