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Positive Steps with Mike Foster the Entrepreneurs Mentor

During lockdown I have been working on my own business, whilst supporting my clients to not just survive the impact of Covid19 but thrive going forward.

Some have pivoted, some have developed their existing offering and others have taken the opportunity to implement the changes they have wanted to action, that the intervention has allowed.

As a mentor, I have kept my clients focused on positive activity and motivated them to take small steps forward during a time of impact, that very few business owners have ever experienced.

Here are some of the topics of conversation that I have been having with myself and my clients.

• Deal with what’s in front of you. Don’t look back unless you are learning from an outcome, as you can’t change it.

• Manage the manageable and don’t concern yourself with things you can’t influence, but truly impact those things in your control.

• Know your real numbers with clarity. What truly drives the outcome of turnover, margin, profit and cash.

• Ensure you have good people around you. Internally and Externally. From you team to your supply chain. From your friends to your advisers. From your customers to your network. Like me you will have learnt who you can really trust. If they are pulling you down, not contributing, not helping you move forward, using you, then let them go.

• Keep moving forward, one step at a time. A good friend of mine always says, you are never stagnant in business. You are moving forwards or backwards and often you choose.

• Be flexible with how you / your team work and when you work. Is remote working and 5-9 more suitable right now for your team and your customers compared to ‘normal’ hours? Is an online call a better way to do some of your business?

• Lead by example. With your team, in your industry, across your network. Everyone likes a leader in difficult times.

• Invest what you can. Don’t just stop and put your head in the sand. Invest in the right things to develop your business. It may be your marketing, it could be your infrastructure or maybe your systemisation. If you have a team, certainly invest in them. We all have limited resources in terms of time and money, so use it wisely.

• Keep an eye on your debt position. More debt, another loan or credit card, is not the easy answer. Banks look at your gearing ratio for good reason!

• Be fit for purpose. Is your solution still relevant. What do your prospects and customers want as a solution from you post Covid. Is their pain, problem or fear still the same?

• Be fluid and agile to what you are facing and what is coming. Have a plan and a model, but so much is unpredictable right now and if you are too ridged, then you may struggle to adapt.

• Make risk based decisions considering the facts to support your gut feeling. An entrepreneurs gut is often right, but we can procrastinate and talk ourselves out of action. Take action, learn quickly, but in these times make calculated decisions.

• Look after yourself. Do what you need to do to keep yourself positive and motivated to do the right things each day.

• Utilise technology and software. Bring efficiencies where you can, automate what you can, but don’t lose the personal touch that people will engage with more than ever in the next few months.

• Share your expertise, experience and knowledge. How can you help?