Just because you may be confined to the walls around you for a short period of time, or that you are experiencing reduced sales and staffing, doesn’t mean you still can’t be incredibly productive and give your business a rockin’ head start once everything soon returns to business as usual.
Being limited by travel, decreased revenues or social distancing shouldn’t mean that your business should be put on hold. Think of this as an opportunity to put all of your focus into the parts of your business that need work, things you’ve been putting off and things you just haven’t had time to get to. Now’s your chance to get those things checked off your list, and here are just a few tips for how you can stay productive while you’re at home. Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation – here are some tips for staying productive while working from your home office.
Take an online course
There are a number of online learning resources that have taken it upon themselves to offer courses and other learning tools for business owners. Understanding that there may be financial constraints on some business owners, these resources have temporarily offered free or extremely discounted access. Take advantage of these offers and the extra time you have now to learn valuable skills you can carry into the future and use to build your business.
Whizlabs: You can access world-class training and courses to gain new skills in your industry through Whizlab’s online courses. What is regularly priced at nearly $4,500, is almost unbelievably being offered right now for $59. It’s a small investment in a lifetime membership of continual learning – but the offer ends in just a few days!
Oberlo 101: In an effort to offer some assistance to those being affected by the efforts to remain socially distant, Oberlo 101 is giving you the opportunity to access their exclusive dropshipping courses and content at no cost for 30 days. You’ve probably got some time to spare in the next 30 days, so why not take the opportunity to learn as much as possible. Just use the code ‘LEARNFROMHOME’ to start your 30 days free.
Harvard Business Publishing: Continually refreshed with new information, this resource provides business owners with advice on how they can maintain productivity and keep their teams collaborating while working remotely.
Set your future business plan
There’s no better time than right now to start planning the future of your business. Although you may be limited to where you can travel, you can still start getting plans in place, including writing a new business plan or revise your existing plan, setting up your socials schedule and creating great content. All of these are essential to the success of your business, however, they are often overlooked or put to the side because there just isn’t enough time to get them done. Well now’s the perfect time to do these things while you’ve got the time!
If you have not yet registered your business, you can get it all done online, whether you choose to register a small business or incorporate:
Stay connected with your existing networks and work on building new connections. If you have a staff, check in with them regularly, even if they are not currently working, to ensure they are managing well. Doing this demonstrates that you view your employees as more than just workers, and truly care about them as individuals. If your staff are still working remotely, there are plenty of online tools, like Asana and Beekeeper to help delegate tasks and manage projects.
You can continue corresponding by email and can set up video meetings using Skype or Zoom in order to virtually connect and bring a number of people together, including staff, suppliers and clients.This can help to keep your business moving along as it normally would, rather than backlogging your schedule. Remember to dress professionally when doing any video meetings and make sure the background in your video is neutral and professional.
You may also want to join an online forum to network with other business professionals, to see how they are managing their businesses while social distancing. The most popular networking site for business professionals is LinkedIn, but there are a number of other social networking sites for business owners.
Create incentives for clients
Giving your clients reasons to keep patronizing your business can help your business get through slower times. If you’re able to offer products and services online, creating a limited-time promotion can help incentivise customers to take action. If your business cannot provide the same product or service online, and must be done in person, offering discounted prices now for services at a later date can help generate income and will create work for yourself and employees once things return to usual.
Running a contest on your Facebook page or other social media platforms can help incentivise customers to share your content with others. Offering a free product or service as a prize for sharing your content is a small investment in the potential for new customers and broader online exposure.
Set up a proper work area
Getting in the right mindset to work includes setting yourself up with a proper work area. This also helps separate your work space from personal space – even if you’re working from home, it’s still important to maintain this separation of work life and personal life.
Set up your space to help you maintain high productivity. This means avoiding spots where there are distractions, like the television and refrigerator, while also having the room to conduct business as usual. If you plan on doing any video meetings or networking, you will also want to keep in mind what will be visible in the background when choosing your space.
It seems like a small, insignificant thing to do, but simply getting dressed as you typically would for work can help get you motivated and in the right mindset to work. You may want to lounge around in pjs all day, but it’s important to take the time to get yourself into ‘work mode’. Imagine that a client is dropping in later, and dress in a way that would be presentable to meet with them.
Both setting up a proper workspace and getting yourself dressed for work helps you to get in the right frame of mind to work, and also helps maintain a sense of normalcy and stability.
You may be stuck at home, and you may want to be as productive as possible, but it’s still important to take regular breaks throughout the day and set boundaries by outlining working hours for yourself. Working constantly will only lead to burnout, which is not productive at all.
Set an alarm to remind you to stop working, step away from the computer and take a moment for yourself. Stand, stretch, and maybe take a short walk. Maintaining your physical and mental health is an essential component in being highly productive.
Every challenge opens up new opportunities. Take the opportunities that social distancing have presented you have to stay productive, keep your business active and set yourself up for the future.
Ontario Business Central has been assisting those who wish to open and grow their businesses since 1992. Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to our staff for additional information and assistance.
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Ontario Business Central Inc. is not a law firm and cannot provide a legal opinion or advice. This information is to assist you in understanding the requirements of registration within the chosen jurisdiction. It is always recommended, when you have legal or accounting questions that you speak to a qualified professional.