Navigating your business through the Coronavirus crisis
This episode is all about how to practically navigate your business through the current climate of coronavirus and how you can set your business up not only to survive, but thrive through this time.
This episode covers potential ways to pivot your business, how to show up through this period and how to manage your business financials.
In this Episode:
- 09.09: How to tackle overwhelm and anxiety
- 14.58: How to identify the real opportunities to thrive during this time
- 21.50: How to manage your business finances – the short game and long game!
In today’s episode, one of my best friends in business, Brooke from The Contented Copywriter interviews me about navigating through the current climate of Coronavirus and how you can set your business up to not only survive but thrive through this period. We talk about potential ways to pivot your business, how to show up through this period and how to manage your business financials. This is a challenging time for everyone, but we will get through it together.
You’re listening to the Clare Wood podcast, where we talk all things business, finance, marketing, and mindset for entrepreneurs, sharing practical tips, and actionable advice to help you take your business to the next level. Introducing your host: me! I’m Clare Wood, I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, and a reality tv addict, and I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life, because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two. Now let’s dive right in to today’s episode.
Before we get into the episode, there is something new and exciting that is coming, and I wanted to give you guys the first sneak peek. I’ve been spending this time in self-isolation, thinking about you and how I can help you in business in a big way, to make more money and to scale your business to 6 and even 7 figures. I’ll be sharing all about it on next week’s episode, so make sure you tune in and keep an eye on my Instagram account @clare_wood_coach.
I’m really excited because I’ve invited someone along to interview me on the podcast and the reason it, I find it really hard to talk on topics sometimes, but when someone interviews me I can talk and talk. So for today, I’ve invited one of my biz besties, Brooke Hill who is the founder of The Contented Copywriter.
Thanks for having me Clare.
She’ll be asking me the questions which is all about the current health crisis unfolding around the world. I know there is a lot of nervousness, overwhelm and fear going on, so I will share some practical tips around navigating through this time, but before we get into it, I want to share a bit more about Brooke.
Can you share what it is exactly that you do Brooke?
Sure, I run a content business, and I have a team of talented writers, and we create content and copywriting for a huge range of clients across different industries. We are really about sharing stories so we love nothing more than getting to know a business, helping them articulate their brand and what they stand for. And execute that through really well done content strategies. We are all about the long game, as well as helping clients with day-to-day content too.
If you could also share how we know each other too please?
You’ve been pivotal to my business actually. We used to work together at a company called Sheridan – the home lifestyle brand, and Clare used to be the one to sign off on my marketing budgets, as I headed up the marketing and content team.
We probably had a funny dynamic, because I used to think, what are marketing spending money on now!? And you would say how important it is to invest in the business. The funny this is, now that I’ve moved to the entrepreneurial world, I am now ALL about investing in marketing. It’s the most powerful thing you can do for your business. But back in my accounting days I was conservative.
Brooke is an absolute genius. She is incredible at what she does, but she also handles things in such a calm way. Your clients must love working with you because of that too, no matter what is going on you bring calm energy.
What I love is that I get to know different people and different brands, and the stories they have to tell, and I help them make themselves and their brands more potent. I love helping them build their business from a strategic perspective, but also enjoy getting hands on with the execution too. Words are power right. If you can’t articulate that in a powerful way, you’ll never cut through.
I 100% agree. I totally believe in the power of copy and how words can transform how a consumer feels about your business. I want to share a bit more about our story as well. We were in middle-management, and both of us got made redundant while we were on maternity leave.
I remember us getting that phone call and thinking what has happened. We had our first babies about the same time, we were both on maternity leave.
The silver lining is both of us have found businesses and allowed us to follow our passion and also be able to work as a family in a different way, than if we had stayed in a corporate capacity. We have come on this journey together, and we are 4 years into our businesses, both of us, and it’s been incredible to have you as a biz bestie on this journey. A massive thank you!
You’ve been pivotal to my business! I still remember sitting down and saying, I’m thinking about doing this, and your reaction and encouragement and guidance while I was growing it, has been incredible. I’m not even sure I would have thrown myself in, like I did, if we hadn’t had those conversations.
I’m so pleased we are on this path together. So let’s get into the questions, and how businesses can navigate through the current circumstances that are unfolding globally. Over to you.
I think everyone, including myself, is feeling a lot of overwhelm, and that is to say it lightly. How do we start to tackle that feeling of overwhelm and anxiety?
How to tackle overwhelm and anxiety
I think the biggest struggle that most business owners will face is the battle against your mind and what is going on in your head. A couple of weeks ago, this wasn’t a reality. We need to get super strong in our mindset and be really solid in our direction and what we want to do as business leaders. No matter what is going on in the outside world, there are businesses that are successful no matter. There are industries that are absolutely booming right now, like Zoom, I can’t even begin to think how much their value has increased in a short amount of time. Whatever is going on around us, there is always opportunities. We also we need to stay grounded and calm, because when we go into a state of fear or panic, we start to make silly and short term decisions. To get rid of members of my team would be short sighted, because I need them! So channelling that calm, let’s no rush anything, lets think of all the amazing opportunities and what we do have. If you are struggling to find out what that is, check out my podcast, episode 41, where I talk with Lisa Corduff about managing mindset through a time of challenge.
Some of the practical things are, surround yourself with positivity and remove the negativity. You could be thinking now, whenever I talk to that person I find myself and my thoughts spiralling and wanting to lean into quick decisions, whereas there are other people you might follow, listen to, hang out with that you think, everything is going to be ok, and you look for light in the situation. Online I’m following business leaders that are really stepping up and glowing and spreading messages of positivity and sharing great opportunities. I’m gravitating towards them and stepping away from things that put me in a negative space, like the news. Yes, it’s important to know what is going on for both my business and my family, but it’s not helpful for me to go into a negative space. So if you are overwhelmed, identify what is making you feel that what and then step back if you can, and lean into things that make you feel calm and excited and positive and motivated.
