1. The blank sheet of paper exercise

Imagine you are starting afresh. The lockdown has changed the way we all do business and this is the perfect opportunity to review EVERYTHING. What haven’t you missed? What has made you more efficient? Now is also the time to really listen to your team. What have they learned during the lockdown? What changes would they like to see as a result of this new way of working? Hopefully you will never get another chance to take such a microscopic look at your business functions and shake things up.  

2. Review your website

When did you last review your website content? How much of it reflects your business as it is today… or will be in the future? Is there any content that you have produced during the lockdown that should also be on your website? How about your social media channels? Are the ones you are using still a good fit for your business? Take any spare time you may have to finally get round to tidying up your ‘shop window’…

3. Learn a new skill

There has never been a better time to learn a new skill. Hopefully not because you have more time on your hands but because so many people are offering free services from workshops to webinars. There has been an explosion of information-sharing, offering you and your team top quality training and development opportunities for free. Why not assign an area of learning to each of your team and ask them to write a white paper to share with their colleagues?

4. Assess your crisis communications and planning strategy

Be honest…. How geared up were you to deal with the C-19 lockdown and how well did you communicate with your team and the outside world? Because the situation is unprecedented we will all, or should, have learned lessons from our handling of the situation. Make a new plan while what has unfolded in recent weeks is fresh in your memory and, again, ask your team for their input. What was the experience like from their perspective? This is a great opportunity to develop a robust plan for the future.

5. Business plan/forecast 

It’s going to be difficult to predict what the future holds but you can think about what you want your business to look like in the months and years ahead. Is your client mix right or have you become too heavily-reliant on one sector? Has your new way of working opened up new opportunities and what efficiencies can you continue to make? Oh, …  and ask your team for their input! 

6. Connect like never before

Just because we can’t get out doesn’t mean your networking has to grind to a halt. We are all used to connecting more with our regular contacts on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook but why not use this as an opportunity to expand your network? I have connected with two authors whose books I have read recently (one in America) and a well-known sports commentator who I am going to meet for a pint when this madness ends. A lot of people have a lot more time on their hands at the moment and almost everyone is craving social interaction. Make the most of that!

7. Indulge your family

If there is one positive to come out of this situation, it will be that most of us are spending a lot more time with our families and they are seeing up close and personal what our days entail. You will never get an opportunity like this again when it comes to addressing your work/life balance. Make sure you make time for your loved ones but also help them to better understand your job, your challenges and maybe meet (via video link) some of the people you work with and their families. When life returns to normal you will all be able to see the bigger picture with a lot more clarity.

Marc Astley

CEO, Astley Media