A lot of inspiration I get from writing the weekly articles comes from conversations I have in the week leading up to the next article as well as my own personal experience from running a business for over 30 years. A question I have been asked more than once over the last week is “What should I do to recover the money I have lost over the last 3 months due to the COVID19 pandemic?” I had an instant response to this. “Are you building a business for the short term or long term and do you want to build a client base who trust you?”

It really all goes back to how we run our business, what we have learned since we started our business, how much we value our relationships with our customers or clients, and how strong our personal values are.

If we had built our business properly in the first place, we would not have asked that question. We would not have needed to ask that question as it would have been irrelevant.

Granted the last 14 weeks since the UK went into lockdown have been the toughest that most of us have gone through. Not just that the tap that funded our lifestyle got totally switched off and we were to some degree confined to our houses, but also a degree of panic and the thought of “How the hell am I going to get through this?”

The only thing that concerned me was the lack of contact with family and friends. Financially I did not have a concern as I have always planned for the next “What if” and also if I had to worry about how a pandemic would affect me financially, then I obviously had not done the right thing over the last 30 years of running my business until I sold it in 2016.

So here are three pieces of advice to make sure you so are so well prepared when the next “What if” comes around – and it will. There will always be something lurking that will stop us in our tracks

If you have never read a personal development book, then start now. Don’t delay. Read a new book every month and don’t tell me you don’t have time. I was introduced to a personal development programme at 23 – 7 years before I started my own business. That is why I was so well prepared for the day I set my business up. I had a pretty good idea of what I needed to do, how I needed to act and also that I needed to ask for help to cover areas I was not good or experienced at. If any of you know someone who has mentioned that they would like to start up their own business, then please give them this piece of advice

Secondly, make sure you surround yourself with people who you can build great relationships with, people who can help you and be part of the growth of your business. It will also put you in a far stronger position should you want to sell your business in the future.

Thirdly when you start building your business, make sure you put money away for a “rainy day”. Build a 6-month slush fund as quick as possible and put this ahead of holidays you spend money on, the car you buy or any money you spend that you don’t need to spend. If any of us had done this, we would not have panicked when the pandemic hit. We would have looked at this as a great opportunity to work hard ON our business and build strong lasting relationships – and that is exactly what I was able to do.

We would not have had to ask the question I put at the top of this article. As the quote says, “The future depends on what you do today”. Make sure you make today and every day count. Make sure you are prepared for every eventuality – and ask for help.

This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 27/06/2020