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Business advice: How to look for the silver lining during these challenging times

23 Jun 2020

In times like this, it’s not easy to find the silver lining. The sudden disruption in our lives has become a constant for months, and has left many of us feeling drained and anxious about what comes next.

In this post, my business advice is to use this period to reassess your work and plan for the future. The change in routine and opportunity to reflect is the silver lining that will serve you well as we come out of this phase.

Take a look at my key questions and spend some time applying them to your business.

My first piece of business advice: Ask yourself if you are happy

Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle – anyone who considers themselves an entrepreneur is pursuing something they have a passion for and that makes them happy. Ask yourself a few simple questions around this concept:

  • Is your work still making you happy?
  • Are you happy with your client base?
  • Are you happy with the relationships you have?

If you’ve lost your mojo, think back to how you felt when you set out – recall the excitement and the trepidation. Recapturing those feelings is a step towards revitalising your passion for your work.

Be honest about your clients and your relationships. If you’re maintaining a client relationship just because they pay their invoices, you may feel your passion dampened. Think about the direction you really want to go in and take steps towards it.

My second piece of business advice: Ask yourself if you are flexible

The businesses that are thriving in this climate are the ones that have flexed to react to the circumstances. Can you say the same about your own business?

  • Do you have the resources to adapt to change?
  • What value can you add in the short to medium-term that will provide opportunities later?
  • How could you adapt in the longer term?

If business is quiet, now is the time to consider these questions. If there is one thing this crisis has taught us, it’s to expect the unexpected.

Without neglecting your current clients, think big about what else you can achieve with your existing skills, teams and resources, and how you can future-proof your organisation by embracing versatility.

My third piece of business advice: Ask yourself if you are prepared

While it feels like we are stuck in a repeating loop, there is an end in sight – we just don’t know when. My advice for business owners is that you need to hit the ground running when the moment comes.

  • Are you still delivering with the passion you had when you started up?
  • Have you been engaging with your clients to know what they want next?
  • Where were you before lockdown and where do you want to be when business fully re-opens?

Get yourself ready for the grand re-opening by considering these questions. Be honest, delve deep. If something doesn’t sit right, use the time you have now to adapt to what is going to be a brave new world.

Find your silver lining

You have the luxury of the mental space to ask questions and make changes, so utilise the unexpected opportunities that COVID-19 has offered. Try to look at this episode not as a time of constriction, but a time of freedom – that’s your silver lining.


Alex Mitchell, IoD99
Find Alex on Twitter: @AlexDEMitchell


Please note, this content is not produced by the IoD and therefore does not necessarily represent the views or thoughts of the organisation.

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