1. Consider your strengths. What is your business really good at? Think about both your business’s internal and external strengths – staff, systems, values, products and services, ways of working. What could you do to strengthen these further?
2. Be honest about your weaknesses. What is your business not so good at? What are the gaps between what you could do and what you are doing? What could you do to reduce or eliminate these weaknesses?
3. What opportunities are out there which you could exploit? What do people need that you could provide? Not just customers but also your staff. How have your employees found home working and is it something that they would like to continue? How could more flexible hours and roles improve staff morale and provide an even better service to your customers? Could your operations be adjusted so you can provide add-on services or products which your customers might need or want?
4. What might threaten your success now and in the future? Think about the current situation and how it might have altered the way customers and staff think and act. Have their values changed? Will changes in current behaviour continue after social distancing is removed? What are your competitors doing that might affect your business? Do you have new competition from unexpected sources? Is your finance secure and do you have enough reserves if business takes longer to pick up than you expected?
5. Create a compelling vision. Do a bit of focused daydreaming and imagine your business 2 or 3 years from now. What does it look and feel like? An attractive and compelling vision of your business in the future pulls you towards it and influences (consciously and unconsciously) the decisions you make. A compelling vision is essential in motivating staff and energising current and future customers.
6. Set Goals that will lead to you achieving your vision. Work with your staff to agree challenging but achievable goals. Agree goals for the team and the individuals. Write them down and review them regularly in group and one to one conversations.
7. Communicate as if your (business) life depended on it. Keeping people informed is super positive. A lack of information leads to negative thoughts and actions – staff get demotivated and customers get disillusioned. Speak to your staff, keep them up to date with everything you’re doing to make the business work. Involve them in your analysis of the business and as much as possible in decision making. Let your customers know how safe you’ve made it to visit once it’s possible to do so. Put out regular, eye catching notices about your products and services. Speak up! Let everyone know you’re still here and ready for business.