Local business owners can adapt to make a positive impact

It would be safe to say that 2020 has not been the year any of us had planned for. While some businesses have come through stronger than ever and with a new lease of life, sadly the same cannot be said for others. The governments’ continued support into 2021 is very welcomed but this on its own won’t be enough for everyone, many will face further challenges ahead. I am a big believer in reflection and there is always a lot to learn from past experiences including what could have been done differently if we were to do it all again, although hopefully not!

I think at this time it is also very important to know that you’re not alone. I have been supporting and working with other local independent businesses owners to see how they have changed during COVID-19, and how they have had to make adaptations to their business to survive. Whilst nearly all of us have been impacted, finding new ways to work has been a real turning point for some SMEs

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I have been working with Lucinda at Pure Awards for a few months, providing support and structure to enable changes to be made within the business, which has in turn provided the scope to adapt procedures to ensure the business could move forward.

Pure Awards founder Lucinda Birtles. “What a year! I have been writing awards entries for years but nearly all were cancelled overnight. Keeping in close contact with the organisers and the local press has however allowed me to stay on top with all the new virtual events and I have been working with a number of new clients helping them to prepare for 2021. I have even contributed to some of JP Media’s webinars helping guide people through awards and how they can make a difference. 2020 has been a change but using this time to find new ways to run my business has been rewarding in some ways”.

I met Robyn through a networking event and we have been working together to help target her business at a more commercial market. This process has changed the focus of the business which led to new and varied clients.

Robyn Wilson – Photographer.“When the pandemic started, I only thought it would last a few weeks but when it was clear that it would be a long-term change, I decided to look at ways to push my photography work. I focused on finding safe ways to provide new shoots and improved my online presence. Working with Hayley has really helped me to plan in a more practical way and I have started doing a lot more commercial work, it’s been a tough year but I feel like I have made some great steps forward in my business”.

I have known the owners at Harmony Music School for a few years. During the pandemic we worked together to assess new markets and potential areas of growth. Face to face businesses have been hit particular hard but being flexible with their approach has helped see them through the last 8 months.

Harmony Music School owner Aubrey Robinson “On March 16th we were a face to face business, on March 17th we were a virtual one! It was such a strange set of circumstances to be in, the week before we made a 6 stage plan for what we would do if certain restrictions came into force but we had to jump to stage 7 within a few hours. We have unfortunately lost business during this time but with the help of government funding and having a really good grasp on our finances we are agile enough to change quickly. Have small goals and planning to meet them has helped us stay focused and we look forward to growing the business back up again in 2021”.

Now it’s time for us all to focus our energy on the next few months, for some this is usually their busiest period and it is likely that they will have to continue to pivot their business. For others you can focus on reviewing and resetting targets ready for the year ahead. This could be the perfect time to do a full Business Analysis. I have also recently launched my Business Surgery Sessions, for those who may have a burning issue in their business and need some advice and guidance on how you can solve it and move forward. You can book an appointment here…..

As always I am here to help with 90 day plans, business improvement strategies and support. Taking action is the only way to move forward!