By Sam Turner
Turn Covid19 into Your Financial Freedom
As well as the challenges that the Coronavirus brings, you’ve probably found, through lockdowns, social distancing and working from home, that you’ve had a lot more time on your hands during the pandemic (every cloud, hey?). Around the world, thousands of people have been using this as an opportunity to finally expand on that business idea that they’ve never had the time to dive deeper into before.
Seizing the opportunity to be your own boss can be incredibly rewarding, but how can you make sure you’re setting yourself up for success in such an uncertain market? According to World Bank forecasts, the global economy is predicted to decline by 5-7% during 2020; the worst decline since World War Two.[ST1] This means that jobs might be at risk, customers may not have the same budget for expenses as they normally do, and that financial security will be more highly coveted than ever. How, then, can you set up your business (whether new or already established) to succeed throughout the pandemic, and onward into the future?
The pandemic, although bringing fear and uncertainty to many, also presents several unusual opportunities for businesses and individuals alike. Depending on your location, regulations and restrictions on businesses may have been relaxed or even lifted entirely to ensure that the economy is kept up and running. Equally, several governments and non-profit organizations have created relief funds for businesses to ensure that they survive the economic drought brought about by COVID-19. Now is the perfect opportunity to explore this, and it could present the perfect opportunity to start up your business, or to apply for further funding to make sure your business starts earning you enough to help you achieve your goal of financial independence.
Whether this virus recedes during this year or continues to be present in the population for years to come, it’s crucial to think about life-after-quarantine. If your business’ offering has adapted to suit the needs of the current market, it’s never too early to think about how you can continue to adapt this offering, to future-proof it against any further spikes or to target it to the “new normal” market.
In any case, it’s likely that your business can offer more products and services in the months and years to come than pre-COVID-19. It’s important to ask yourself whether the products and services you’ve been offering throughout the pandemic solve a longer-term problem[ST2] – if you can foresee your business still operating in a post-COVID world, three to five years from today. If the answer is “yes”, then it’s important to consider whether your target market is likely to change during that time, and therefore whether you need to rethink your marketing strategy when looking longer-term. Even if the answer is “no”, then it’s worth exploring ways in which you could adapt your business for long-term success. There’s no time like the present to start gradually shifting your business from “now” to future-planning.
This is why having a business growth strategy is so important; you need to explore this potential for growth to ensure that it isn’t going to waste, and to make sure that you can achieve your goal of financial freedom.
In equal measure, some of the logistical considerations that have come into play during the pandemic are likely to carry over into this “new normal”, and they may also hold the key to future proofing your business post-COVID. The question to ask yourself when writing your business growth plan is “where will my work take place?” The ideal would be that you will be working from home or working outside. These are two of the safer options. If your business means that you must enter several other households on any given day, you’re bringing an element of risk into each household, and a number of your customers may be anxious about letting a stranger in (unless you’re delivering an essential service). If you work from shared office spaces or your own office, it might be worth setting yourself and your team up to work from home moving forward (which can also be an opportunity to save money on office-space rent).
The most important thing for any post-normal business to keep in mind while working on their growth strategy might well be to expect the unexpected[ST3]. If there had been a survey in October 2019 about how the population thought 2020 would go, the percentage of people who would have predicted a global pandemic causing widespread lockdown would be close to zero.
That’s not to say there’s a global catastrophe around the corner, or that we need to be worried about the impact of any decision we make on the off-chance that something unexpected will happen, but knowing how to deal with a crisis is what separates the wheat from the chaff in the world of business. The best advice that we can offer on that matter is to keep your company’s mission in mind.
Any decision you take, whether it be in response to a global pandemic or something far less serious, should be steering your business in the direction you want it to go. If your mission involves ethical practices, ethical decision making should come into play. If your only goal is financial stability, then keep that in mind. It is your responsibility to respond, and you are the only person who can control how you respond[ST4]. The best way to failsafe your response to any given situation is to ensure that your business plan, including your business growth plan, is focused on your company’s mission. That gives you the framework by which you should make your business decisions.
While there are thousands of other considerations for every individual business, and while every business operates differently, any business planning to grow during and after COVID-19 would do well to keep these suggestions in mind, and to include them in their business growth plan. Get in touch to find out how Booming Businesses can help you to discover what you need to grow your business.