Last Saturday (10 October), we celebrated World Mental Health Day. This year the emphasis was on raising funds for mental health organisations. Rightly so, as many of us have already hit the 6-months COVID wall, and others are running out of steam. With more restrictions in place and the uncertainty about the future, how can we pull it through in one peace?

How can we get out of the psychological lockdown?

Running a business can be challenging. It brings joy and the sense of achievement, but when finances start crumbling, business woes can spill into personal lives affecting both physical and mental health. So, what steps can we take to ride it out?

Plan ahead

First of all, have a look at your budgetpipeline and expenditure. It’s likely that with some streams of income being on pause due to the whole world going wild, there may be other ways of getting the money in? By working through worst-case scenarios, cashflow projections past December 2020, you can identify a cash gap. In other words, you can see when it is likely you will run out of the money so that you can start making alternative plans before you hit bottom.

By knowing the numbers and having alternative scenarios ready, you are likely to regain some level of control. And breathe a bit better.

However, planning is also about being strategic with your own energy. How can you nourish your mental health? The charity Mind recommends a weekly “happiness hour”. Scheduling regular “me time” session, whether it’s learning a new dance move, drawing, going for a walk or having a nap, is as important as knowing your figures.

Revisit your goals

With the ever-changing economic landscape, it’s worth revisiting goals to see if they are still aligned with what you want to achieve personally and in business. Have your values changed? Are your clients still in the same place as pre-pandemic? Is your product/service still relevant to them?

What about marketing activities? If you have not been consistent with executing your strategy, perhaps now is the time to look at it again and see if you need to make any changes. Think about what channels work best for marketing your product. Has your audience changed?

Embrace the digital for your advantage

Ironically, COVID is not only about the sense of alienation. It has expanded our digital space. Remote working has been well established by now; online meetings and networking are the new normal. Many of us have mastered the skill of finding the perfect ZOOM background that highlights our personality and professionalism at the same time.

But most importantly, it has let us have a glimpse into others’ lives. While many of us work from the kitchen tops or bedrooms with the back noise of our children or our four-legged friends, asking for attention at the most unexpected moments. It feels refreshing, normalising. The lockdown has also allowed us to pick up a new skill and to grow connection networks from the comfort of our sofas.

If your business is at the crossroads, and you need help with taking the next step, whether it is from the marketing strategy perspective or financial analysis, please get in touch.

Need help with crunching numbers?

For those of you in training and development, check out this free webinar on forecasting methods for 2021 from Profitable Insights. This is one of the series of popular workshops that help SMEs organise and manage their finances. Check their website for regular insights and let us know what you think!