We all have plans, but sometimes even the best laid plans end up going by the wayside. In light of sudden changes, no matter what scale, it can be hard to stay on track when things beyond our control take a drastic turn.
The same holds true for business. Right now, we find ourselves in an unprecedented scenario, the likes of which many of us were unprepared for. But, just because things have changed, it doesn’t mean we have to give up on our goals, aims, or strategies. If you’re lucky enough to still be able to work, albeit remotely, you don’t have to forgo everything you’ve been working for or planning.
You just need to make some adjustments. Here are three great steps you can take to maintain an edge and stay on track during this downturn.
1. Get Lean
When times are good, a few dollars spent on a marketing campaign here or a group subscription to a platform there might not seem like such a big deal. But in the midst of larger economic changes, those tiny costs can add up – fast.
We’ve talked about it before, the creeping, lurking horror of vampire debt. If you need to cut some costs in order to make a budget work, now is the time to go through expenses with a fine-tooth comb. What things are absolutely necessary for your job and what you’re trying to accomplish?
Sit down and hold each and every expense accountable. Ask yourself (and, if you work with a team, those around you): Why do we have this cost? What value does it add to the business? Are there other, less expensive options?
If you can’t find a way to justify what you’re spending your money on, or realize there are other, cheaper options you hadn’t explore – cut that cost. Every penny saved right now counts.
2. Get Training
DuoLingo is a great platform for learning a number of languages. Or, if you’re in the United States, right now Babbel is offering its courses for students through their app for free. Brush up or learn a new language and add it to your resume.
Or, try and learn something to give yourself an edge online through Free Code Camp. Started in 2014, Free Code Camp offers a bevy of classes, skills training, and online certification programs that can help you take your skills to the next level. (And right now, it’s handy to be able to wear as many hats as possible.) Because your website is still a great place to get leads! So, take this time to make sure your site is as up to date as possible.
Are you a woman in business? Check out the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women course taught through Coursera. The course is part of a larger initiative that seeks to help educate, inspire, and allow women to grow their business. The two-part series goes over twelve weeks, and helps you network, create a business plan, and grow.
No matter what you choose to do, view this time as a chance to grow yourself both personally and professionally – and largely for a diminished or non-existent cost!
3. Be Honest
The most important thing you can do as a business owner or entrepreneur (and human being) is to just be honest. Honest with yourself about where you’re at, honest with the people you work with, honest with your clients.
Being transparent right now is a smart call. For one thing, by being honest with yourself and those around you, you create a way to hold yourself accountable. Not going to be as profitable? Be upfront and honest. Set new standards and goals around what you want to accomplish this year if you can’t meet those goals. Worried you won’t be able to make those deliverables in the next week now that you’re also a part-time teacher? Be honest with your clients!
Right now, we’re all in this together. By being honest, straightforward, and truthful with ourselves and those around us, we’ll be able to more accurately stay on track.
And remember. The more things change…
…The More They Stay the Same
This is a stressful time, but it is going to eventually pass. The smartest thing you can do is try to use this time to get smarter, get leaner, and adjust your goals. By putting yourself in a good position now, you’ll not only help your business in the interim, you’ll put yourself on track for making good habits that will carry into a better time.