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Business coach provides Covid-19 support package

Rangiora business coach Matt James created a Covid-19 support package within a day of lockdown commencing to help businesses get through difficult times.

Matt has provided coaching and advisory services to Regional Business Partners (RBP) for several years and when an email arrived asking for Covid-19 support programmes he jumped at the chance to help the business community.

RBP is a government programme which provides businesses with targeted assistance to grow and innovate. Enterprise North Canterbury administers the programme locally by connecting businesses with service providers and arranging subsidies for associated costs.

Matt created two Covid-19 support programmes and has been working long hours via Zoom to assist many businesses with a range of different challenges.

“I have two different programmes which are tailored to the needs of each individual business. One is three hours and the other is six hours. Basically, we start off with a download of everything that has happened as a result of the unique situation we are now in and then find a way to move forward.

“Every business is different, and this depends on their industry, whether they can operate remotely and how they are feeling about what has happened. I need to be very aware of the emotional state of clients as well as the practical realities of their business operation.”

Prior to lockdown, Matt had been doing both face to face and Zoom coaching sessions, so it was easy for him to switch to online sessions. He recommends that people using Zoom for business or work meetings consider creating a digital background for their screen to lessen distractions from the home environment.

“When you’re working from home you can have all kinds of distracting things happening in the background and bad lighting. You might be connecting from an open space in your house with other people working nearby or passing through. The background masks all of that and is a good way to include your branding and logo.”

Matt has pushed himself outside of his comfort zone by trying out Facebook Live. It is something he always wanted to do but had put off prior to lockdown.

“Now is the perfect time to communicate in different ways and I think we’re all more forgiving of mistakes because we know that people are trying new things for the first time. Those who are willing to go outside their comfort zone to give new ideas a go will come out the other side better off.”

While he is working longer hours than ever before, Matt says making time for his own health and wellbeing is an important priority.

“We all need to find time to move and get fresh air, plus space to do the things we enjoy each day. For me that is going for a long walk twice a day and practicing my wellbeing techniques. People who take care of themselves end generally up making better business decisions.”

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