There are two points to this. Firstly there is the resolve that I won't let another year go by without tending to my own website and blog posts (there are no excuses). And secondly, that periods of change can be good for some of us. Both of these observations have emerged as a result of the current lockdown situation and having time to reflect. When our usual status quo is thrown off its axis, for whatever reason, it inevitably makes us reassess how we do things.
Most of my clients have needed to adapt over the past few months. Some have made wholesale changes whilst others have made their existing offerings work in the lockdown situation. After the initial flurry of marketing to communicate all the changes, what interested me was how much some of my clients actually prefer their reincarnations! The pandemic has forced many of us to look at everything differently and, ironically, that has given many business owners the total freedom to explore their options and emerge as something else entirely. Within the restrictions of the pandemic, many businesses have created a pleasing new shape for themselves.
I have seen hairdressers providing a 'colour at home' service with professionally mixed products, a catering business emerge as an essential food delivery business, an international events organiser learning (very quickly) how to transfer those same skills to manage large, virtual conferences and much more besides.
I used the services of a physio via a FaceTime call. It was liberating and, what's more, a huge success! It might have been considered impossible or unlikely before lockdown but necessity drives invention and it was great. There was no need to be driven to an appointment, wait around and do the same for follow up visits. I was diagnosed, set a plan and given check in times for reporting back over the ensuing days until my ailment was fixed. I'm not saying this is the way forward for all medical appointments but rather making the point that a business that might have closed its doors for a few months actively reinvented itself to a) provide a service and b) keep some income being generated.
Cooper Parry is a really progressive firm of chartered accountants with an enviable position of 8th in the Times Top 100 employers. Last week it announced that the staff could work from wherever they want to going forward. They were welcome in the office but could equally work from home, on holiday or the park. As their office has a cheesecake bar, a pick n mix wall (yes, wall) and a Segway track I would be tempted with both options! Hours are totally flexible and the core hours have been abandoned. This is all borne out of seeing how productivity didn't reduce whilst staff were working remotely. It might not have been considered if the situation hadn't been forced upon them.
I feel very inspired by the way business owners have responded in this crisis. It shows what a hardy lot we are and how we can be incredibly creative and flexible when faced with a new, challenging and unprecedented set of circumstances. I know for sure that many of my clients won't be working the hours they were before Covid-19 hit. They won't be prioritising work over family in the same way. And they will be looking out for opportunities to embrace the changes we are facing. Somehow in all the negativity and sadness of this time, there is a lot of hope for us going forward.
Which brings me back to my first point - some extra time to myself means I've recognised what makes me happy and I now have a keen plan to keep on top of my own marketing and practise what I preach. There are always a few things I hadn't quite got round to and I now have a new set of aims for myself, my business and home life - all as a result of changing priorities and enjoying some aspects of a different way of life.