How to Help Your Small Business Thrive During the Coronavirus by Elena Stewart

This is a guest post by certified life coach, Elena Stewart

It’s no surprise that the coronavirus lockdown is having a major impact on small businesses. As many retailers have been forced to close and consumers are hesitant to spend on non-essentials during this period of financial uncertainty, small businesses are struggling to stay afloat. Despite these setbacks, there’s a lot business owners can do to drive sales and prepare for reopening. From short-term cash flow strategies to in-store improvements, here are some effective ways to keep your business going during the pandemic.

 

Learn from Your Competition

 

Look for businesses that are managing to get by during the pandemic to find out which strategies might work for you.

 

  • Small business retailers are driving immediate revenue by promoting gift cards, offering pre-orders, and discounting underperforming products.
  • Restaurants have shifted their focus to take-out and delivery services.
  • Service-based...
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Resilient Business, Resilient Self - Part 2 of 2

RESILIENCE
re·sil·ience 
/rəˈzilyəns/

noun
  1. the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.
     
  2. the ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

     

PsycologyToday.com says RESILIENCE is the process of being able to adapt well and bounce back quickly in times of stress. It involves developing thoughts, behaviors, and actions that allow you to recover from traumatic or stressful events in life.

In our most recent blog post, I covered the qualities of businesses that are resilient - that survive and grow - even in the event of an economic recession. One thing is clear... part of what makes a company resilient is having a leader that is resilient, and in this post I'm going to cover resilience as a personal skill, what it is and how to build it up.

 

Heroes would never be heroes if they weren’t given a challenge to rise to!

Psychologist Susan Kobasa says resilient...

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Resilient Business, Resilient Self - Part 1 of 2

With the various components affecting our modern business environment, such as geopolitics, economic cycles, globalization of the workforce and supply chains, and fast-changing technology... a higher volatility in our business environment IS the new NORM.  

Building resilience skills will help you when the economy is on shaky ground AND will also serve you when the economy is back to something closer to "normal."  In this blog post, I'm going to cover what resilience looks like for businesses, and I'll follow it up with a second post on building your own personal resilience.

 

Resilience in Business 

2 Comprehensive Studies (and what they found)

Both studied how major economic downturns affected companies and what those companies did to get through recessions successfully, and in some cases, came out the other side of it in better standing than they were when the economic downturn began.

*Study 1: 1100 companies, range of industries and ...

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Preparing for Your Next First or Best

Maybe you’re currently experiencing a unique opportunity to slow down (you’re in the midst of a job change, you’re stuck at home during a pandemic, you’re tight on cash, your relationship just ended, you’re healing from an injury, or you just made the decision to give yourself the gift of me-time. Or maybe you’re busier than ever and are realizing you need some of that coveted me-time.

Regardless of what the cause is…whether it's outside of your control or a conscious choice you’re making to take some time for yourself…having time to plan your next FIRST or BEST is not only healthy but also a great way to prepare for a significant step forward in your life.

 

Why do I say it’s significant? Let me answer you with a question.

Do you remember your first kiss?
How about the first time you made a sale?
Or the first time you rode a roller coaster or bungee jumped off a bridge?

Do you remember when you ran your fastest...

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How You Serve Clients Matters More than What You Serve Them

You’ve heard this quote before, right? “People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care [about them]."

 

It has been attributed to many people including Theodore Roosevelt, John Maxwell, and Earl Nightingale, but who said it first isn’t important. What’s important is that you understand it and benefit from its message.

 

Being in a tech-connected world means higher levels of competition than ever before. Customers can easily find your competitors online, they can buy products and services with the click of a button, and they can read the opinions of clients you’ve previously worked with. That means the days of being able to be a jerk and still be professionally successful are running out.

 

However, you don’t have to be a jerk for this principle to apply to you. Customers no longer have to be repulsed by someone to make them decide to take their business elsewhere. Back in the day when you were the...

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Be the CEO of Your Business

Every business has a leader. In many cases, they call that person the CEO.

