Right now is a good time to wrap up the year 2020 and throw it swiftly to the curb. We are done! We all want a speedy end to “the year that wasn’t” while moving into a much happier new year.
Let’s summarize the year 2020: a worldwide virus that affected everyone on some level, we juggled work at home, we bought a lot of toilet paper and baking supplies, we helped set up virtual schooling not to mention endless Zoom meetings. We stayed home a lot, we took staycations, we spent a lot of time online and we also watched too much TV. Time either moved too slow or it flew by too fast. It was a year we would sooner forget.
Since COVID-19 is a continuing issue, 2021 is up in the air. One thing is for certain: life goes on even if plans derail. As entrepreneurs, there are two things we have on our side: creativity and problem-solving skills. There are many things we can do to make it a little bit better.
1. Quality alone time
“Solitude is the soul’s holiday.” Katrina Kenison
The main word here to focus on its quality. I cannot stress this enough – we need downtime on a regular basis. This year was heavy and sometimes we just need to put it down. It was hard to stay motivated especially since many of us worked at home for the very first time. Solitude is your recharge time. When you stop and hang out with yourself for a bit, it helps you get back to what is important. Quality time alone can be things like exercise, taking a walk, reading, taking an online class, or just cooking a healthy meal. Quite simply, the six best doctors are sunshine, water, rest, fresh air, exercise, and diet.
2. Set up structured baby steps
“Baby steps are the royal road to skill.” – Daniel Coyle
Little by little, we will adjust to the changing times. Staying motivated is a discipline that needs to be worked on daily. It is the simplest and easiest strategy because it builds constancy while making positive choices on a regular basis. Baby steps show more tangible results while promoting small victories which we all could use right now more than ever.
3. Plan motivational check-ins
“Maybe we are not here to see each other but to see each other through.” – Anonymous
Now is a good time to check in with friends, family, clients, and your support systems. Networking is really important right now too with like-minded people. We may not always be able to meet them for coffee or visit, but we can touch base online. Anything you can do to connect is worth the time to do. It’s a wonderful distraction as well as a positive way to talk about anything else that is not COVID-19 related.
4. Set up a budget
“Becoming rich is hard. Staying broke is hard. Choose your hard.” – Eric Worre
Times are uncertain so it’s important to streamline and cut back on unwanted or unimportant things right now. It’s a good time to get resourceful. We all need financial security which includes a dedicated emergency fund. Have a look at your spending habits and current bills, while defining your wants and needs. Another approach is to look at low or cost-free approaches to everything from household activities to business and online learning. If budgeting is a struggle, speak to a financial manager that can help streamline things for more financial breathing space.
5. Look at how you can adapt-
“The wise adapt themselves to circumstances, as water molds itself to the pitcher” – Chinese Proverb
Adapting to the situation at hand means you accept that things will be rocky for a while. This does not mean you are giving up on the ways things used to be – it just means those ways just need to be done differently. There are always new ways to do things and this year proved that all at once. If you are used to seeing clients in person, then try doing it online. Adapting means change and it means getting creative with the resources you have. None of this will be without challenges or trial and error, however, those struggles can lead to better solutions to get you through.
6. Assess your suppliers and inventory
“Assessment is today’s means of modifying tomorrow’s instruction.” –Carol Ann Tomlinson
Take a hard look at your inventory. Get in touch with your vendors and suppliers. Make note of what is selling and what you can do away with. Your inventory is the backbone of your business so it’s important to have a close working relationship with your suppliers. This involves streamlining orders, production timelines, cutting shipping costs, and evaluating the overall quality of your products. When you look at every angle of your business, it improves operations while helping you provide more value for your products and services.
7. Focus on e-commerce
“Always deliver more than expected.”– Larry Page
When it comes to a pandemic, expect the unexpected. The typical ways of running a company flipped upside down with a large demand for products and services that transformed quickly overnight. It was a collective wave of panic and restructuring of the usual way of doing things. The truth is we cannot stand still too long in situations like this because viruses do not come with a deadline. If you have not set up an online shop, now is the time. Make a plan, set up small, and then build on it. Define the products and services you want to sell
8. Create a social media plan-
“If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra
Start the year off with a fresh new approach to being online. Focus on what platforms you feel work best for your company then build from there. Revamp your online voice. Right now you want to reassure your clients that you are here for them, and your products and services are still available. Honesty and a human approach are key right now. Be a supportive member of their online community while sharing ideas, tips, and support. Right now we need as much positivity and resources as we can get.
The GDC Group wishes you a happier New Year. We want you to know we are here to answer your questions and concerns as we navigate through these challenging times.