16 Things, Tasks and To-Dos You Can For Your Business During COVID-19Mar 24, 2020
I know today is definitely different than usual, especially as we adjust to our new normal. Whether your job has you working from home for the foreseeable future, you’re teaching virtual classes from your living room, or you’re taking a beat to figure out how you want to best adapt and move forward through these changed times, you’re probably feeling all sorts of WTF’s right now.
And even though life, aka CV19, is throwing us tons of stressful and uncertain curveballs, there are A LOT of ways you and your business can benefit from this time.
Trust me on this.
Because you can look at this time as one big WTF or you can look at this as one big opportunity, and I’m choosing the latter, and choosing to rise to the occasion.
Why? Because life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we choose to react.
Below are 16 (SIXTEEN!) things, tasks, and to-dos you can do for your business during these times.
1 - Catch up on sleep. As someone who is frequently running on too little sleep and too much caffeine, I am taking full advantage of this “Safer at Home” quarantine and sleeping at least 7 hours a night. As business owners and instructors we are used to going full-speed, non-stop. We get up before the sun to get clients trained before work, and we’re also training clients late into the night after they get off work. That usually means little sleep for us, short naps, or irregular rest.
So seriously, we may never be in the position again to feel (slightly) well rested and I’m taking it. I’m sleeping. I’m letting my body rest, recharge and recover. I encourage you to do the same. Your body will thank you for the recovery, your mind will be fresher to tackle the list below, and you might just let yourself find silver linings in this madness.
2 - Do your taxes! Definitely NOT letting this one go until July 15 now! That’s right guys - the IRS has pushed the tax deadline from April 15 to July 15. On one hand, this buys you time if you still need to get your stuff in order. On the other hand? If you do your taxes now and are entitled to a refund, the IRS is processing and issuing them daily…and that refund check might be exactly the extra $$ you’re needing right now.
So do your taxes, friends. If you’re struggling to wrap your head around tax season, I have my Tips and Tricks for Crushing 2019’s Taxes and for organizing yourself so 2020 taxes are even better.
And as you’re getting all of your 1099’s, W2, bank accounts and receipts together, don’t forget there are SO many deductions that you are entitled to take! Business owners, sole proprietors, even employees! Download my guide to deductions and have it handy to to save you maximum $$!
3 - Organize your finances: create a budget, Profit and Loss sheet, and revenue goals for 2020: If you’ve previously been winging it with your finances, getting a paycheck, spending, and hoping for the best, commit to stopping that madness immediately. You cannot grow your business if you don’t know where it is to start with!
Make a list of all of your set expenses: rent/mortgage, car payments, gas, groceries, cell phone, internet, subscriptions, workout budget, savings, everything! Figure out what you can expense through your business account (see list above) and what you have to pay for out of your personal account.
And then make a list of all of your revenue or expected revenue/income. Compare the lists and see how you’re doing. Based on your current numbers and last year’s revenue, set an income goal for 2020. Reverse engineer it into months and start game planning how to hit that $$ every single month. Do not let yourself feel stuck or give up because of the current situation - it’s two weeks. Instead, how are you going to work around it, earn side money, and make it up once things are back to normal.
(This concept applies to studio owners and individual trainers - if you’ve never put together a PnL or projected financials, I can absolutely teach you how! And I might make that an IGTV if enough of you want!)
Lastly - commit to saving something from every paycheck. $10. 10%. ANYTHING. You know those annoying phrases about rainy days and never knowing when you’re going to need it? Yeah, NOW is that time. Don’t disappoint your future self.
4 - Learn something new. I can’t emphasize this one enough guys - use this time to be productive and learn something new. Whether you want to learn something creative, listen to that new podcast you’ve heard about and never made time for, or can finally read the book you’ve been dying to dive into. Here it is!
You guys know I’m a lifelong learner, and with that I’ve been a huge fan of Skillshare lately. You can take classes on everything from web design (right up my alley as mine is in desperate need of a facelift), graphic design, iPhone photography, entrepreneurship, business management, money management (!) and more. They offer two FREE weeks of online classes - so what are you waiting for?
