Text: Laura Wintemute
It's incredible all that I've accomplished by working from home during the last month. I've spent quality time with my family, walked my dog and gone mountain biking. I've also completed all my spring cleaning, both inside my house and outside in my garden! Surprisingly, I've still found time to work. Taking care of these personal tasks has left me feeling clearer and more driven as a business owner. The constraints of a 9-5 office job are gone. I work when I feel motivated and take breaks when I'm not. This results in an increase in my productivity and I accomplish great things at odd hours. I've found I get pumped up after our daughter goes to bed for the night. My night owl seems to have clarity for work tasks I never knew existed.
I won't deny that this time has been challenging. During this strange time, small business owners need to be even more positive and conscientious than ever before. We're earning much less, and so we spend much less. I try to see the cup half full in everything these days. Where before this pandemic, my expenses were aplenty, with business luncheons and mileage being a large portion of my daily costs, those have all but disappeared.
Companies around the world quickly realise the possibility of alternate workspaces for their employees. Working from home for those who can is becoming a reality. Imagine the decrease in traffic if even 25% of the current workforce stayed home? Increased productivity, employee retention, and cost savings are just a few reasons why working from home benefits both employees and employers. Greater flexibility is going to be a major weapon in winning the talent wars moving forward. More and more companies realise that, that this is now the cost of doing business. I genuinely believe this trend is on an upward swing.
As my business specifically deals with Internationals relocating to Denmark, it goes without saying things have slowed right down for me. Using my aforementioned 'cup half full' and 'can-do attitude', I've been focusing on other ways to keep my business humming along. Here are some of the things I've turned my attention to as of late:
Updating website content
Updating your website will attract search engines to your site, give valuable information to potential clients, and show clients/potential clients current testimonials or successful projects.
Social media marketing
I've created numerous posts and scheduled them for a later date. I now have posts for the next month.
The dreaded paperwork pile
I've cleaned up my all folders and emails. Strangely satisfying.
And lastly, referrals
This is the one I've spent most of my time on. I've contacted my existing customers and asked for referrals. I've been overwhelmed with how many people are willing to help other business owners. In the beginning, I felt strange doing this, but I was pleasantly surprised by how many wanted to help. Just the simple act of telling them, "I build my business primarily through word-of-mouth recommendations with individuals like yourself. If I did a great job for you, would you be willing to recommend me to friends, family, and colleagues?" Who's going to say no to that?
"Working with Laura from Homestead, Denmark was such a wonderful experience! Laura is extremely helpful and patient. She held my hand through the entire relocation process to make sure I was comfortable. I highly recommend her and her company's services."Tracee Upshaw - American Expat in Denmark.
Maintain a positive attitude!
I find many people telling me that they secretly are 'loving' this time of isolation and feel like this 'pause' was needed in our hectic lives. More families are enjoying things like puzzles and cooking together and taking walks, albeit 2 meters apart. Slowing down. Watching the stars at night because hey, we get a few hours of sleep each day not having to wake up before dawn. If we can just maintain a positive attitude, focus on the here and now, and move forward, together, we can get through this. It's how we manage the challenges in life, that define us as people, so take heart and keep moving onwards. Stay safe!