Found & Flourish is a female founders and aspiring entrepreneurs online membership, media & events platform. We have over 10,000 women within our network and run on average 40 events a year. We also provide services, resources and community to support the women at every stage of their entrepreneurial journey.
Because of the nature of what we do, when the news of Covid-19 hit, we had to pivot fast. We had events planned and multiple projects underway so the first first thing was to communicate with our community.
We informed them of what was going to change, we asked them what they needed and we provided a range of free online workshops covering multiple topics from legal, money, resilience, overwhelm and embracing video online.
Since then we’ve been learning what our community needs during this time and have worked tirelessly to ensure they feel supported. Our ongoing aim is to cut through the noise, rather than adding to it.
So, where do we go from here?
You’re probably sick of hearing the “P-word” (pivot), but there’s a reason you’re hearing it so much right now. Now is a time to adapt or get left behind and by this I don’t necessarily mean moving everything online. It can be simple things like adapting the way you serve your current client list or simply making sure you are communicating in a way that’s sensitive and useful.
Another way of looking at it would be to ask yourself how can you innovate and be creative when it comes to redesigning your business model to get you through these times. Have you considered what you can do during this time that would be helpful to your client base? From offering a new service to coming up with ways to inform and educate your audience during this time.
It’s a weird time for every business owner, freelancer and entrepreneur right now but please find comfort in the fact we are all navigating this space together.
For those looking to adapt during this time, here are my top three tips:
1. Know your “why”
Have you visited your values recently? Why do you do what you do? Once you have identified what’s intrinsic to your offering, you can then work out where you can reduce your efforts, saving you time to focus on essential tasks like serving your community, “pivoting” your business and maintaining some form or regular income.
Remembering why you do what you do (and who you do it for) is key here. It will be what leads you forward as you adapt your business whether it’s pivoting online or simply cutting back on certain commitments during this time. When you check in with your core values, you will find yourself making decisions not from a place of fear but clarity, which should help you feel calm and collected as you navigate these uncertain times.
2. Manage expectations and communicate
This applies to your clients, your team and yourself. We have a tendency to over commit during a time of crisis, we want to help, be useful and make sure everyone knows we are ready to manage whatever life (or Covid-19) throws at us. However, this is dangerous because it also sets us up for failure and/or burnout.
By managing the expectations of those around you and communicating what’s going on, they will feel reassured and you will be able to maintain some control of a situation which, let’s face it, is completely out of our control.
Listen to what your clients, customers and team need from you during this time. If they’re not telling you, ask them. How can you and your business create value for others? What problems are they facing right now? What solutions can you provide them? And how can you serve your wider community based on the fears and concerns they have right now? We all have something to offer, even during a time that is totally alien to us all.
We are all navigating a new space for the first time and as we start to listen to what people need, we realise ways in which we can all be helpful. Listen to what the problems are, identify what you can offer that would be of value and then show up, having listened, being able to provide solutions you know will create positive change.
My final thought would be to take it slow, ignore the noise and go at your own pace, remember this is a marathon not a race. Surround yourself with people you can support you, don’t be afraid to get it wrong and know you are ever alone in this
Business is tough business, we’re right here with you.
For more information on the services F&F provide please reach out to Lara – firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the author – Lara Sheldrake
Lara Sheldrake is a Social Media Strategist and Founder at Found & Flourish. Lara writes and speaks on the topics of entrepreneurship, motherhood and social media for business. She also hosts the Bossing It podcast, aimed at empowering the next generation of female founders in the UK. Send Lara an email. You can also find her on Instagram @Lara_Sheldrake or Twitter @Lara_Sheldrake.
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