Podcast wise - you cannot go wrong with Jenna Kutcher’s GoldDigger, Barbara Corcoran’s 888-Barbara, and Lori Harder’s Earn Your Happy.
5 - Taking Your Training Online. Hands down the biggest request was for information on starting online and/or virtual training. It doesn’t have to be a fancy or novel offering; just let clients know that in light of social distancing and possible closures it’s a new service you’re offering. I wrote a blog completely devoted to it, but here a few big points:
If you’ve never trained the client before, do an initial assessment as to goals + movement.
Prior to training have them sign a Liability Waiver specific to online/remote training AND require payment upfront. (if you don’t have one, let’s talk asap!)
Payment - totally up to you and your clients whether or not to cut your rates. My vote is always charging your worth.
Use Skye or FaceTime for individual clients; Facebook live, YouTube, Skype, or Zoom for group training. Be in a well-lit and quiet area with strong Wi-FI.
Make sure to keep watching their form, cueing movements, and providing the same encouragement you would in a normal class.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation to chat about this, I’ve worked with countless clients to set-up their online training offerings. I absolutely got ya covered.
6 - Start working on that online program, blog, pitch, etc. that you’ve been wanting to get to, but haven’t had time for. You know that thing you’ve been putting off because you don’t have time? Here is your time. Seriously what *blessing* is it to be given this time to focus on creating passive income, a larger product offering or getting that thing off and running. I can’t stress it enough - do not waste the opportunity.
Wix and SquareSpace are both great websites with a million free templates you can use to start that blog or website or newsletter. Creative Market has gorgeous website templates you can purchase that integrate with both hosting platforms; you can also buy social media templates, fonts, and graphics. Lastly, Kajabi is an incredible platform to host online courses.
The possibilities are endless, and everyone from trainers to studio owners have a project (or 5) that they know would add so much value to their brand.
7 - Start your email list, newsletter, blog. Twice last year I had massive drama with my Instagram account that is easily responsible for my premature gray hairs. First 70% of my content disappeared for about a week; a few months later I was locked out of my account for about a week. It was the perfect reminder that I don’t own a single follower on IG or any social channel (or the content I post!) and the best and only way to really connect with them (aka YOU) is via blogs and newsletters.
Since I started consistently putting out weekly blogs and newsletters my client engagement is higher than ever, as well as my actual book of business. It’s beyond social proof - it’s value added.
The easiest way to start a newsletter? Choose an email provider (Constant Contact, MailChimp, Emma, etc.), create a freebie lead magnet, and start collecting email addresses in exchange for that free lead magnet. It can be as simple as 5 At-Home Workouts, Easy Smoothie Recipes, 10 Ways to Go Vegan...Anything that you’re knowledgeable about - speak on it!
8 - BATCH content for said email list, newsletter, blog. Once you’ve committed to building your email list, you have to commit to showing up for your people. Regular blogs (weekly, bi-monthly, monthly), regular social posts, regular newsletters.
I batch my content out for the month - I calendar what every day of social posts will be, including the corresponding days that blogs are posted or newsletters sent out. It’s actually quite easy because blogs + newsletters take up 2 days a week, I add a workout or two, and then fill in the week with a few life stories and motivational posts. I also plan what the month’s blogs will be and spend an afternoon writing all of them.
If you’re willing to commit a few hours once a month, it will make your weekly social content so much smoother, more cohesive, and less daunting.
9 - Check in on your clients, friends and family. To be honest this should be Number 1. Check in with your people. Your clients are absolutely struggling without you and your workouts. For so many working out is more than 50-minute of sweat; it’s their only ‘me-time’ they get all day, it’s where they can succeed and thrive and be strong.
Don’t make this situation all about you, because it isn’t and it never was. It’s about your people and bettering them. Remind them of all of those things. Offer them your virtual training sessions or at least a Facetime high-five. Don’t fall off the face of their earth just because you aren’t making $$ off them.
