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My Strategy For Surviving Coronavirus
By Paula Power of My White Dog, she has run her Wiltshire business for two years trading as a provider of four courses in two sectors: Adult mental health first aid (2 day) and awareness (one day and half day), which is dedicated to supporting line management and staff to raise mental health awareness, reduce stigma and presenteeism in the workplace and youth mental health first aid (2 day), dedicated to parents and teachers supporting age 8-18.
When did you realise the Coronavirus could be a problem for you and your business?
My courses are interactive and delivered on-site, for up to 16 people. The initial indicators were delegates dropping out of courses and venues closing their doors, with on-site courses being cancelled for foreseeable future.
Also, I spend 20-30% of my time networking face to face; the interaction of which creates a positive working balance for my motivation and focus.
What has been your plan to continue?
To consider the impacts and what can be done to mitigate them.
- Existing Cash flow - current and future course plans (refunds etc)
- Client loss – financial impact to clients will have knock on effect /delay potential training needs
- Change - immediate timescale and impact unknown!
My plan has been to look at online options – explore the commercial/marketing/technology/re-training/course approach, redesign and finance options.
Also to explore a new approach to ongoing communication/connection: focus on existing networks, support, clients, future delegates and associates.
I've also looked at what financial support is available...
What advice would you give to other business owners?
This is no doubt a challenging climate with significant financial and lifestyle change; so take a deep breath! - with such uncertainties it’s a great time to recognise and focus on the things you can control right now.
Consider where the potential is rather than things you are unable to control (what you don’t know, e.g financials/timescale).
It means thinking more creatively, and I would encourage regular comms and updates with existing clients, collaboration with associates and colleagues, to share experience and explore potential alternative options and what shared support is available.
This is especially important if you are working in isolation - to therefore gain a sense of purpose also recognise you are not alone in this.
More importantly, to look after physical and mental health, having regular breaks within a structure (walking outside, good nutrition and avoid negative press if possible).
Find something you really enjoy doing to balance out what potentially could be a full stress bucket during this time.
What can we do to help each other?
Regular contact online, encouragement/shared experiences/resources/offering product/service swaps, shared experience.
These are not easy to achieve without building a collaborative supported community that involves commitment, integrity and trust.
What can we learn from this in business?
This forced change which will create teething challenges however ultimately it will mean reflection and growth for some.
It will impact how, where and when we work.
How we act now is fundamental and there is potential positive change can come in terms of our attitude (flexibility), creativity, how we manage our stress, and build resilience.
Your parting thought?
Any significant change despite its initial flight/ fight reaction can bring about positive change.
For more information visit https://mywhitedog.com/