Updated: 18 August 2020
Nigel Botteril is a business mentor at Entrepreneurs Circle, who educates, motivates and helps business owners take their next step. He gives his insight into how best to navigate the coming months with key tips to help your business withstand the impact of coronavirus.
1. Protect yourself
It’s incredibly important to protect your physical and mental health during these unprecedented times. Key things to remember are:
Your success during these times is 90% down to you and 10% down to the outside world. Focus on what you can control and try to make the best out of this situation. Take this opportunity, where you’re perhaps quieter, to focus on your business and ensure you’re working with switched-on, motivated people.
2. Protect your business
As a small business owner, now’s the time to show leadership to your team, customers and market. Here are some tips to help you:
Most companies will say the right thing; just in the wrong way! Try and make your communication as interesting as possible, and start preparing now for when this is all over.
How do you keep business going if all staff are not allowed to work?
Is it okay to advertise services at a time like this? How do we communicate now in a way that is not too opportunistic/unethical?
You can communicate within the context of your market and also within the context of what is going on. Take this opportunity to help people. Advise them on what to do next. The solution doesn’t have to be the product or service that you offer.
As an example, Entrepreneurs Circle have had a significant upsurge in membership as a result of this webinar. The initial intention of the webinar was to help small businesses. However, as a result, some businesses have enrolled and will end up becoming paying customers. The important thing to remember is to give value and advise people on what they should be doing next. If you have the capacity to, offer to jump on a call with them.
Some customers are expecting to postpone at no extra cost — how can we deal with requests without looking like the bad guy?
These are challenging situations. You need to be fair to your customers but also to your business, it is about finding a balance.
What is the meaning of furlough?
Looking at the HMRC full guidance, the official definition is someone who has been asked to stop working but not been made redundant. They effectively take a leave of absence.
How is it best to keep in touch with the team while everyone is WFH?
Make sure you are on Google Hangouts and Zoom. Have a catch up every morning and get everyone ready for the day. It’s important to keep people together.
Any advice on how to keep a sales team motivated during an inevitably quiet period?
You’re going to have to use tools that you would normally use. Try to keep the communication lines open and help provide them with the techniques to function and perform in different environments.
If you’re a small business, currently using offline and SEO marketing, should you prioritise a different marketing strategy or stop altogether?
Entrepreneurs Circle offer great materials that can help your business through the coming months. Take the next couple of days and go through the marketing site. It will help a lot. Remember, the best marketing option isn’t necessarily what is the cheapest — look at tracking and cost per lead or cost per sale. You can sign up here.
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If you have any questions, please speak to your professional adviser or seek independent legal advice.