What should a business owner’s mindset be during COVID-19?

From Clifton Asset Management Financial Planning Director, Anthony Carty.

My marketing / content colleague asked me what seemed like a straightforward question…

“What do you think a business owner’s mindset should be during these challenging times? Can someone take the emotion out of this situation and make the right decisions for their businesses?”

How can you take the emotion out of what has proven to be the biggest health pandemic since the 1918 Spanish Flu? Add to that the devastating hit that the economy is having, and in turn SMEs, their families and employees – no, you can’t really take the emotion out of this crisis. But, we’re human and emotions are what makes us tick. So, it’s fine to be emotional as long as you can channel those feelings into some measure of positivity around the future. As sure as eggs are eggs, we will get through this. Sure, it will take time and I’m certain there’ll be more bumps in the road, but at the heart of the UK business psyche lies an entrepreneurial mindset which, in my opinion, is second to none in the world.

Who am I to suggest what a business owner’s mindset should be during this crisis? Myself and my 3 other business partners talk pretty much every day via one of the whizzy web conferencing apps. We keep each other on the straight & narrow. We’re lucky I guess – we do have each other’s back. What if you’re running a business on your own? I’m sure that can be lonely place – now more than ever. Communication is king though. There are so many mini networking groups you can ‘dial’ in to. I set up a local business community COVID-19 Facebook group just to allow the sharing of ideas, resources, updates etc. Within 48 hours of setting it up, there were 70 members – in our modest little town of Clevedon! Clifton’s team of consultants have been regularly in touch with their business owning clients – with no particular agenda – just a recognition that ‘it’s good to talk’.

So – what should a business owner’s mindset be during this? I don’t know… It’s OK to feel a bit lost & bewildered right now, but don’t suffer in silence. Talk to us – we’re good listeners. We have loads of advice and practical resources at our fingertips. We don’t have a clue about epidemiology – but we do know a lot about the stresses and strains of running a business. My colleagues have heard me say this hundreds of times: “it’s easy to be a hero in a bull market”. I’m not interested in that, I’m more of a Billy Ocean fan, “when the going gets tough… etc.”. I think that defines us at Clifton. Don’t be a stranger – we’re here to help.

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