Craft Focus - June/July 2020 (Issue 79)

67 BUSINESS Keeping calm through the new normal During this unprecedented time, it’s impossible to carry on with a ‘business as usual’ attitude. However, entrepreneurs have always found ways of being extremely resilient and resourceful and although it’s not as simple as making the best of a bad situation, there are some things we can do as business owners and entrepreneurs to make it through this pandemic. EMBRACE CHANGES AND STAY CONNECTED. Whether you are using WhatsApp groups, phone calls or video conferencing, connecting with your team is very important so set clear guidelines and communicate effectively. While regular contact is instrumental in maintaining your business, it’s just as important to consider how your team are coping throughout this time. Use these calls to check in with people and stress that people can come to you with any concerns. Communication is also key when it comes to customers. Keep them updated on things you are doing as a company, including updates on how best to shop your brand, changes to deliveries, and measures that you are implementing to keep your customers and employees safe and well. TAKE TIME OUT Our day-to-day lives have drastically changed and your roles may now include that of a parent, teacher, employee, manager, wife or husband and the rest! It’s a stressful time for everyone so remember to take a break whenever you can and whenever you need it. Do something that makes you genuinely relaxed or happy, whether this is taking a long bath, reading a few pages of a book you’ve been meaning to read, catching up on a TV show or doing a craft. RECOGNISE OPPORTUNITY. This pandemic may have caused you to rethink your operations and the way you conduct business. While this will undoubtedly have a huge effect on a lot of companies, it also presents an opportunity to try new things, to upskill staff, and to create completely innovative ways of working. For example, your company might have relied on in-store experiences to sell your products but taking advantage of strong video content and an easy-to-use website throughout this period, could enable you to tap into a new market of customers. Being able to pivot, whilst continuing to provide a first-class customer service, is something that will set your business aside. BE POSITIVE In any situation, it’s important to look for the silver linings so try to maintain optimism amongst your staff and your customers. Be realistic about challenges and what steps the company is taking to overcome them but also keep your team informed of any successes and try to boost morale. Keep your customers informed but spread messages of positivity across your communication channels. Remember that people are facing different struggles throughout this time so encouraging your customers to feel part of a community will remind them that they are not alone. You’re not alon during the pandemic, here Sara Davies offers Craft Focus readers sound advice Sara Davies MBE is founder of Crafter’s Companion