Navigating Your Business Through COVID-19

The onset of COVID-19 has ruffled the feathers of many businesses. It’s been such an eye-opening journey that we certainly won’t forget for years to come. That’s why this week’s podcast episode is all about navigating your business through COVID-19, and I want to share a story from a fellow allied health business owner.

I’ve touched on navigating your business through COVID on several podcasts, but this time we’re focusing solely on the experiences that directly relate to the pandemic. 

Our guest for this week? Meet Lisa Hughes, Founding Director of Occupational Therapy Helping Children in Sydney. 

Lisa opens up to us about her business journey through the pandemic. She’s revealing how her team managed to come out stronger, wiser, and with an increased sense of hope. 

While COVID doesn’t appear to be finished quite yet, it’s encouraging learning how others have been able to handle what’s happened so far. Many of us have made leaps and bounds since the beginning. 

Navigating your business through COVID hasn’t been easy, but it isn’t too late to listen and learn from others. If you’ve been struggling throughout the last several months, or you’re looking for some guidance and inspiration, Lisa’s story is sure to throw you the gold nuggets of information you’ve been searching for.

Below is a sneak preview of some main issues we discussed, but make sure to watch the full episode to discover all the valuable points and tips you can take home.


The Benefits of Being Business-Facing During COVID

Lisa reveals that she’s been less focused on the clinical side of things. This leaves more room for her to concentrate on the inner workings on her business. Or as I like to describe: The things on your to-do list you’ve been longing to tick off.

The way Lisa uses her time has changed throughout COVID. She’s been honing in on business-facing and team-facing work. 

And she’s been loving it.

Now is the best time to go business-facing. One of the benefits of the pandemic is that you have the opportunity to make this shift, as you’re not preoccupied by a flood of other things.

Lisa found that she’s more available for her team. This means they are getting the right supervision, the best coaching, and are able to get their questions answered. 

Oh, and let’s not forget one of the largest benefits from going team/business-facing: Reclaiming your time. Lisa’s regained quality of life, which is something I think many business owners strive for.


Positives That Have Risen from the Pandemic

Ever rolled your eyes when someone tells you to: “Look at the positives”?

I get it, sometimes we don’t want to look at the positive side of things. Or perhaps we just don’t know how. But during these unprecedented times, looking at the good side can give us a level of hope and drive to keep going.

That’s why I questioned Lisa on the positive outcomes of COVID for OTHC. She and her team have been able to create strong systems, policies and procedures to give them the best chance at staying open as the pandemic runs its course.


Leadership Learnings

The changes in Lisa’s leading style can also be viewed as a positive from the pandemic. There’s no doubt that it’s tested the leadership skills of business owners across the globe. 

Lisa’s journey with diversifying income across her business is something I think many of us need to hear. It’s about staying prepared and thinking about how you can make money in other ways, separate from your usual source of income.

The team at OTHC had to brainstorm what they would do if they couldn’t see clients. Since COVID is such an unknown phenomenon, this is such an important factor to consider.

When one rug gets pulled out from under us, it feels like another one takes it place. Basically, many of us are feeling like we need more predictability in our lives – both professionally and personally.

Book meetings with your bookkeeper, your accountant, and your financial advisors. Take the time to look deeply at the numbers and the forecasting of it all. This can help you make more well-informed decisions and prepare for worst-case scenarios. 

Don’t forget about team spirit, too! 


Planning for Your Future

Perhaps there has never been more of an appropriate time than now to plan ahead. With things looking so unpredictable, having some future goals in place can do wonders for team and personal morale.

Lisa shares how her team have organised their future plans for the business.

It’s so exciting hearing about OTHC’s upcoming New PossibiliOTs Course, which is now online instead of face-to-face. 

OTHC have managed to transform a classroom-based course into a complete online experience. It’s still jam-packed full of highly valuable information for Occupational Therapists, OT students, and OT graduates.

On the topic of this online course, Lisa and I discuss the future of learning and how we anticipate it will be different in the future because of COVID.



Before getting yourself down about the pandemic, try thinking about how it can benefit your business. What can you be doing to make the most out of a challenging situation? 

Don’t be afraid to get help, get your systems in place, or get your team around you to remind them that support is needed now more than ever. Remember: You can’t do it all.

Set goals for the next few months, next year, next two years. And don’t forget about your work-life balance.

Tune into the podcast at anytime to listen to Lisa’s full COVID journey.

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