10 tips for managing a wellness business during uncertainty
2.5 min read. We share 10 small business tips and tricks on how to manage your wellness business during uncertainty.
We are undoubtedly living in uncertain times. In 2020 Australia was awash with bushfires followed swiftly by the onset of COVID-19. Many are predicting economic difficulties and, of course, we don’t know how long COVID will continue to affect us. So how do we manage worry and unpredictable change when running a small business in Australia?
I have been self-employed for 30 years (19 years in the wellness space) and have experienced booms, busts and the recession. Here are my 10 tips for surviving the not so good times and thriving in great times.
#1 Keep afloat in the bank.
Whether times are good or not so good, there is a sense of security that comes from having your own back. This is especially important if you have employees and must meet their weekly salary. A healthy float (enough to meet your basic expenses for several months) can bring peace of mind and buy you time to rethink strategy. Finances flow up and down, so it’s normal to sometimes dip into this float, but you should be able to bounce back within a month or so.
#2 Diversify the income streams of your wellness business during uncertainty.
Your small business does not have to be your only source of income. If you have access to other work then being able to draw on this work in challenging times can help you ride out the troubled times and stay in the game. Longevity is the key to a successful business. So even if this means you don’t draw wages for some time, your business can still survive and ready itself for better times. Challenging times do not need to mean the closure of your business, even if it is dormant. I remember waitressing whilst I was teaching meditation and getting my counselling practice off the ground. Funnily enough, some of the customers of the café became my students and clients!
#3 Keep overheads low.
Where possible, this is a good strategy for any business. This might mean renting a sessional space rather than a permanent lease; finding ways to use subcontractors, or engage the services of others through joint ventures rather than hiring permanent staff (especially early on). Do check the legalities of subcontracting vs employees as it is very important to make sure you are engaging people correctly. The ATO provides a good resource to learn about contractors vs employees.
#4 Re-purpose existing programs and content for your wellness business
Be conscious of your time and energy. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, see if you can take one meditation recording and use it in a number of ways e.g. as a recording made during a meditation group session can be then offered for sale on your website or as part of a membership group and as a recording in multiple online courses. Working this way whenever possible conserves your time and energy to work on other projects, and increase your productivity.
#5 Look for ways that you can pivot your business.
Meditation teachers pivoting to working online is the most obvious example, but there are many. Look around at ways that you can adjust your offerings to suit the new opportunities of the times. Whilst people are in lockdown they move online, so wherever there is a loss of one kind, there can potentially be an opportunity elsewhere. Flexibility and creativity are key. Try a few things and see which take off. The beauty of our Meditation Teacher Training at ACMM is that we teach you to create your own meditation scripts. This means that you can adapt your teaching to many different situations – giving you great flexibility and more opportunities.
#6 Downtime can be productive creative time.
Sometimes out of disaster can come growth and opportunity. If your regular activities and work have been disrupted or are no longer available, this can be an opportune time to write that course or retreat you have always been wanting to write. Meditate, write and create. Be brave and keep reinventing yourself.
#7 Think laterally and open your horizons.
So, the workplace that was going to employ you is closing down and you won’t be delivering the program you created. The silver lining is that you now have a program that is ready to deliver elsewhere. Who knows? Perhaps an even bigger opportunity awaits? Rather than allowing one event to defeat you, take what you can away from this experience and create another one. Don’t give up!
#8 Keep dreaming big.
Even if things don’t appear great right now, it doesn’t mean that things won’t change. In fact, I can almost guarantee they will eventually change. Those who succeed hold their vision and purpose strong and keep working towards it even when nothing seems to be happening externally. I spent many years writing and developing courses for small groups and sometimes for an imaginary audience (lol!). That material, experience and know-how was ready to support me when my school took off and grew exponentially. If I had not done all that work earlier when there were only a few people around – I would have never been able to make the most of the current opportunities! It allowed me to try things out and make mistakes in small ways in order to learn and grow; preparing me for larger scale teaching. Do what you do to your best ability and keep doing it no matter what, so that your tribe can eventually find you – when you are ready.
#9 In times of uncertainty, make the most of what you have now.
Number 8 leads directly to this point…You always have something to work with. Opportunity will always be there in some form, even if that opportunity lies in the challenges you are facing. I went through some very challenging times in my life, and these were my greatest teachers. Document your process, journal about your meditation practice, note what is working for you. This could later become the basis for your teachings! You may like to do some training, extended reading or therapy to open up your mind to new solutions. Nothing is wasted.
Even if you have to work another job for a while to make ends meet – offer meditation sessions at lunchtime or in the evening and by the time you leave to resume your business you will have a tribe of students that may stay with you. Don’t give up on your vision. Be a meditation teacher no matter where you are or work.
#10 Self-care to stay positive.
This should have been number 1! It is the most important point. In order to grow a lotus from the mud, you need to keep feeding and nurturing yourself. It is far more difficult to stay positive when you feel run down. Feed yourself positive mind-food in the kind of media, conversations and reading you engage in. Take good care of your body with rest, nutritious healthy food and plenty of movement. Tend to your emotions by journaling, sharing your feelings with someone you trust who supports you and making time for joy in your life. Open up to inspiration by spending time in nature, being creative, meditating and engaging in spiritually nourishing activities that fit with your belief system.
As you can see from this list, if things get quiet in your small business, or change happens, opportunity can always be found. In fact, one loss may be the beginning of a very exciting gain!
Once you decide to become a meditation teacher, you can be that regardless of what is happening externally. Opportunities come and go; things are always changing. Be flexible, responsive and creative.
The world needs mental health support more than ever, and the need is only going to increase. So what are you waiting for?
We love sharing small business tips with wellness entrepreneurs. Check out our other articles, 6 reasons to use social media as a mindfulness & meditation teacher; How to start marketing your meditation business; Top 7 marketing tools for your meditation business.