Page 29 - London Business Matters May 2020
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  May 2020 Your business Business in lockdown: dealing with uncertainty by Jonathan Ratcliffe Lockdown poses many problems for small businesses; uncertain- ty, closures, restrictions and strained cashflow mean making in- formed decisions are near impossible. How we deal with uncertainty now is critical to future success. All the people in business I know just want to crack on, but when will it end? Mid May? Schools going back in June? Another 18-months? – I’ve read many mixed messages this week, and this all compounds uncertainty. Uncertainty in business is a poi- son, its why businesses prefer a steady economy with level-headed Govern- ment. Uncertainty prevents logical decisions and creates a state of pan- ic which can ultimately lead to poor decision making. The virus has put many businesspeople with normally calm and calculated decision-making processes into a state of panic, and it is not a healthy place to be. The first week was the worst, in a few days we saw business collapse, 80 per cent down on new enquiries Now it seems to be picking up again, so should we be pressing ahead full speed spending cash reserves or should I be cautious? I know I’m not alone in not knowing what I should be doing. To deal with uncertainty it is im- portant to step aside from daily tasks and take time out to plan. Only by stepping aside can you clear a path through troubling times and see a more positive future. Using the allotted exercise time to escape your home office can do won- ders for clearing your mind of day to day troubles and help you think more logically towards the future. We recommend these six pointers in coping with uncertainty: Accept what has happened The first step to dealing with uncer- tainty is to accept what has happened. Taking stock of events and the new norm helps you clarify in you own mind your new position. Under- standing that you might not always be in control is scary but helps you put behind negative events and focus a new effort towards being more flex- ible in the future. Stay positive Easier said than done. This is a very tough thing to do if your life has fall- en apart. Certainly, taking stock of the then, the now and the future is critical in being able to turn a nega- tive situation into something more positive. This step can take time. Reflect on the past The past in terms of coronavirus was not so long ago, and so it is important to remember that good times aren’t so far away again. Use this time to think about what you would have changed, how you could improve and how you would like to be. In business you can be critical, think about your business as someone else looking in – how would you change things? Keep learning Many are spending time in isolation, and with less workload there may be the opportunity to learn new skills and processes. Podcasts are great for learning from industry veterans, knowing you aren’t alone and how they see the future to be. You can use their insight to plan in your head how business will change and how you can benefit from it. Plan ahead Planning is difficult in times of uncertainty. However, the gener- al basics of business are still rel- evant, it’s just the landscape that has changed. Try and work on the fundamentals such as human rela- tionships, getting on top of admin tasks and planning out different scenarios all help your mind get ready for the future. You need to be in control. Stay flexible Flexibility in all walks of life is a strong skill. We hear about agility, adaptability and flexibility as key traits in successful people. Laziness is not being prepared. Use this time to adjust your outlook in life, by being back in control, you regain a feeling of preparedness that will help you over the next year or so. The mental toll on all businesspeo- ple during coronavirus is not to be underestimated, so we all need to put aside time to think through recent events, take stock and get ready for what’s next. We all need to work to- gether to try and be positive, because the future is bright. Jonathan Ratcliffe is from serviced office agents 29       SEARCH: @cleankilluk SEARCH: @cleankilluk     Lockdown highlights pest problems at home Working from home and spending more time at home generally has become the reality of the lockdown for many. For Cleankill Pest Control this has resulted in an increase in calls from residential premises as people are spotting furry intruders and insects that would often go unnoticed. Cleankill Managing Director Paul Bates says the mental health implications of having an infestation during lockdown when you can’t leave your home can be quite serious for some and affect the ability to focus on work. He explains: “It’s bad enough having a pest problem during normal times, but usually people can get out of the house or go off to work and can escape the problem. “Hearing constant scratching or pests running about in your roof space is really stressful along with the worry of not knowing what damage they are doing and whether they are gnawing through cables. Rats are also appearing in Paul Bates Cleankill Managing Director people’s gardens especially in urban properties as there is less food being discarded in the streets. This means the rats are having to explore new territories to find food.” As well as rodents, people have been calling about clothes moths which they might not otherwise have spotted if they weren’t in their homes 24 hours a day. People are also finding time to tidy cupboards and loft spaces and uncovering textile moth problems that have been hidden. Cleankill recommends using a professional pest control company to tackle problems particularly where rats, mice, birds or squirrels are concerned. 0800 056 5477.   Photo courtesy of Killgerm C n Cr Pe to na Ye Pe (B ev Di Hi ‘U Pe (B in th pe th in pe fla is th on en ec ‘Co “W             T S E P G N I                                                                 o a P e r g n O s P d a r e a s t a a v o C N N I W D R A W A - C O N T R O L S E R V I C E S 

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