1) don’t panic
Yes, it’s November, so it feels a little heavier this time around, but at least we aren’t going into this second lockdown blind - we know what we can expect this time. Remember what it was that helped businesses to survive throughout the summer - local communities, social media followers giving shout outs, customers searching the internet for small businesses they could buy from to show their support.
We feel confident that the same level of rallying around will happen again, if not even more so as customers vow to support small businesses when shopping for Christmas gifts.
Take a deep breath, remember you’ve survived this before, and don’t let panic set in.
Adapting doesn’t mean changing the way you do business forever, or fundamentally flipping your business on its head. It simply means thinking about where your focus is best placed in the short term. For example, with shops closing their doors and shows being cancelled, at the start of the first lockdown we made the decision to ramp up our social media efforts, talking directly to our end customers, and vowing to try to post relevant content every day. This is something we’ve sustained ever since, and a strategy we’ll continue to implement into the future.
Adapting also means taking a look at the type of content and messaging you’re putting out there. Whilst it can be heart breaking going back to the drawing board when you had your November content plan perfected, the last thing you would want is to be stubborn, stick to the original plan and appear insensitive for whatever reason. For example, with many of our Christmas shows cancelled in November, it would be silly of us to push ahead with our scheduled event emails and social media posts. Instead we’ll be focussing on what we can offer our lovely customers in lockdown - deliveries direct to loved ones, gift wrapped products with handwritten notes and delightfully scented candles to make their homes cosy for round two.
Remember, being agile is what makes small businesses so fantastic - we can spot opportunities and adapt quickly enough to make them work in our favour!
3) Don’t make comparisons
1) Don’t compare yourself to others
We’ve all been there, especially on social media - somebody else’s business seems to be doing SO much better than yours, even in lockdown! Just remember, social media is a highlights reel and that small business owner could be thinking the exact same thing about your business. I’ve seen a quote going around over the last week which sums this up perfectly:
“We’re not all in the same boat, but we are all in the same storm.”
2) Don’t compare your situation to “what might have been”
During the first lockdown we were terrible for this - comparing sales to the same months last year, checking stats for this and stats for that, attempting to forecast in unprecedented circumstances - it ended up being counter-productive. We’ve vowed this time not to compare this November to last November, and to simply treat the next four weeks as an opportunity to be creative, adapt and see how we go. We will (hopefully) never have another November like this again, so don’t rile yourself up with what could have been, and just crack on with what is.