In an earlier post, we discussed how essential personal self-care is to our entrepreneurial resilience. What about business self-care? Let’s show our businesses some TLC too!
As I interview women entrepreneurs during my research on resilience, I am hearing stories of struggle, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some business owners have grappled with costs of personal protective equipment (PPE) and structural changes to their workplaces. Many face restrictions on the number of customers they can see in a day. Bottom line: many businesses are facing added costs, a drop in revenue, and more stress.
To top it all off, some business owners feel guilty about asking their customers for more money! That’s our empathy getting the better of us. It’s understandable. We care about our customers and our communities. Furthermore, in small towns and rural areas, sometimes business owners believe that their customers are, well, cheap.
Here’s my belief: if you believe in your customers, they’ll believe in you. If you think your customers are cheap, then you might be attracting cheap customers. But we can leave that law of attraction conversation for some other time!
Empathy and attraction aside, our job is to ensure our businesses survive difficult times.
What Is Business Self-Care?
It is the level of care business owners need to bring to their businesses so that they remain not only viable, but thriving. It’s about testing and being willing to fail, adapting and learning. It’s taking the time to think, plan, execute, and think again. And, it’s what I’ve been seeing in successful women-led businesses.
Five Strategies for Business Self-Care
- Understand added costs and work out what they represent per customer
- While this may be most evident in personal service industries such as hairstyling, aesthetics, or healing therapies, it is actually a solid strategy for all industries—good times or bad.
- Clearly communicate added costs to customers
- Some choose to raise their prices. Others identify an extra “COVID fee.” Determine what is the right fit for you.
- Rearrange hours of operation
- Successful business owners schedule time for administrative tasks and bookkeeping. Plus, they build in time to care for families and themselves. Before the crisis you might not have dared to change your hours of operation. Now it is a necessity.
- Reach out to other business owners and collaborate
- I’ve seen wonderful examples such as joint promotions, shared ordering to save on shipping costs, and referrals to related but non-competitive businesses. Connect with other business owners — the possibilities are endless, starting with our very own Business Sisters events.
- Stop doing what you dislike or what isn’t profitable
- Some business owners simply stop offering services they feel are a drain on their resources. Or, they discontinue product lines that were less profitable. By simplifying their business, they are now feeling better about what they do!
Let’s Hear from You!
How has COVID-19 affected your pricing structure or hours of operation? What business self-care suggestions can you offer our community of Business Sisters?
Please share them here.
Thanks for reading!