Staying Positive whilst enduring Loss of income due to the Coronavirus outbreak
Finding ways to stay positive during the Coronavirus outbreak without income can be tough. This is especially so if you are self employed like Martin and I. Recently the government introduced new pay packages to help the self employed through the Coronavirus outbreak. However, not everyone who is self employed qualifies for one of these packages.
Our modest narrowboat accommodation income has dropped to nothing within a week, and as we only started it in November 2019 we do not qualify for any help from the government. In this situation staying positive about a business that we can’t predict the future of isn’t easy.
First, I must highlight that we have no debts or a mortgage. We do have all the normal bills to pay. There are also river licences and mooring fees for three boats (one we live on, the narrowboat rental, and another boat being renovated for rental). We have some money that can see us through for about 2 months without having to dip intoFinding savings. Understandably, not everyone is in this position. Even with a financial safety net, it is making me think about what we can do to put a positive spin on things. I have come up with some ideas, which are helping us and may help you towards finding ways stay positive during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Staying positive and continuing to be productive
You can still be productive within your business, even when there is no immediate income. Continuing to be productive goes a long way in helping us to stay positive. Although we are amidst unprecedented times things won’t be this way forever. There will be an end to the restrictions and the lockdowns. You may decide to soldier on with the business you have, or this may be a time when you choose to change direction. Whatever you decide keeping up with chores and continuing to plan for the future will go a long way to helping you focus and keep a positive mindset.
This is the first in a series of blogs about how Crafty Boaters are staying positive during this difficult time. My aim is to share our plans in the hope that you may be able to adapt some of them to your own situation.
Opportunities to tackle outstanding chores
I can’t count how many times I have had to put off some tasks until another time because I have been too busy. This downtime in business has given me an opportunity to take stock of everything that has taken a back seat. For me this meant completing a deep clean of the our narrowboat Lark Rise III. This is something that I had planned to do already in the Spring. But with our bookings increasing during the Spring months I did wonder how I was going to fit it in. A deep clean (including cleaning carpets and steam cleaning curtains) takes two full days. These would normally have been days that I would have blocked out on our calendar. Once our bookings were cancelled it was the ideal time to go ahead and get it done.
In addition, I also had time to deep clean Skûtsje the boat we live on as well. I’m sure most people would agree that your own living space tends to take a back seat during busy times. So as far as I was concerned this was a bonus!
I look at creating a positive spin on the situation as a benefit rather than a loss for the following reasons:
- We have not had to block out two days of income (worth minimum £140).
- I have been able to go through everything on the boat with a fine tooth comb without having to rush it.
- Martin has had time to complete minor repairs inside Lark Rise III
- Martin has had some extra time to turn his attention to the renovation of our small Dutch barge Aaltje
The world has been plunged into uncertainty with the outbreak of Coronavirus covid-19. We are not sure how long it will take us to get back to where we were before the outbreak affected our businesses. But as an aid to bouncing back, finding ways to stay positive during the Coronavirus outbreak will help you keep on track. As a starting point tackling all those chores that get put on the back burner should set the wheels in motion. Your tasks may not be cleaning a boat like I have done, so here are some different chores that might be relevant to you. Most importantly they are all things that you can accomplish whilst social distancing.
- Complete any cleaning and tidying that may need to be done. Is there anything else that you can do to create a better environment for working? Change furniture around, put up new shelves etc.
- Make an inventory of the stock you have. Do you need to let go of any of it. If so, now that you have the time, take photos and write the details of the items in a word document. Keep all of it in a folder. Once things pick up, you can be quick to list them on second hand sales sites by cutting and pasting and adding photos quickly. This point might give you some interim income as well depending on what you are selling.
- This point is related to the one above. Research different sites to sell your goods on. Don’t just think eBay, there are many others, Amazon or Facebook seller groups might be appropriate just to name a couple.
- Attend to any repairs or maintenance needed with your business/home. Could you complete these tasks yourself to save money now that you have the time?
Now that I have set the wheels turning, the next blog will be looking at specific tasks for your business that keep the momentum going. You can read part 2 here.