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How to manage your small business after lockdown

We explore how you can go about balancing your own small business with life after lockdown.

Returning Work After Lockdown

Many people found themselves at a loss due to the pandemic, and the events that surrounded it. From lockdowns to social distancing, the world of work took a beating. As a result, many people started their own business ventures, and many thrived. But now that lockdowns are beginning to lift, how do you go about juggling your business with post-lockdown life? 

Whether it’s becoming a freelance writer or turning a hobby into a career, many people have had to adapt to job losses and the ‘new normal’. With unprecedented job losses, at an average of 1 in 20 currently unemployed, lots of us have had to look for alternate streams of income. And for some, this has involved creating their own business.

Those who have managed to maintain a full-time role while also using their side-hustle for an extra stream of income may be daunted by the thought of returning to work after lockdown ends. From remembering how to socialise to maintaining a healthy work-life balance, it can seem an intimidating prospect. Even more so if you’ve got your own business to maintain on top of it all.

We’ll take a look at some different ways you can successfully juggle your own business or side hustle with post-lockdown life, as well as your full-time job.

Introduction to side hustles

2020 and all the events brought on by COVID-19 have seen a proliferation of people pursuing side-hustles. These can come in all shapes and sizes, and have seen people dip their toes into unknown and uncharted waters. 

Making money from home during lockdown has been a priority for many people, especially if they ended up being furloughed – though there are others who dived into the world of side hustles while continuing to work in their full-time roles. 

But what exactly is a side hustle? And if you have a full-time job, why would you consider not only starting out in a side gig but also continuing to keep your new project going? Let’s take a look at the world of side hustles, and how they have come to the fore in the past 18 months. 

What is a side hustle?

A side hustle, also known as a side gig,, is when you have a secondary source of income as well as a full-time job. Often, it’s a flexible second job or side project that can bring in some money, and is frequently in a domain that you have a personal and invested interest or passion in. It can also lead you to learn additional skills and can offer all sorts of new opportunities.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the side hustle became the primary source of income for some people, as a result of job instability. A whopping 25% claim to be side hustlers and earn additional income. 

How do you start a side hustle?

Starting a side hustle can be a lengthy process, especially to end up seeing any profits from your chosen business. The benefits are numerous, however: you will be your own boss, the work is flexible, and you’ll normally end up doing something that you are passionate about. 

There are some tried and tested steps to follow if you want to start a side hustle and potentially turn it into your own business. Let’s take a look:

Identify your skill set

Consider what you enjoy doing and consider whether you’re able to make it pay. If you pursue something you have a genuine interest in and are passionate about, you’ll be more likely to will it into turning you a profit. Consider some of the ideas that start a business, for example.

Define your goals and understand your competition

Most of the time, you’ll find that your business concept has been done before. This shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your side hustle, though – consider how you can stand out from the crowd with your side hustle, and how you could crush your competition. Similarly, you should be realistic with your goals – start with one customer before going for a thousand! 

Set yourself some milestones

Draw up a plan of action or a simple business plan. Set yourself dates and milestones you need to hit, and stick to them. This will give you the right amount of inertia and momentum you will need to properly launch your side hustle.

What is the new normal?

Lockdown, social distancing, Rule of 6 – the events of 2020 have brought with it a whole new vocabulary, which is now commonplace. One of the terms that is bandied around more and more as things slowly get better and better is the ‘new normal’. What does everyone mean by the new normal, however? And what does it mean for both our everyday and working lives?

COVID-19 has changed just about every aspect of our lives as we know it, and we all have to adjust to this new state of being. We all have to endeavour to own the new normal

For a great many things, aspects of the new normal have caused a hindrance to our modern lives. There are other opportunities that have arisen from this new way of existing, however, with the phenomenon of the side hustle coming to the fore. Let’s take a look at the two main aspects of life that we’ve had to adjust to the new normal. 

Returning to work

As soon as the pandemic struck, office buildings and workplaces across the globe were shut down. This led to the rise in working from home. Some people found this worked for them, and may wish to negotiate to continue working from home, but others found that it was difficult to maintain a proper work-life balance.

The new normal has opened up all sorts of new avenues, and highlighted existing ones, such as the potential benefits of the hybrid jobs economy. At the end of the day though, companies will want people to return to the office, whether that’s via a flexible model or a hybrid one. 

Smaller offices, creative collaboration, and the possibility of continued remote working are all things that you can expect from the return to work in the new normal. This will have several effects on your own business too, as by returning to the office you may have less time to spend growing your side hustle.

Socialising

For many people, the social aspect of the new normal has been extremely important. Not only was the lack of social interaction a cause of anxiety throughout the various lockdowns, the return to socialisation after lockdown ends is also a cause of worry and stress. 

