I originally shared a shorter version of this with my email list, but I wanted to share it here, too.
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The past nine months have been hard for almost all small businesses. For some, these months have been brutal. Most of my friends and community are small business owners (of all types). I've seen them have to temporarily close their brick and mortar businesses, shift how they work with their clients, and essentially create multiple new businesses to stay afloat - in most cases without much support from programs put in place to help them.
There is so much uncertainty for small business owners right now, and I know it can feel overwhelming. My state is going into a new two week freeze to try to control the spread of COVID. Other states are doing similar things (or will at some point). I know there is fear, uncertainty, and frustration for business owners trying to keep their lights on and remaining employees paid long enough to survive COVID and rebuild on the other side (whenever that happens).
The financial impact of COVID has hit small businesses hardest (and women and minority owned businesses even harder).
If, as a small business owner, you're feeling overwhelmed and not sure what to do next, I wanted to suggest this quick guide to get you back on the best path for your goals.
S - Strategize - don't jump from one pivot to the next.
L - Look at what is working - even if sales are down, something has worked - do more of that.
O - Organize what you have - whether that is your content or your inventory - you need to know what your working with to move forward.
W - Work out your next immediate steps - here's the really hard thing right now - planning six months from now (or even three months) may have too many variables - but you can plan your next immediate steps. And then the ones after those. And keep going - one foot in front of the other.
D - Don't get stuck in a loop - "What ifs" and "If onlys" aren't helpful if they are keeping you from moving forward.
O - Outsource if you can. Whether that is meals, business tasks, or errands - if you need help, make sure you're getting support so you can focus on the bigger goals.
W- Who are your biggest fans? In any pivot, switch, or decision you make, remember who your fans are and how you can best serve them.
N- Say nay to the naysayers - there are plenty of Debbie Downers and scrooges out there - don't let them get into your head.
Musings about marketing, social media, and small business.