It’s kind of like putting a filter on, or horse blinkers, just see in one direction and doing that in terms of, I’m only going to see this. Do you actively change who you are following on Instagram, so you only see positive messages? Are you literally changing that funnel of information that comes through?
Absolutely, I’m temporarily not seeing messages, that aren’t congruent with what I’m trying to channel at the moment. To be fair most of the people that I follow I’ve followed for a long time and they are positive and so I’m leaning into their content, listening to their podcasts, and I’m feeling motivated and excited, and looking for good opportunities in the situation.
Talk to me about opportunities, how do we start to identify those? You mentioned there are businesses that are really thriving and there are always businesses that thrive. How do you start to identify the ones that are relevant to you?
How to identify the real opportunities to thrive during this time
I want to be clear here, because when we talk opportunities, people can be really triggered by that, and think that is people taking advantage and being opportunistic in a time of crisis, and I absolutely do not mean that when I say opportunities. I’m not talking about buying all the hand sanitizer on the market and selling it at a mark-up price. I’m talking about opportunities that exist to help people. People need help and support in growing their business, they need help creating content to inspire. It’s about saying, what are the challenges that my client has? They might have a new problem now. Can you serve them in a new way to align with what they need now, or can you look at your business and see that you can serve a whole new industry or clientele now? You can ask, who does need help now. There are online tech companies, grocery chains, medical supplies etc are all thriving, and they will be needing support. So if you can help them, it might be a good time to reach out to them.
Look for opportunities within your existing market as well as leaning into new industries and reaching out and saying this is how I can help you.
I love that. That’s two clear paths to work through.
In the changing environment, everyone is going to be worried about the bottom line. And what that means for their business and families. What else can we do that will help us maintain or gain extra income or revenue?
How to manage your business finances – the short game and long game!
There are a couple things I want to say on this.
Not everyone needs to pivot and boom through this period of time. Some business owners, this might be fantastic to sit back, gather your thoughts, grow your list, re-strategise, take time and space.
If you are in a real situation where you don’t have the capacity to step back, it’s about identifying what revenue streams you can bring in. Come back to that ideal client and ask how can you serve them. Look for new markets, new opportunities, other ways to help people, rather than slashing prices. How can you bundle things differently? Is there something you can bring in in a different way, is there a min offer to offer that won’t cannibalise the pricing structure of your business. Look for creative ways to survive this period. For example, funding opportunities available, look outside the business is there grants or other funding you can access, so you can get through.
This will pass. We know there is an end date, we don’t know when it is, but it will pass. They will develop a vaccine, the economy will come back, it’s just navigating through this period in the meantime. Try to identify opportunities and recognise there is abundance, and work out what that means for you. Do things that your future self will be grateful to you for.
That’s so powerful. What I’m hearing from you and other great leaders is, this will pass, there is a long game, and there will be a time where we all look back and say “remember when…”.
In terms of navigating through, it’s great advice to not sacrifice the long game for the short term. Always keep the long game in sight.
What about the practicality of the finance side of things, so, thinking about the short game, are there quick fixes?
I don’t have all the answers. But what I can say is there are a couple of recommendations I do have. Do not turn a blind eye to your finances. When you get overwhelmed it’s easy to not look at what’s going on because you aren’t going to like what you are going to see. That is not the answer! Definitely stay across your numbers from a business and personal perspective. I encourage people to do a cash forecast of 6 weeks in your business. At this point in you time, do a 3 month cash forecast, so what you do at a week by week basis, look at what is coming in and what is going out. Then ask, how can I attract more? How can I keep my business bringing in additional revenue at this time. Get creative about that but also be practical and realistic, and look at the expenses you do have and how you can move things around. Can I negotiate payment plans with someone? Can I get a short-term rent reduction?
You can manifest and attract amazing things in your life, but you need to stay across the practical side and look at what is coming in and out, and how you can make it work. What you put out energetically is what comes back to me. So, if I’m thinking we just need to get through this period, what happens.. you JUST get through the period. But when you believe, this will be an amazing time of growth for me, it’s what gets attracted to you. Again, that is why mindset is so important. When you are selling and selling from a place of scarcity and fear, it’s not attractive.
I’m sure there are days we will think, I have to get through today, but generally we need to shift that thinking from getting through, to, we will grow through this.
Money aside, growth happens in a number of different ways. Sometimes these challenging times, are the best. My recent launch, I went through such a challenging time with it, but I learnt so much and had an immense amount of personal growth through that journey. The hardest times can teach us the most powerful lessons. Look for the good that happens in whatever unfolds.
Before we sign off, is there any other gems you want to share?
I just want to say to people, I know at the moment it can feel terrifying and like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but there is. This time will pass. You can choose how you want to show up at this time. You can choose how you want to be and what your story will be. I definitely have my wobbles too, but I think that if you are looking through this period and saying, I’m going to come out the other side, then that is what you’ll attract. Keep surrounding yourself with positivity, hang in there, it will all work out ok!
Thanks Clare, and thanks for having me!
Thank you Brooke!
Thank you so much for joining me today, if you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe to receive future episodes, and I’d be so grateful for a review on apple podcast! If you’d like a copy of the show notes or any of the links mentioned today, please jump over to clarewood.com.au/podcast and remember that Clare is spelled CLARE, have a wonderful week and look forward to chatting to you again soon!
About your host
Hi, I’m Clare Wood – I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, a reality tv addict, and a passionate business coach. I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life; because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two.