Boss, I’m booorrrred

What to do over the next few months?

With the UK tightening the noose around #coronavirus, what can we do to ensure that we come out the other side fighting fit for Business?

Some Businesses will go under, all will struggle, others will use the teeth of the storm to decide that this could be a great time to double down and prepare for world domination (well a few extra customers at the end, anyway). New Businesses will be formed and flourish.

Ladybird is lucky. Despite only being 4 months old, I’m an old hand at running a Business and know that having cash and squeezing the overheads all the time is how Businesses stay profitable. Michael O’Leary at Ryanair is the extreme of this – employees are not even allowed to charge their own mobiles at work.

How can we prepare for this then? I have split this Post up into the following areas:

  1. Personal. Are you ready to take on all-comers?
  2. Professional. How are you going to use this time to make yourself more valuable?
  3. Corporate. What can you do for your Business that will allow it to come out fighting fit?

Personal

Look after Number 1. you will have heard this many times. In a First Aid context it means “Make sure it is safe for you to deal with an incident before you assist. Don’t just plunge in.

In the Corporate World, if you are healthy you will have more stamina, more staying power for deadlines, more energy in negotiations. You will be able to contribute more to your business.

Stay fit. Or, in my case, get fit(ter). I had to pay a cheque in today so chose to cycle in. Took me a while to find a padlock with a key and a chain and to sort the gear change that had been bugging me for years, but hey. I’m not currently rushing anywhere. My lungs knew I’d been cycling, as did my knees. After all that, I came back with a loaf of bread and some hot cross buns – yes, there were some in the shops! The only downside was that the cheque scanner did not recognise the writing on the cheque and the Branch had closed so I am going to have to cycle in again tomorrow.

Take gardening leave. Last week my lawn had its first cut of the year. It’s full of moss and raking it all out is an effort, not normally carried out.

No garden? Get some pots and plant some herbs. They don’t take long to grow and you can eat them.

When you are confined to barracks, half an hour in the garden is healthy and if you spend 15 minutes of that each day raking moss it doesn’t feel so bad as tackling it all at once.

Professional

Enforced home leave doesn’t have to mean Netflix and Chill or bingewatching Friends. Why not spend the time upskilling, reading some Business books – physical or online ones or just enhancing your general knowledge. Some ideas:

Online course suggestions:

(10% off during March if you use the code VCOLL10)

Supporting your staff through mental health
Infection prevention and control
First Aid: The Primary Survey

All courses…

Business Books on Amazon

Test your geography knowledge (Free website, but very addictive)

Sort out your ToDo list. If you don’t have one, you should. And what is on it should be prioritised (between 1 & 4). This is what I use. Not that there is much delegation as a 1-man band. Now could be the time to tidy up 3s & 4s on your list.

Corporate

Test your Corporate health. Turn it into a lean, mean moneymaking machine. Try answering the following questions:

  • Are you subscribing to anything that you don’t use any more?
    • Journal subscriptions
    • Software licences
    • Newspapers
    • Trendy food and drinks deliveries
    • Plant maintenance
    • Bottled water deliveries
  • Are you subscribing to anything that you have a personal subscription for?
    • I have a Family licence for Microsoft Office. It comes with 5 licences. We have cancelled the Corporate one.
    • I have a generous Data allowance with my Phone provider – iD Mobile. No need for a separate Broadband connection in the office. Just tether the ‘phone. Even the dongle that we bought is no longer needed.
    • The landline is actually a virtual number on permanent redirect to a mobile. Costs pennies each week. We use invoco.net
  • Do you recycle?
    • We all print stuff that went wrong or printed too many copies. Paper with non-confidential print errors can be written on the reverse side
    • Invest in a filter jug or two rather than bottled water
    • Shredded paper makes great guinea pig bedding
  • Subscribe to Pouch or Honey on your web Browser. These monitor the websites that you visit and if there is a discount code that they are aware of, will help you to save money.
  • Are you happy with your Accounting package? We used to use Quickbooks but several features niggled me and I switched to Kashflow over the weekend. Took a while to re-enter the data but time is in great supply at the moment. So far, I’m really happy I changed. It’s a bit cheaper but this shrinks in comparison to the time saved with even the simplest of tasks. Time is money and all that.

There you go. Just a few suggestions for you. If you have anything to add, please post in the comments, below.

Stay safe everyone.

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