Oosh this year eh!? What a stinker!! I hope you’re keeping well and adapting nicely to life in Covid times. As the world is beginning to open up a bit more I have had a little reflection on lessons I’ve learnt from owning a business when life throws something unexpected your way and thought I’d share.
1. My customers are awesome!! (…although I kind of already knew this :-))
After the initial 2 weeks of nothingness on the business front I was getting a little nervous about how my business would survive when keeping safe and checking in on loved ones was quite rightly the priority. Then after the initial panic settled some lovely folk who I have worked with previously got in touch about some new projects!! I felt uncomfortable promoting my stuff when the world had gone into meltdown so these wonderful humans allowed me to continue working steadily in the background and I’m so grateful to them. It’s really highlighted the importance of being kind to the people who support your business; they can help keep you afloat when times are hard.
2. Hurrah for Creativity!
It’s been so exciting to see how small creative businesses have adapted during this time. I feel in a very fortunate position that, being a one person band, I can adapt my business when something isn’t quite working or if I want to try a different direction. When things slowed down I started thinking of different offerings that could help spread a little joy at this rubbish time and came up with the idea of Letterbox Portraits. Smaller than my current listings they fit nicely in the post box so would reduce my trips to the post office, they can be sent on behalf of people to spread a little happy to those isolating/shielding and as they’re smaller the cost is less expensive than my other listings to help save some pennies as I know many folk faced job uncertainty.
Due to some sad personal stuff unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to launch my Letterbox portraits but I’ve found it reassuring that you can tap into your creativity to come up with fresh ideas to get the business through a pants time.
3. Don’t sweat the small things
If anyone runs a business they might be able to relate to the sleepless nights of worrying if the product will reach the customer safely, if they will like it and just the general ‘have I forgotten to do something?’. With everything that has happened in the world it made me gain some perspective on this. So I am trying to remember when these little anxieties creep in that there is a bigger picture and whilst it is disappointing if something doesn’t go quite as planned often there is a resolution.
4. It’s okay to take time out
I regularly try to remind myself of this but it has certainly become more apparent as of late; it’s okay to take time out. It makes me nervous that when I’m not present on social media or constantly working that I am failing or work will never start up again. This means I sacrifice time for new ideas, growing the business in the direction I’d like to take it or just having a weekend off with my favourite people. There was/is a general feeling of less pressure as people have had to contend with their own personal challenges this year and I think it’s helpful to to take this forward, remember what’s important and give ourselves a break every now and then.
If you are a small business owner I hope you have managed to ride the storm and are coming out the other side stronger than ever. Has it made you think about things differently? I’d love to hear your reflections on life in Lockdown. It’s nice to know we are all in this together. 🙂