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Fiona Anderson

Some Ways Small Business Owners Can Remain Positive in the Challenging Months Ahead

  • By Fiona Anderson, Director of travel and lifestyle agency GEC PR 

Starting and running a successful business has always been challenging, but I think it’s fair to say that operating a business in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic has taken the stress levels of all business owners to a whole new level!

Here are five strategies I’ll be implementing in the months ahead to help me remain positive inside and outside of working hours:

 

Continual communication with employees

There are many elements of this pandemic that individual business owners cannot control, yet I have found that keeping staff informed as much as possible about potential issues that may affect their working life, to be an appreciated method of communication. Discussing or brainstorming different business strategies, scenarios and potential outcomes and solutions with employees as far in advance as possible is an approach I’ll continue to take forward in the coming months.

 
Re-examine business processes

The business landscape has changed significantly since the start of this year, and subsequently the way my PR agency and its clients in the travel, luxury and lifestyle sectors operate has changed too. I’ve ensured that all business and PR planning has been re-examined and interrogated to ensure our strategies and ideas remain impactful and relevant in ‘the new normal’. Yes, this does require some doubling of efforts, but only relevant, robust and creative PR will get cut through in these challenging times. Time spent in the present interrogating existing plans will lead to less stress and objective-hitting PR campaign results in the longer term.

 

Get in the flow

Away from my business, I’ll be spending time every week on interests that I know bolster my joy and creativity, which then help me remain focused and get in the creative flow at work. For me, that could be arranging to meet friends who are fellow business owners to off-load and share experiences and ideas or meeting up with family members for a socially distanced catch up. Solitary pursuits such as reading a few chapters of a good book before bed is also a great way for me to unwind and gain inspiration before drifting into blissful sleep.

 

Embrace the great outdoors

I’m a big believer in the recuperative power of the great outdoors and feel lucky to have myriad green spaces within easy reach of home that I can head to as time allows. Having travelled all over the world for work and leisure, I can honestly say that the UK has some of the world’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty, and I like nothing more than lacing up my hiking boots or running trainers and exploring Britain’s great outdoors when I can to lift my spirit. Borrowing a dog to explore with is also an added bonus!

 
Make time every day for life’s little luxuries 

Life in lockdown has allowed me, and many others I know, to enjoy life at a slower pace. As the economy recovers and the pace of life speeds up, I’m making a commitment to myself to make time every day for at least one little luxury. Fresh flowers in the living room courtesy of Flowerbx or Bloom&Wild; Home-made meals created with the finest ingredients – I’m a huge fan of Daylesford’s organic ingredients; buying beautiful, well-made classic timeless clothes that defy fashion trends and that are sourced from and arrive in a beautiful NET-APORTER parcel; treating myself and my loved ones to delectable gifts that encourage experiences and memories that last a lifetime. Swarovski Optik’s new NL Pure binoculars are on my Christmas list!

 

Regular yoga

In my thirties, I fell in love with yoga and its benefits and trained as a yoga teacher alongside working in PR. While I sadly don’t have the time to teach any more, the lessons I learned in my yoga teacher training about the importance of observing the breath, stretching and moving the body regularly, and spending time in quiet contemplation, have all helped keep me fairly agile, both physically and mentally. This has undoubtedly helped me in the last six months and will no doubt help get me through the remainder of this pandemic.