And remember your friends, especially those in industries heavily hit like fitness and hospitality, are probably still scared. Their foundation and livelihood has been halted. A call, text or FaceTime to let them know you’re thinking of them will go a long way. And think it of as the tables are turned - wouldn’t you want the same?
10 - Get on social and actually engage with your followers / people you’re following. Seriously there is no better time to make new friends/colleagues online, and to really connect with your followers. Now more than ever people are scrolling their brains out - find out what content they want or could benefit from. Get to really know them so you know how to better serve them.
11 - WORKOUT! I have never been more grateful for the internet and social media than I am right now with the amount of free workouts available to all of us! In my Instagram post today (the date of publishing) I tagged some of my favorite workout warriors offering tons of free online workouts.
Huge shoutout to every trainer who is offering free IGTV/IG Live workouts right now! Thank you for showing up for us!
12 - Program + Playlist. I am getting ahead of my programming and playlists for April/May once the studios reopen and plan to program at least 10-15 new class workouts and make 5-6 new playlists. It gives me energy thinking about how electric and buzzing the studios will feel once we’re re-opened and back to business.
For those with individual clients, this is an amazing opportunity to thoughtfully program for progress + goals (hello progressive overloads and progressions!) over a long period of time. If you haven’t yet - offer your clients virtual training programs that they can follow on their own (if they’re not looking to to virtual training).
13 - Plan + Strategize. what does the rest of 2020 look like for your business? I am incredibly guilty of not following through on this one. I candidly have NO master plan for 2020 business wise, and have been winging it. I didn’t take the time over the holidays/new year to set goals, but you can bet I am now!
14 - Do one thing every day that feels good for your health + wellbeing. We cannot be good trainers, motivators, leaders, business owners, friends, partners, pet-parents or selves unless we’re taking care of ourselves too. Can’t pour from an empty cup, right? Just because you could potentially spend these weeks working yourself to overload + overwhelm, again, you can also use it to recharge yourself and reconnect with what sets your soul on fire.
Do at least one thing everyday that makes you feel good, that you didn’t have the time or energy for before. Whether it’s working out, meditating, stretching, a bubble bath, reading, knitting, cooking dinner - don’t forget to take care of you too! You’ll see the value in having that in your life, and maybe just plan for a way to keep it there once it goes back to business as usual.
(And to be honest, you might find that this ‘me time’ is actually a marketable or shareable skill - hellooooo multiple streams of income!)
15 - Get up, get dressed and do something. The worst thing you can do right now is wallow and stay down. Create a routine for yourself and stick to it; get up by a certain hour, get dressed, meditate, journal, cook for yourself, integrate movement into your day, create a to-do list for every day, check ish off that list.
I call it my CoronaCalendar. Every night before I stop work I write my Big3 for the next day - what three tasks will I accomplish tomorrow? Full disclosure, today’s Big3 is ‘go to the post office, 130p FaceTime date with friend, 2 hours of creative writing and batching blogs + newsletters.’ They’re not always massive, life-altering, or income-generating; rather it’s 3 things that I can do to feel productive.
That said, if you want to binge watch Cheer on Netflix one day, I’m here for it. Sit in your sweats and order Postmates? I’m down. (Make sure to tip your driver extra!)
But make sure you’re doing it because it feels good, and not because you’re wallowing. Remember - your clients miss you, NO ONE wants to be in this situation right now and it’s 100% temporary.
16 - Be Kind. Every single person I know is in heightened state of stress. What we’re going through is abnormal, unprecedented and just plain scary. The solution isn’t lashing out at others because their situation appears less stressful. The solution isn’t criticizing people for going out for runs + walks.
So while it might feel better in the moment to yell at someone as a release for what you’re feeling, please remember that we’re going to get through this better, faster and stronger if we can be kinder to each other and remember that we’re all on the same team.
Love you family. We're in this together. If you have questions, comments, or concerns, hit 'reply' and let's work through them together.
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Author: Danielle Stead