What does the new normal look like for business?

The recent lockdown is having a significant impact on small businesses.

To keep a business afloat takes ingenuity and determination as well as intense hard work.

It has also taken a lot of Zoom meetings in the past few weeks!

I was already a Zoom user but it’s been a far more regular occurrence recently, I’ve used it for remote networking sessions, regular client catch-up calls and family quiz nights. Who’s Zooming Who, is a constant WhatsApp message, with a bonus point for the artist.

As a GirlGuiding Leader I’ve also been running weekly online meetings through Zoom – 18 girls in breakout rooms and making origami rabbits, in the style of Valerie Singleton. And only the occasional use of the Mute button.

While many were despairing over the flour shortage, I had no desire to turn into Mary Berry and begin baking for a living and sourdough was a non-starter! I found time for more gardening, made some better meals and work-wise I cleared some of my own admin tasks and found time for some website tweaks.

Small Business - realign -restart

Many business owners quickly reacted when the Covid-19 lockdown began and redirected how their business runs. Turning to online classes, workshops, and webinars. Working out new routes for their products, through the post and personal delivery.

Other SME’s have been unable to open at all or supply their clients with products over the past few months. Online orders have increased for some, whilst those providing a face-to-face service have had to rethink and reassess how they can work within the new guidelines when the coronavirus lockdown is released.

For those who have seen an upsurge in orders and services, there’s more back-room work and admin taking place to keep pace with the demand.

With the additional hygiene and safety measures needed to be considered, there’s a lot on the plate of small business owners at the moment.

Making Up for Lost Time

Whether it’s recovering lost revenue or reassessing working methods to comply with social distancing the coming months will have many challenges.

It may mean reviewing the business plans you set for 2020, refocussing into a different area of your product or services or realigning your goals, both monetary and personal.

Look at ways of raising and maintaining a profile with the aim of emerging better and stronger than before is high priority. How can you help your customers at the moment? What can you do for them?

Keeping customers engaged means social media channels are playing a key role more than ever. Now isn’t the time to go quiet on your pages. An active presence and regular updates can help your business in front of mind.

Building Back Up

Running a business means there is a constant to-do list of tasks to complete. As we pick our way through the coming months there will be a great deal to be working out and on.

Even if you had a marketing strategy for 2020 you may now find you need to ramp it up to gain business.

Perhaps your sales pipeline ground to halt in the months since the lockdown started. Have you found your usually sales techniques and marketing routes have changed?

Understandably you’re not able to do face-to-face networking right now and many offices are running on reduced staff and you’re not able to reach the decision-makers.

A Virtual Assistant can provide the extra marketing support you may need during these unexpected times.

If you’re developing a new campaign, need to send a broadcast message about your revised way of working, product launch or you’re moving to a more traditional postal advertising to reach your target market, a Virtual Assistant is well-placed to support you.

Staying on top of your Admin

As your normal routine may be altered, as you find new ways of working, admin can fall through the cracks.

A VA can help you with a wide range of tasks, from filtering your emails, diary management & database management to responding to everyday queries from existing customers and qualifying potential clients.

Working flexibly a Virtual Assistant is already well placed to work remotely to support small business owners. Changing the way you work could become the norm for the foreseeable future. Utilising a freelance assistant could be the answer to help you operate at your best, and be the best option for your business.

Working Together

With experience at remote working, a wealth of skills, and connections from supporting a variety of business owners you gain more than just an extra pair of hands.

A VA is also another small business owner and they are committed to helping other businesses survive the current crisis so that we all continue all to flourish once normality returns.

By working alongside you in a flexible way that gives you the help you need, when and where you need it most, a VA can be an effective collaborative partner to business owners during this extraordinary period.

If you would like to find out more about how I can help you contact me info@cotswoldcolleague.co.uk.