I have been worrying about small businesses for some time and in light of Covid 19, I worry even more. Small businesses don’t typically have a lot of reserves in the bank, so when something like Covid 19 comes along, they risk failure and losing everything.
As a small business owner, you can’t afford to have an array of staff to cover the various jobs that need done which often leaves the owner having to be a “jack of all trades”. That may save money, but it presents a number of problems.
Small business owners often find themselves doing things that they are not necessarily equipped to do, nor necessarily want to do, they just do it, because they have no one else to do it. This potentially leaves the small business owner incredibly busy, just trying to keep up to date with the day to day jobs. There lies a major problem, which is potentially exacerbated in times like now.
The catch phrase right now is “pivot”. A consistent message being conveyed is that businesses need to pivot to survive. I don’t disagree with the sentiment, but I worry about the realities.
Pivoting should not be considered something new (although for a lot it may well be). Pivoting should be second nature to most businesses, who aim to remain relevant. Any business owner that has a view to just keep doing the same things is potentially on a path to distinction. Businesses should always be looking to evolve.
So where do I see most small businesses having an issue, which will compromise their ability to “pivot”? Time. Their inability to make time to do what needs to be done, to make changes for not only their businesses survival but also its growth!
If I could receive $1 for every time a small business owner tells me that they don’t have time to do anything other than their day-to-day, I would be rich! Now more than ever, small business owners need to make time, if they want to survive. That magnetic force that sucks a business owner into the day-to-day will always be there. Business owners need to acknowledge this but commit to setting aside time to work on their business, look at ways in which the business can evolve and also how they can upskill themselves. It is absolutely imperative that they do this.
I have been working on an online educational course to teach small business owners how to undertake email marketing themselves. At the end of the course, they will be able to create their own email marketing at no cost (just time). My worry? It is not about the course. It is a great course. The price? No. It’s a one-off cost, but they get a lifetime of value! I worry that business owners will realise that it is something they need to do, but will either put it off for a later date (which means they will never do it), or purchase the course and get too busy to complete it!
Whether talking about my course, or taking the time to look at other initiatives to help their business, if business owners don’t make a concerted effort to set aside time to plan their businesses future, they run the very real risk of losing their business. No more putting it off for next week. Time to make a stand. You just have too…… otherwise it might become too late!