Working from home. Scary and Exciting!

Like many, I am currently working from home (or at least – my locked-down office with no visitors) – Things are, frankly, a little mental right now.

Entire Cities and even Countries locked down, some panic buying whilst others hit the beach.

Schools Shut. Businesses slowing down to a snail’s pace. The economy taking a breather in it’s corner, hoping for a break.

As tough as things might be now however, there are more than a few little steps you can take to make sure that your business is one of the ones that is primed to thrive on the other side. As unprecedented economic times loom, so too does an unprecedented period of opportunity.

1) Be Tactical

A big part of security in the short term will be making tactical decisions.

Staving off large expenses which in a downturn can’t be utilized.

Whilst none of this is financial advise (this article is far too brief to go into the required level of detail!), there are some topics that would pay you to research.

With the Big 4 banks launching communications on payment holidays; investigate if it could be possible to set up a break in mortgage and loan payments (note: be sure to enquire as to the exact implications of doing so with your financial institution). This could give you additional capitol which could be the difference between good and bad for many.

Consider the security of your cash reserves and securing them in as safe a position as possible. You may recall a previous post on Facebook in which I mentioned the pushing through of the Cash Ban and some possible implications. Truth is that in Australia we are very set up for the possibility to be forced into a position where it becomes difficult to access our money. This could have some vivid effects.

With ever further reaching bank bail-out initiatives, cash reserves could, and I emphasize on could; be at greater risk than ever before. We have entered a period of change which I mentioned a little while ago, so it may be more important than ever to be aware of the vulnerability of your cash reserves and possibly prepare in alternatives such as Gold and Silver, Crypto Currencies (either backed by FIAT or commodities or stand-alone eg Bitcoin which you can save on your own cold storage device). Stock, Equipment and so on could also be a wise storage medium for savings – but be very mindful of the liquidity of your chosen strategy – i.e. when push comes to shove, how easily can you convert it back to currency? Or in other words, Sell it.

Food for thought.

2) Use this time Wisely

Whilst it may feel like doom and gloom, as I’ve mentioned, it is also a period of huge upcoming opportunity. Working from home can mean different things to different people. Unproductive? Stress? Netflix?

Do you have admin that you have been putting off due to being “too busy”? A little forced down-time works wonders in making headway. Do you have ad creative that needs making? New website copy? New promo photos and branding? Extract as much productivity out of the quite times as you do the busy – I genuinely feel that anyone who says they can’t do anything is NOT looking hard enough. I’ve spent the last hour or two getting my Social Media accounts up to date again (exercise caution, it is very easy to get caught up in the hysteria and unproductive engagements)

It’s also the perfect time to up-skill. Essential knowledge that will help you run your business more efficiently or add additional services is perfect; but don’t neglect the value of self. Use the time to explore your mindset and motivational structure – it will be essential in keeping you focused in the down-period that is coming!

If you’re fortunate and can work remotely or your business isn’t paired to a premises, then you can hopefully continue. If your business is tied to a premises and you find yourself unable to open (or simply not getting turnover when open) take a long-sighted view of the world. Many have slashed their ad expenditure at the moment. This has made it VERY cheap (or at least in our testing a week ago it did) To get exposure on Facebook and Instagram. Ads are simply returning a low CPM rate at the moment. What this means, is that rather than simply shutting down ads, this is a real opportunistic time to get a firmer foothold within your industry and really get in people’s memory. Attract prospective customers (and better still, immediate customers) whilst the competition waivers. Which sort of leads us into our next point:

3) Prepare

In tandem with point 2, be sure to be preparing.

The epidemic won’t last forever. If it was endemic, things would have to eventually adapt long-term.

The current state of affairs will not be permanent.

With that in mind, spend some hard thought in what the re-launch means for you. Build a cash flow plan with contingency scenarios. Think of your strategy for when things pick up – will you be ready to collect money when people are willingly spending it more again? Will your offerings already be in people’s minds or will you be starting marketing campaigns from scratch?

The more vividly that you plan now, the more you can amplify your thriving as things start to somewhat normalize.

The current state of affairs is tipped by some to spell long-term economical turmoil; have you planned on how you can adapt should that come to fruition?

4) Capitalize on Now

A key question for consideration is whether you can adapt your current business to provide a solution to a need – NOW. It is important to note, this is NOT the same as exploiting the crisis, but rather adaptability – a cornerstone of entrepreneurship. Working from home or remotely may well introduce some previously unexplored opportunities.

What do I mean by this?

Well let’s take an IT business for example. Say your usual business involves attending offices, conducting maintenance, providing upgrades and trouble shooting.

Capitalizing on the situation would be to adapt your business. Acknowledge that many offices will be shut and not require you to attend. With that knowledge, you have the ability to shift your focus. More people would be working from home – Can you provide remote access? Can you supply working from home equipment? Every shadow hides an opportunity, you just need to shine a light to see it.

Exploitation of the circumstances however, would be to ramp up your rates for crucial services, or include mandatory up-sells or fees which is immoral and simply bad karma in my humble opinion.

Or to put it differently, as a pharmacy selling toilet paper. When toilet paper supplies run low, you have a choice of either a) finding toilet paper alternatives or b) charging double for what you have.

a) Continues your business and grows your customer base if you do it right.
b) Builds a negative image of you and grows you no loyal customers during the tough times.

Do the right thing. And that leads unintentionally yet fortuitously to the real crux of everything going on right now.

Because the period we have in front of us, filled with fear, unknowns, risks – is also filled with opportunity, new-starts, progress. But that means that we simply do not know if we emerge out of the other side, forced to change; but the true question is, do we want to? With all the good amongst the bad going on, the world seems to have pressed pause if just a little. Conflicts around the world seem to be on the back burner. We’re starting to reflect more and more on what the good things in life are; what matters. People are starting to help people either through gesture or sentiment.

So as you hammer your malleable mindset into shape, don’t loose sight of the good when it’s all over – and – it will be all over eventually.

Now is an opportunity to grow and choose how much to grow. Don’t squander it.

Until next time, Stay safe, stay motivated!