If you’re self-employed, even though you may not think of yourself as one, you most certainly are the CEO of your own business. 

Do you think of yourself as a CEO? If you do, then you are more likely to think like a CEO and to perform like one—in a way that consistently drives your business forward.  In this post, we’re covering some of the most important responsibilities of a CEO and the key ingredients that make CEOs exceptional at what they do.

 

The CEO Genome Project

It was a 10-year-study of the 2500 largest companies in the world with the purpose of determining what all top-performing CEOs have in common.  The 4 main characteristics shared by all of the most effective CEOs are:

  • Decisive
  • Engaging (with clients and employees alike)
  • Adaptive
  • Reliable

A CEO is also a visionary. As the leader of your business, you’re responsible for determining what your...

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Why is it Hard to Break Bad Habits and Easy to Create Them?

How many times have you tried to stop eating sugar? Or start exercising? Or spend less time on your phone? Or read more books? Or save money?  Or one of many other actions you label as good for you or more in alignment with who you want to be?

 

Why is it hard to create one good habit?
And why is quitting a bad habit so difficult?
To stop doing something we know doesn’t serve us should be easy, shouldn’t it?

 

Those are questions most of us have asked ourselves a time or two. One reason why this topic is so important is because it applies to us all.

 

When you understand your behavior, it becomes easier to change. There are a few key steps that’ll help you make or break habits, and understanding how a habit works in your brain is the first step.

 

A habit is something you’ve repeated enough times that it became ingrained in your neural pathways so that you do it without consciously thinking about doing it or how to do it.

 

The...

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How to Change a Bad Habit or Create a Good Habit

Changing a Bad Habit or Creating a Good Habit is a process. It’s not easy, but it is scientific and you can control it.

Here’s an overview of the process to change or create a habit with more explanation below.

  • Figure out what the cue is
  • Replace the bad habit behavior with a new one, and make sure there is some sort of reward for the new behavior
  • Start small and take incremental steps (the rewards can be small too)
  • Prime your environment
  • Focus on habits that influence other habits

 

Figure out your cues

Do you walk into the kitchen when you’re bored or restless, and you find yourself reaching for a snack when you’re not even hungry? It could be that your cue is the feeling of being bored or restless or even the action of walking into the kitchen.

 

Implement a More Positive Behavior

Sometimes, simply swapping a behavior in an existing loop for a new one is easier than eliminating the loop all together. Instead of walking into the kitchen when...

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What You Can Do to Reduce Stress in Your Career or Business

Busy professionals and small business owners tend to have a lot in common, not the least of which is having a lot of stress.

 

Dealing with daily stress can keep you from being your best. It’s helpful to learn how to conquer stress and the effects it has on your overall health and wellness in order to achieve success in your career. Read more about the affects stress has on you or to take a survey to become clear on your relationship with stress.

 

To help you get on the right track, here are a few ways you can reduce stress.

 

Stay on Top of Your Finances at Work and Home

 

When it comes to stress, finances can be a huge source of additional strain. Creating a solid financial plan for your business can cut a lot of that stress out for you.

 

You can begin by figuring out how much capital you will need to start and creating a realistic plan to track cash flow over the coming months. Many people like to create a projected...

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Better Communication Skills and Why Your Silence is Detrimental

Why do you think it’s important to have good communication skills?

And how could such skills benefit you?

 

In my experience, and witnessing others' experiences, I've come to believe communication skills has an affect on your personal life, your work life, and your social life. Communication is basically central to all your relationships.  

 

In each of the next four posts (well this one, plus 3 others), I’m going to discuss effective communication. 

 

Think about your personal life. If you improved your communication skills, where would it affect your life the most?  

For me, I think it would most help my marriage, because even though my husband Josh and I actually are in a really good place, we still get into arguments, and most of the time, it's my fault. I know it's Josh —one of the most forgiving people you’ll ever meet—and he's going to forgive me like it's no big deal.

With him, I don't always take the time to...

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