The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire Edition 49: June/July 2020 - Page 19

ROUGH CHALLENGING TIMES lliston have been at the use of their enviable s part of the international th West Business Growth of webinars and support times. We recently been up to. furlough, how to get the marketing working, timing of anything. In the background, probably the biggest challenge is the ‘what if’ scenarios that keep running round our heads, our businesses, the news all of which lead to the question of ‘what should I do next’… indecision, uncertainty and paralysis will damage businesses and will certainly be one of the most significant challenges for businesses finding their feet in the next few weeks / months. What are the key things that you’re working with businesses on? Initially, the core elements for survival and recovery… I have 12 of them… Communication, Outlook, Change, Cuts, Credit, Team, Work away from Work, On-line, Customer Service, Marketing, Selling and Common Sense. Ensuring survival is step 1. Stepping up to drive and sell your way forward is step 2. Positioning your business to thrive is step 3. Right now… I am working on stage 2 and 3 with all my clients. This is really around creating relevant plans (accounting for variances and risk), measuring the tone of communication based on the current state of your market, challenging your plans every day, reviewing the team (cuts, recruitment and resources), strategy for existing and new clients, and what and how you are selling right now. What do you have planned for the coming months? We are keeping our webinar series running (we have some incredible speakers lined up over the coming weeks). Following requests from clients, we will be introducing our first Get the Edge online progression course from July. These are interactive, fun, educational coaching sessions to get the drive into any small, emerging or developing business. Added to this Jo and Nigel are running regular sessions to help businesses understand how to support their teams (and to make them more productive) in the current state of normal. In addition to this we are recording a variety of new 30 minute (or less) ‘what to do next’ sessions which we will be sharing soon. Beyond this, any business that needs help to create a strategy around their team, sales and growth moving forward is welcome to take us up on a comp session (we allow 6 hours for these each week, so just ask and we will book you in). How are you working with people on furlough? I generally work with the business owners and so far, none of them have been able to furlough themselves. They are flat out preparing for the release! Jo is working with teams on furlough keeping them connected with the business and excited about returning to work. It’s a great program that takes the pressure off the business owners as the background support is external. We have several furloughed team members who have joined our webinars and it is great to see them pushing their education forward. As we move out of lockdown and into a ‘new normal’, what would your advice be? Ha ha!! I have already said there is no ‘new normal’ it is just normal, and that will be new pretty much every day, certainly every week and definitely every month! Coming out of lockdown will be an interesting state of normal… we will need to be prepared: Prepared for the different approaches of different people; prepared for the new legislation and H&S requirements; prepared to market; prepared to sell; prepared to take risks; prepared to step forward and prepared to look for the opportunities that will inevitably be presented (this does not mean look to take advantage, rather look for where your business can move forward). Overall, create your plans, manage your risks, support your team, find opportunities, and absolutely, work with a coach! (It doesn’t have to be me… but… a good business coach will help EVERY business to move forward with purpose and is an investment that will give you an amazing ROI). For more info: 01373 801234