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4 weeks into the lockdown here in London and it looks like we will be here for a while longer... who knows how long it will take before life will look like 'normal' again or perhaps we will all just get used to a new normal. At the start of the pandemic we consciously decided not to send a COVID-19 update email but as we do like to take you on our journey as a small business, we thought we would give you a behind the scenes look of how the current situation affects our small business and what we have been doing during the lockdown.
We are not going to sugar coat it or else there would be no point to this blog post, our sales have taken a serious tumble once the lockdown started. And it is hardly surprising as we are fully understanding of everyone having so many other things to focus on, both health wise and financially. We are very fortunate that as a predominantly online business, our fixed costs are very low and many cost streams can be turned off almost immediately. As such, the runway of the business under low sales is luckily long. Retail and hospitality businesses with property and large inventories are probably having a much harder time (so please do support your local restaurants if you can).
So with sales down and no retailers to hunt down to become buyers, what have we been doing? We think all small businesses can do right now is focus on business development, behind the scenes work that prepares the business to be in the best shape possible to pick up once 'normal life' restarts. For example, we have been wanting to migrate our website for months and revamp it, and we finally found the time during lockdown to get it done. We are also working on a lot more new exciting content, so keep an eye on this space!
Product development is another area that is often pushed to the back of the line as small business resources are limited and active sales of current products tend to take precedence. Coincidentally, product development is a very long process and therefore a perfect time to get done now in order to launch in time for Christmas.
Finally, we are looking to find new business opportunities that the new situation has brought about. And they are there... a changing market always comes with new opportunities. Many people who are hard to track down in normal circumstances are sitting at home with not much better to do than to check their emails. So you better know we are flooding those inboxes!
So here we are, just trying to keep busy and keep working on designing awesome products and getting the business ready for the next phase!
Needless to say, the lockdown has been hard on everyone and here are some of our top tips of how we managed to stay (somewhat) sane:
1. Keep some sort of appearance of routine: you have heard this a hundred times before, but you still can't get out of your pyjamas because there is not really a point? We totally get it and we certainly have introduced PJ-sundays as well. However, perhaps put at least some sweats on with a top, any type of clothing change that does not involve the clothes you sleep in will do. Pull your hair back, put on some light gloss or mascara or whatever you need to feel you look alive. And then start the day... trust us, just that mini-makeover will help you in feeling the day has started!
2. Exercising: everyone keeps on hammering about doing some exercise but you can barely find motivation in normal circumstances unless some instructor is screaming at you? Don't look at it that way, look at it like this: lots of PTs and private gyms are offering free (taster) sessions to entice people to connect with them online. So look at this like bargain hunting: find that expensive PT or that class you always wanted to try out and check it out for free (which is technically making money...)!
3. Get rid of the pressure: people are talking about picking up a hobby, losing weight, reading up, starting a new business... if you accomplish any of those things, well done you! Time very well spend! But if you don't and just want to use this time to relax and watch every series on Netflix... that is totally fine too! We are in an unprecedented global pandemic for crying out loud, we are allowed to feel a bit blue, a bit unmotivated and extremely attracted to the snack drawer on some days. Make sure you get back to number 1 and 2 on this list to pull yourself out the next day, but there is nothing wrong with having an off day from time to time!
Keep safe and healthy everyone!