How to weather the COVID-19 storm as a small business

Tool belt

Paid partnership with PagoFX

Even with vaccines underway across the UK, it’s easy to feel like there’s a long way to go until we reach some sort of normality.

As we come to the end of the first month of 2021, it’s not surprising to learn that UK small business owners are continuing to feel pressures: from Brexit implications to ever-tightening travel restrictions, there’s a lot to contend with right now.

But at PagoFX, we like to help you think of the bigger picture and focus on the light at the end of the tunnel (as things will get better!), so here are some of our top tips on how to stay afloat during this ongoing uncertainty and stay optimistic for what’s to come:

Have a Plan B: If this past 12 months has taught us anything, it’s that life and business can be completely unpredictable. Make sure you’re planning for the future, as it relates to finance and your logistical circumstances, but be prepared to be flexible and able to pivot as needed. Keep in mind that as helpful as the pandemic related financial support has been, especially for smaller businesses, remember that these will eventually need to be paid back, so make sure you’re factoring these into your 2021 financial plans and beyond.

Practice Empathy: No matter what your job role, industry or geographic location, there isn’t one area of the world which hasn’t been touched by the pandemic and had their lives affected in some way. It’s important to remember we’re all human, making our way through a really significant and difficult time in history, and we all have different ways of dealing with it. By practicing understanding and empathy towards whoever you’re working with, you’ll have a better chance of retaining staff, winning back clients who may have paused operations during the year and help make your place of work (whether virtual or in person!) a little more pleasant.

Go Digital: It’s fair to say our pandemic experience would have looked very different if we didn’t have access to the technology we are lucky enough to use every day. From Zoom meetings helping us stay connected with colleagues, to networking events and training sessions going online, it’s never been easier to broaden your horizons from the comfort of your home office. Make sure you utilise all that technology has to offer to help strengthen your business as we continue into 2021, whether that’s through online training courses, paying international vendors or employees with a service like PagoFX while travel remains restricted. 

Remember your “Why”: When you first thought of starting your business, you probably always expected a few bumps in the road, but this didn’t stop you from striving toward your goals. A global pandemic is far from what any of us expected, but remembering why you started in the first place and the goals and ambitions you had in mind pre-Covid can be crucial for keeping you in the right mental headspace for the coming months. 

Look After Number One: A healthy, positive mindset is integral to a successful business operation. If you’re not looking after yourself, how can you expect your team and business to thrive? Self care and taking time out is paramount, especially given the mental toll the last year has had on everyone, including entrepreneurs and business owners. Give yourself a break, keep talking to those both within and out of your industry and lean on others when needed.

Take Time to Reflect: In order to move forward, it’s important to recognise how far you’ve come and take time to give yourself credit. It’s easy to get so caught up in running the company’s day-to-day operations that you can forget to appreciate the bigger picture. Make sure you set up 30 minutes a week to review your company’s goals, problems, and how you plan to address them, as well as to reflect on the lessons the past year has taught us.

By Rocio Almoguera, PagoFX