Dealing with the pandemic as a small business owner

We chatted to Beattitude’s Founder Siobhan to find out some of the lessons she has learnt as a small business owner during the current pandemic.

Q: What was the first step you had to take once the initial lockdown began here in the UK back in March?

It’s been a rollercoaster of a learning curve. At first we were reacting to the situation, and making sure that we could still trade as a company. Initially we jumped into the world of live stream classes (B’Live) and launched our on-demand platform (B’Anytime) and the whole team had to start working remotely.

Q: What have you found most challenging during this time? 

The Government has made many changes with regards to what the fitness industry can and can’t do throughout this time, often giving very little notice. As this pandemic has gone on however, I have learnt that we can no longer operate on a reactive basis. I have a team who’s livelihoods I need to support and we have a group of loyal clients for whom Beattitude provides stability for their physical and mental wellbeing. It’s not as easy as ‘cut out some of this’ and ‘add some more of that’ and I must keep thinking strategically for the long term success of the business.

Q: What methods have you used to deal with what has undoubtably been a stressful situation at times?

  • I have set out a structure to my day, which has been incredibility important for my mental health and overall wellbeing. I take between 30-60 minutes in the morning to sit, think, and have some ‘me’ time, which often involves listening to at least one podcast to help me expand my understanding of anything from business and finances to personal management and lifestyle habits. I find that this really helps to keep me focussed and inspired throughout the day. I also love scribing my thoughts down in my journal (the good and the bad!) or I take some time to meditate or simply sit in silence for 5 minutes (this feels amazing, if you haven’t tried it!)
  • I take part in at least 1 rapid tapping session each day with @houseofpossibility, which helps to heighten my productivity!
  • At the start of the lockdown, I wasn’t working out at all and my body was starting to ache and become very stiff from sitting down so much. As a result, I found that my overall confidence and positivity was really lacking. So I tricked my friend into training me at least once a week…thanks to @markirelandfit for making me hurt (in a good way) and keeping me accountable. Even personal trainers need personal trainers!
  • I stopped watching so much TV and started listening to more audiobooks!

Q: What have been the most important lessons you’ve learnt so far? 

  • It’s so important to keep focussed on our brand mission. There will always be a need for female fitness but it’s incredibly important to me, that at Beattitude, we create tailored programming to support the specific needs, wants and goals that women have. That’s why I originally founded Beattitude and it still remains at the heart of the brand.
  • It is key that we maintain an element of online access. I have no idea if we will go into another lockdown, so by continuing to grow our online offering, it gives the business more security. Our members are also loving having the choice of classes in the club alongside live stream and on-demand!
  • Our community is everything and it’s not just about paying customers. This relates back to our brand mission and it’s such an important pillar of the brand to provide a community of support for women to interact with one another, learn more about their bodies and celebrate female health and fitness. Our BeGossip blog is an important part of this, so thanks for reading!

Q: What have you been focused on more recently in order to sustain and grow the business?

  • Working as a team and not forgetting to ask them for help as it’s important that we tackle any problems we face as a business together. They have been amazing, and I don’t know where I would be without them. Each of us is struggling with our own problems at time, but they never cease to amaze me with how positive and encouraging they are to our members! Sam, Adrienn, Patrycja, Amy, Becs, Megan, Claire and Jessica.
  • Taking each day as it comes. I used to try to plan for what ‘might’ happen, but right now it’s important to just focus on what each day brings and not let insecurities creep in.
  • Being open to new opportunities, that I’d never even thought of previously. A positive thing about the current situation is that things are changing so quickly in many aspects of life, so new opportunities can come from new directions at any time and it’s important to make sure embrace these.

Q: Finally, what would be your take-away nuggets of advice to other small business owners? 

  • I can’t recommend enough the power of setting up a structured daily routine for yourself in order to look after your mental wellbeing and stay positive and productive throughout the day.
  • Take each day as it comes and try not to constantly worry about what ‘might’ happen.
  • Talk to people and ask for help – we’re all in this together!
  • Focus on what you want, and find solutions. Forget about what is it you don’t have or can’t do and switch your focus to work on new projects and create new opportunities, because they are out there!

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