This is the last blog in our series about staying positive during the coronavirus lockdown. This time we are going to look at updating skills. After catching up with chores (part 1), and maintaining contact with your customers (part 2) We now have time to build on our knowledge. Often we are too busy with other to take time out for courses or learning new skills. However, if you are at home (which you should be during lockdown whenever possible) it is an ideal time to update your knowledge.
What could you do to be updating your knowledge?
Think about whether there are any areas of your business where you are lacking skills or knowledge. The chances are that you can probably read about it or learn it online. If you can’t afford to shell out any money at the moment, look for free taster courses, or YouTube video’s that could start you off. Here are some ideas that you could search for:
Skills you can learn online
Most businesses need IT skills for something, from using Microsoft Office packages to accounting software. Most of us have smart phones as well. If you are anything like me, my knowledge of some of the software is just the tip of the iceberg. Being able to fully understand a specific software’s function could potentially be enhancing your business! Here are some ideas:
- Do you take product photos? You could learn to use your phone/cameras functions in more detail
- Do you do your own bookkeeping? Perhaps you could get to grips with spreadsheets, or learn an online accounting package such as Xero, or QuickBooks.
- Are there any manual skills you need to learn? There are many YouTube videos out there that are free. Remember to like and subscribe if they have been useful to you
- Physical skills do not have to be work related of course, you might just want to spend some time taking a course of interest that is linked to your business. For example, I sell painted rocks to some of our guests. I set about finding painting techniques to learn online.
There are many possibilities out there for updating your skills, you just have to log on and look. Many have a free trial period too. Both Xero and QuickBooks do if you are taking the bookkeeping route. If you come across a course you would like to do but don’t have the money right now, keep a note of it you might be able to take it at a later date. Having said that, there are a lot of courses being offered at a discount right now.
Remember there is still the good old fashioned book, and these days you can buy books much more cheaply if you have a Kindle, the Kindle app or iBooks. Of course you may also have books at home that you can make use of. Amazon.co.uk is probably your best bet for choice here for Kindle books.
The Coronavirus outbreak has resulted in unprecedented times. Creating situations that nobody would have foretold for their businesses. Many businesses have come to a complete standstill during this time rendering their owners with zero income.
But this is not a time when you should stand still and just wait out the lockdown period. On the contrary you should be continuing to work towards productivity if you can. Obviously in the first instance you need to weigh up how you can bring in some income to pay your bills and feed yourself. You may need to take on other work during this time. But it doesn’t necessarily spell the end for your business. This crisis will end, and when it does you need to be ready to start up again as quickly as you can.
Making sure that you are updating your knowledge and skills is a priority and there are a number of ways you can accomplish this. We have outlined many tasks that can be done that cost you in time rather than a lot of money. You will probably find many more ideas as you work through them. However, time is something you have a lot of at the moment, so seize the opportunity while you can. The more you can keep the momentum going now the more prepared you will be to come bouncing back once life returns to normal.