Written by: Lisa Peranzo
At this point, we have all been in this pandemic for a while, adjusting and dealing with the uncertainty and overwhelm that has come along with it. We have ridden the waves of panic, patience, frustration, and anger. We have adjusted to everyone being home all of the time, distance learning, and this new temporary normal of social distancing. With all the uncertainty the world has given us this year, one constant remains the same: if we want successful businesses as entrepreneurs, the work still falls on us.
We are used to approaching our businesses from a place of service to the community around us, and while that has not changed because of the pandemic, how to prioritize that workload is completely different. If you are like me, you are attempting to still run your business with a house full of people and at least one kid who is doing distance learning. Talk about a whole new world.
This does not mean that you have to give up momentum on your business, but it does mean you have to be able to shift your focus. As entrepreneurs, we are used to the constant fluctuation in our businesses as well as being flexible, so making these adjustments, while frustrating, will be easy once we have a plan.
Adjust Your Quarterly Goals
I like to plan my year. This is part of my annual routine. I plan out each quarter, including the products or services I will be promoting each month, things I plan to launch during the year, and how many coaching spots I plan to open. Planning to this degree gives me things to focus on so I can see what my growth looks like on a year to year basis. It helps me track when my ideal client responds best to things I am launching, open coaching spots, and my training program.
This system works for me and it was something I did at the end of 2019, obviously not knowing the world would experience an unprecedented pandemic that would completely change how the rest of the year would go. Once I got past the shock of living in lockdown, the uncertainty of what school would look like for my daughter, and the overwhelm of everyone in my house being home all of the time, I reassessed my goals. It does not mean that everything I wanted to do got scrapped or moved to the back burner to never happen. It does mean that I took a critical look at what I wanted to accomplish for the year and adjust it around to fit our new schedule as a family.
There is a tremendous benefit to this adjustment, even if you find it extremely frustrating at first. You have to realize that if your ideal client is some previous version of you, that the issues your ideal client is currently facing are similar to your issues, therefore you adjusting around launches, promotions, and marketing strategies will be in accordance with what they need. As a result, you will continue to serve them, provide value to them, and help them during an extremely overwhelming time.
Front-load your work.
I am the queen of automation. If I can automate something to save myself time, I will completely do it. As a newer entrepreneur, one of the best tricks I was ever taught was in batching my content, and this tool is extremely beneficial during this pandemic. It is more work on the front end to plan out posts and batch video content, but with the ever-shifting schedules and chaotic days, this front-loading of work will save you a tremendous amount of stress on the backend. It will give you the time to address what your family needs, get your kids geared up for distance learning, and let you consistently show up for your ideal client who needs you arguably now more than ever.
I did not start this in a massive and huge way. My biggest tip to you is to plan out content starting with one week, moving to two weeks, and then eventually planning out a whole month. Be smart when you are planning this content. Make sure you are addressing the relevant and current needs of your client and writing that content when it does not feel forced.
Repurpose your content as well. Every post I write becomes a blog as well as an email because I know that day over day, my ideal clients are not going to remember one post from one blog to another email, but I do know that me constantly showing up on their feed or in their inbox is another way for me to drive my visibility and increase my sales.
I also plan my appointment schedule monthly, and I give myself time within that schedule where I do not take appointments. This gives me the ability to make a schedule that allows me to address the things my family needs without having to stress about client or team meetings.
Ask your audience what they need.
No one anticipated a pandemic that would shut us down. When we shut down, no one anticipated that things would be like this for so long. Or maybe you are one of the few who knew this would be an absolute disaster and would take us forever to recover from.
As a result, the things your ideal client needed at the beginning of 2020 could be potentially different than what they currently need. The best way to find this out is to ask them. Use your social media to engage with your audience and ask them what you can do for them that would best serve them at that moment. If you are like me, you are building a business using predominantly two social media platforms with growing followings. Use those platforms to poll your audience, ask questions to your audience, and then give them what they need based on what they are telling you. Our goal is to give value to our ideal client so they can solve whatever problems are at the forefront of their minds. This does not change just because we are in a pandemic.
You are allowed to be stuck in your feelings and that is not something you should beat yourself up over. This is a new (hopefully temporary) normal for everyone, and it would be unrealistic to think that you would walk away from this unscathed and without your life-changing. It will if it has not already, and you are allowed to feel your feelings, to have off days, or to lack motivation. Be patient with yourself, give yourself the gift of grace to know that you will get past this, and take some deep breaths. If you have an off day, you will bounce back, if you are feeling overwhelmed, that will pass, and you will get through this along with the rest of us.
This is where pre-planning and batching content is of the utmost importance because you can have an off day, and still, consistently show up for your ideal client. It will give you the space to work through the feelings that you are experiencing. However, this is not a pass to bail on meetings with your clients or people on your team. If you have meetings scheduled, be it with your team or with paying clients, show up to those meetings. Share with them how you are feeling, but show up regardless. Nothing is more frustrating than someone blocking time out of their calendar to meet with you and you blowing them off (and quite frankly is a horrible business practice). If you go into a week, and you know it is just not your week, adjust your meeting schedule accordingly by maybe blocking out a day you intentionally left open.
There is no reason why your business would be unable to grow during this pandemic. Take a step back, adjust around the things that are within your control, and reassess to see how those adjustments are working for you. The biggest benefit that we have as entrepreneurs is the complete control over the trajectory of our businesses. This is a time to exploit that benefit in a way that will let us continue to see growth during unprecedented times while continuing to serve not just our ideal clients but the important people in our lives as well.