Business Growth Coaches Network – Spotlight
Peter Basford, a business growth coach with the Business Growth Coaches Network, and his team have been working flat out since March. Not surprising when he describes himself as a mentor, coach, advisor, someone to celebrate success with and a shoulder to cry on – with that last one being heavily in demand at times during Covid-19.
Like many businesses and SMEs, Peter’s type of work has pivoted. “March was our best ever month, with a range of big, strategic projects as well as the normal day to day support for SMEs. By April, the project work stopped with our work concentrating on support and advice. Helping clients through the furlough scheme, then grants and funding, and now back to the furlough scheme, as employees return to work”, explains Peter.
Peter goes on to explain that back in March many SMEs had a choice: They could shut doors, go home and wait for it to pass, hoping that they still have a market and clients when they re-open. Alternatively, they could look for opportunities for their skill set, pivot their offer and create new markets, to protect their business, their employees and their future.
Peter believes that those business owners who have been successful during this period are those who have a flexible mindset and demonstrate a growth mindset: “Business owners must be flexible and look for possibilities. Covid-19 has created demands and markets not there before. With some additional training or a few tweaks, businesses can pivot their offer to meet those demands. There is funding available for growth and development in the light of Covid-19 which can support businesses, and there are some great examples out there of this being done successfully”.
A growth mindset is one where people believe their talents can be developed through hard work, strategic planning and input from others. They do not believe that they are just naturally gifted or lucky. Those business owners who display a growth mindset are those who have already set up a new business, entered a new market, pivoted their business and changed their business plan during the lockdown.
“We have been working closely with local councils, growth hubs and SMEs to signpost funding and support, help identify new income streams and reset aspirations. It has been great to see so many businesses in East Anglia work together and develop a collaborative attitude. We have been concentrating on relationship building and helping people to ensure that SMEs can thrive and protect our economy going forward, and many others have been doing the same”, says Peter.
Peter shares stories of clients who have believed that their business was finished but have retrained and switched direction to discover a new income stream, to replace the one that was taken away when the lockdown was enforced. Others have identified new IT requirements created by social distancing needs, and created apps and programmes to support businesses operating in a Covid-secure manner. “For those businesses that shut doors and went home, they need to think about when they come back and be mindful that others are out there working. They must be looking at re-engaging with their clients and finding opportunities to get back to work”, warns Peter.
Looking at the next three to six months Peter notes: “We need to remember that the rule book of normal has been torn up. The world will be a different place and we need to operate differently. Business owners need to adapt and approach the markets with an attitude of how they can help others. The ‘Be Kind’ campaign that we started 2020 with should be remembered and is a good starting point to kick off the second half of 2020”.