There’s a light at the end of the tunnel as the UK tentatively emerges from the pandemic that has gripped the world for over twelve months.
Some businesses have disappeared, while others have thrived. The shifts in how we now connect with our customers and peers happened quickly, and yet most of us were able to adapt to match the pace.
Here at Women’s Business Network, we have supported our community through the anxiety, tears, surprises, successes, and changes. Our audience has gone global as we navigated this new normal. We were able to embrace the power of online networking and reap the many benefits of collaboration within the community.
Now we face the next step in our reality – the end of lockdown. How are you feeling about stepping out from the shadows and embracing business life face-to-face once again?
What is the government’s roadmap for coming out of lockdown?
For those of our members who have hands-on businesses or shop/office premises, here are the three important dates to remember:
- 12 April – Hairdressers and nail salons will open. As will libraries, community centres, zoos and theme parks, drive-in cinemas, self-contained campsites and holiday cottages, indoor gyms, restaurants, cafes, and pubs (outside only with your household group or bubble).
- 17 May – Restaurants, cafes, and pubs will serve people sitting at a table inside. You can meet who you like outdoors (but not in a group of over 30). Cinemas, children’s play areas, hotels, and some larger sporting events will open up.
- 21 June – Nightclubs and large events will be able to take place. The hope is to remove all remaining rules stopping people from getting together.
Many ladies in our community will be looking forward to opening their doors once again, and the Women’s Business Network team wish you all the best.
Those ladies who have been able to transfer their B2B businesses online might not find it as straightforward as waiting for a start date. Now is the time to start thinking seriously about how you intend to run your business moving forward.
- Has working from home given you more opportunities?
- Have you saved money with a reduction in commuting or advertising?
- Does a virtual business free up more time to spend with your family?
- Are you anxious about returning to face-to-face meetings and events?
- Does the thought of getting back out there fill you with joy?
- Are you able to include both a virtual and face-to-face element in your business?
We’ve all modified our businesses to accommodate the strange circumstances we found ourselves in. Some of those changes have been good, others necessary, but we’ve all learnt so much from this experience.
How to embrace the new future
Stepping out of the shadows can leave us feeling fearful as well as hopeful, and there’s a fine line between the two. Here are a few ways to help you embrace business life again.
Self-Care – We talk about this topic a lot in our networking sessions because looking after ourselves is the most critical thing we can do when faced with change. Our member, Sharon Taylor, shared a fabulous guest post with us called What the Heck is Self-Care?
Mental Health – Using the tools Sharon shares with us in her article is a great way to support our mental health. However, there is more we can do.
Continuing to exercise daily is a great way to support our mental health. Maintaining any new hobbies or interests we’ve started over lockdown also offers us a much-needed time out. Keeping the communication lines open is vital as we’ve all been available at the drop of a Zoom link. Making sure to check-in with our community once the world starts turning again is essential.
Communication – How many of us have spoken to our friends and family more over the last twelve months than ever before? We had time and space to nurture our relationships, even if it was virtually. Allocating time to stay connected will help us navigate the changes ahead and give us the support and confidence we need.
Networking – Virtual networking has exploded over the last twelve months, and we are so proud to be at the forefront of this. I’m sure we all agree that meeting up for a coffee and a chat will feature once again in our business future but don’t underestimate the power of keeping a virtual network alive.
Joining a networking group that can encourage, guide, and support you as you step out of the shadows and embrace a new business life is a worthwhile investment.
Here are some of the benefits we offer at Women’s Business Networking:
- Member Profile – Our website is the hub of the network where we share resources, event information, our informative blog, and an overview of our lovely members. You will have the opportunity to take advantage of this SEO (search engine optimised) promotion by adding your name, business details, and biography to the membership portal for visitors to read.
- A panel of Experts – You can’t possibly know everything, and sometimes you don’t have the time, resources, or energy to do the necessary research. Our members have exclusive access to a panel of experts who specialise in business processes, sales and marketing, SEO and visibility, and human resources. Tap into this incredible font of knowledge and get the help and advice you need when you need it.
- Resource Library – We are creating a free library and a paid option. As a member, you will have access to the paid library with valuable resources to help you in every aspect of your business.
- Online Meetings – Geography, time restrictions, and workload can hinder our attempts to network effectively; that’s why our virtual networking sessions are so popular. We have members and guests attend our meetings from all over the globe, making this network a great way to reach a much wider audience. As part of your membership, you receive two free online meetings per month.
- Dedicated Facebook Group – Our dedicated Facebook group provides our members with a safe space to engage, ask questions, and meet other members. We understand that our online networking sessions are essential for meeting like-minded ladies and introducing your products or services to others. We also see the importance of needing answers in the moment. Our Facebook group is the perfect place to interact on the go with fellow members. Ask questions, share advice, tips, and experiences, and learn more about your fellow business owners.
The Women’s Business Networking group can support you to maintain a thriving business within a like-minded business community.
“I love connecting with like-minded women and business owners. I’ve been able to build trusted relationships, boost my professional development, and build a wider network outside my usual circles. I can highly recommend WBN.” Sue Green, Rixgreen.
Find out more about the support, online meetings, and guest speakers we have coming up at the Women’s Business Networking group via our website.
Alternatively, get in touch to discover how membership to Women’s Business Networking can benefit you and your business.