Wow, it’s been a crazy, random, busy, quiet, unprecedented, terrifying few months and for some of us that doesn’t look to be changing anytime soon. Not only have I had to navigate this “new normal” of homeschooling erratically my 3 children, but my whole small business suddenly changed too. But after the initial rest *insert laughing emoji* period when everyone paused for a week or so, we all soon realised we needed to make some kind of changes to our business in order to ride out Coronavirus.
I’m going to mention this a lot “opening your business up to a new audience” because Cornoavirus has made us think about our small business in ways we probably haven’t considered in the past when we are busy working in our business, not on it. For those that run classes and workshops, they would usually put all their emphasis into local advertising but Facebook Live pretty much enable you to now be worldwide.
Ways in Which Businesses Run by Mums Have Developed During Coronavirus:
- Taking Activities Online: Zoom, Skype, House Party and now even Facebook has launched chat rooms, there is an abundance of free software available enabling you to take your business online and continue to work with regular clients as well as opening yourself up to a new audience. Sarah, Mumology Movement “I’m teaching my usual face-to-face bespoke fitness for mums virtually and live. It’s amazing I’ve always posted workout videos for my ladies and they never get around to doing them, but having the opportunity to do the workouts live with me has really changed their view on working out at home – they still get the accountability of ‘turning up’ but they also get the comfort of their own home. I think for many opportunities like this will be life-changing, as it shows them what’s possible even when we are all really busy fitting around family life”
- Starting An Online Shop: Alexia, Made By Me Craft Parties created craft survival bags (basic craft supplies), dream catcher kits and teddy bear making kits. She took her offline party activities and made them accessible to everyone by opening an online shop. This not only opens her up to a new audience but stops Alexia from drowning in a pile-up of stock from cancelled parties.
- Facebook Live: It’s not surprising that this feature has become a huge tool for small business owners and a staple in homeschooling I might add! Alexia started doing free craft along to boost her social media following, using craft supplies and recycling from around the home, along with her two children. Biscuits by Sarah, also started daily Facebook Lives with her daughter showing how to decorate biscuits, you can even buy an accompanying kit from her website.
- Publish a Book: I was able to use the first few weeks to refine my book, get it formatted and published for sale! Yay, if you have been considering writing a book or maybe have plenty of blog content you can use. The reduction in clients is probably the best time to put pen to paper. If you are interested in learning more about networking for small business you can grab a copy of my book on Amazon: Networking A Successful Small Business.
- Diversify: Angela, Sugar Hype lost her core customers as she was no longer able to create wedding cakes and with the rise of home baking she had to think on her feet. “I set up a new sweet and treats delivery service. With Father’s Day in June along with birthdays and Thank You’s there are plenty of opportunities !”
- Look into Grants: Deborah, Creative Clay For All, applied for numerous art awards and business grants for business and studio but also enabling her to develop her small business including looking to convert some craft sheets to braille for the care centres. Find out what your small business is entitled to in your local area and nationally, talk to other people in your genre and networking group.
- Learn a New Skill: How many of us want to offer a service or product and haven’t had the time to undertake the training? With so many online courses available this is the perfect opportunity.
The most important aspect for me during Coronavirus has been “networking”, OK so we can’t go out to meetings or have coffee but we can stay in touch. Make time weekly to chat online with others within your network, rant, brainstorm and check in. Utilise the private Facebook groups, Twitter chats or forums that most networking group will have, these groups enable you to continue conversations, develop your business, build relationships and create connections with others. These check ins with my networking group have kept me going over the past 9 weeks, make sure you have people (not your family) to go to.
I’d love to hear how your business is changing over lockdown and Coronavirus.
If you have any suitable posts for upcoming Mums in Business Round-ups tweet me @JoanneDewberry