We’ve only just learnt how to cope with self-isolation and social distancing, so suddenly being plunged back into vague normality may well be exciting but could also be concerning. If you’re looking for some pointers as to how to adjust to the new normal in a social environment, then we’ve created this handy guide on how to thrive after lockdown ends.

With social engagements filling up the calendar, problems can be posed as to when and how you’ll fulfill your own business requirements. If you want to continue pursuing your side hustle, you’ll have to keep careful tabs on your time management and organisation skills. Socialisation is essential for managing your mental health and stress – but you may end up neglecting your own business as a result. 

Why is a good work-life balance important?

As a result of remote working, it’s been reported that employees across the globe are putting in more hours than they ever did before. Owing to a lack of structured office hours, and the expectation from managers and executives that employees should always be available, people have found themselves working well past their contracted hours for no extra pay.

This eats into the employee’s own time, putting their work-life balance off-kilter. While many people will continue working past their allotted hours with no qualms, they may not realise the implications that overworking have on their overall performance and general mood. 

In addition to the implications of over-working on your full-time job, there are also work-life balance issues that arise with working on your side gig. You won’t be able to focus on your own business during your full-time work hours, so you’ll be required to use your downtime to focus on your side hustle. 

This could lead you to work excessive hours, with no time off, and there are a myriad of negative impacts that are a direct result of this. Let’s take a look at a few of the different areas that are directly affected by a poor work-life balance.

Anxiety

Social and work-based anxiety is a real and very present problem, with mental health rates reported to have doubled in the space of a few months. Making time for yourself in the new normal is really important, and if you’re looking for some extra tips and tricks about monitoring your anxiety, we’ve gathered 10 effective tips on how to take care of your mental health.

Productivity

Stress and productivity go hand-in-hand, and knowing and understanding the effect that they have on each other in the workplace is really important. When it comes to juggling your own business with your full-time job or everything that post-lockdown life could throw at you too, overworking will affect how productive you are in your side hustle. 

Satisfaction

Satisfaction in what you do is essential for a fulfilling and satisfying career – whether or not you have one of the most satisfying jobs in the world. Whether you’re seeking satisfaction in your full-time job, or you are managing and running your own business, satisfaction in what you do is essential to you feeling fulfilled. 

On top of this, you’ll be seeking satisfaction in your social life, in the post-lockdown world, too. Juggling your satisfaction across these three distinct yet corresponding spheres can present challenges. 

How to juggle your own business with a full-time job in the new normal

So how do you go about juggling all these different areas of your life in the new normal without suffering from burnout? Not only will you want to keep your health and well-being outside of work, but you’ll also want to make sure you focus on your well-being at work too. 

Keeping on top of your full-time job, your social life, and your own business might seem like a mammoth task. By considering the following things, you’ll be able to successfully juggle all that life might throw at you.

Decision-making & scheduling

Making the appropriate decisions and scheduling your time carefully is one of the most important things to consider when trying to juggle your own business with all the rigours of post-lockdown life. Learning effective decision-making skills can help you both at work and at home, and can make you more productive.

Scheduling is also important, and links to the business plan you will have created for your own business – but it is also applicable to your full-time job and your social life. Making time for friends and family will permit you to juggle these different parts of your life with ease.  

Prioritising workloads

When you have a side project, you won’t be able to work across it during office hours. Your full-time job is your priority, and by neglecting your duties, you could put that at risk. Similarly, you should avoid using company resources for your own ends too.

Project planning and management are integral to prioritising workloads and juggling your two different streams of income. Plus, you’ll also find that by honing your task prioritisation skills, you’ll learn how to build self-esteem and manage stress, improving your confidence and well-being at work and at home. 

Set up your workplace

Having worked from home for more than a year, many people might still not realise the importance of having a proper home office setup. Ensuring that you have no distractions around you, and that you’re able to focus entirely on your work is essential if you want to maintain productivity when home working.

Similarly, you’ll want to make sure you separate work from life. This can be trickier if you have your own business as well. Being strict with yourself is important to avoid burning out and becoming stressed.

Consider your mental health

The COVID-19 pandemic has led us all to rethink mental health and well-being both at home and at work. From maintaining healthy relationships with those who we might have ended up locked down with, through to taking care of your mental well-being at work, these past 18 months have proved to be a trying time for all of us.

And as things slowly ease open and lockdown restrictions slowly start to lift, there may be continued cause for anxiety and stress, especially when it comes to socialising after lockdown and going into the office. If your office is also your home, as it might be if you have your own business, then it can feel like a struggle to get away from it all too.

Final thoughts

We hope this article has given you some insights into how you can juggle your own business with post-lockdown life and your full-time job. It is possible to juggle your own projectand be on top of the social invitations and your full-time work, but there are a few things that you ought to be aware of. 

It’s been a difficult year and having this added source of stress can make things seem that bit tougher. With plenty of planning, a positive outlook, and careful time management, you’ll be able to cover all bases with ease. 

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