A lost oar, lost power or just very wet socks?
It’s been a funny old year, what with one thing and another.
Which roughly translates as: for @$*&*!! sake, 2020, what were you thinking?
Around March this year, many small businesses unexpectedly found the horizon that they were sailing toward not only tipped at an alarming angle, the waters they were traversing suddenly became frighteningly choppy and the vessel in which they were sailing abruptly appeared more than a little creaky. Some lost an oar. Some lost power. Others got very wet socks and an uneasy sense that they didn’t quite know what to do for the best. Many times I heard the platitude that we were all in the same boat, trying to run a business (and a life) through a pandemic. I disagree. We are all weathering the same storm, but our individual boats are very, very different.
But, whilst I am throwing metaphors and idioms around like wedding confetti (although that may be prohibited at post-Covid gatherings), let’s not forget that necessity is the mother of invention. Here in the Allotment, we couldn’t see our clients face-to-face any more, so like countless others, got to grips with online meetings, making our office ‘Zoom-Tidy’ (just clearing the slice of office directly behind your shoulders) and conducting business virtually.
That was the necessity. And now to the invention. The Allotment has built a Shed. A Business Shed, to be precise. It is an online business growth club where like-minded small business owners meet every month with one aim: to grow their businesses. Our Shed members have a range of businesses, from online retailers to professional services, creative businesses to healthcare, and whatever their industry, they have all had to deal with what the choppy waters of 2020 have been throwing at them in order to survive and thrive.
Whether they have found themselves in a boat that has sprung a leak, a ship that suddenly needed to plot a completely new course, or a newly built raft launched into the waves to make the most of the surf, the Shed is the place where they can moor up each month to get time and focus to ensure they are working in the most effective and practical ways to move their business forward.
Members come for the strategy and skills – each month we introduce a new tool or insight to them, alongside our Shed Strategy slot where they use our tools to create plans and priorities – and stay for the accountability. Working with a small group of peers and talking about what you want to achieve that month, or that year, transforms the likelihood of achieving it. Or, as we say in the Shed, just getting stuff done. In the Allotment, we have worked with small businesses for over 16 years. We know that getting dedicated time to work on your business is one of the hardest things for a business owner to achieve regularly. In the Business Shed, you get that every month, guaranteed.
Ideas drive business growth, we are sure of that. And the Shed encourages idea sharing and collaboration amongst members – we dedicate time at each Shed meeting to talk about any busines challenge a member may have, allowing everyone to share thoughts, come up with new ideas and bring new perspectives to others’ businesses. Learning from Shed members’ wrong turns and celebrating and gaining ideas from other’s successes is part of the Shed ethos.
So if you know a small business owner who wants to grow their business with a ready supply of tools, skills, ideas, accountability and collaboration within a small supportive group, please do mention The Business Shed. They can moor their boat, step into the Shed and see how it could help them. It’s very welcoming, full of ideas about how to grow your business, and totally weather-proof.