COVID-19 Your Business and You

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Here we are. While it’s a challenging time for everyone, it’s also essential to take steps now to make a plan.

This period of crisis isn’t going to last forever. All will be back to normal eventually–we need to bridge this period of relative uncertainty.

Mindset and Opportunity

You need to take care of yourself and your mindset. Please don’t follow the ‘herd mentality’ and panic–do the opposite. Stay calm and take one day at a time and look for the opportunity. Take charge. Lead.

An author I follow, Seth Godin, sent an email to my inbox this morning which expresses my thoughts exactly:

“Panic loves company.

And yet calm is our practical, efficient, rational alternative.

If you’re on a crowded plane and one person is freaking out about turbulence, the panic will eventually peter out. If, on the other hand, six people are freaking out, it’s entirely possible that it will spread and overtake the rest of the plane. Panic needs multiple nodes to spread.

The same is true with a cabin of 10-year-olds at summer camp. One homesick kid usually comes around and ends up enjoying the summer, because being surrounded by others who are okay makes us okay. But three or four homesick kids can change the entire dynamic.

While calm is a damping agent, it’s not nearly as effective at spreading itself as panic is.

A library is usually a quiet place because the dominant cultural narrative in the library is to be quiet. Because it’s dominant, the coefficient of its spread is sufficient to keep it that way. We have to expend effort to create environments of calm because calm has a coefficient that can’t compete with panic when it comes to spreading.

And Twitter? Twitter has been engineered to maximise panic. Calm is penalised, panic is amplified. And if you are hanging out in real life with people who spend a lot of time on social media and news sites, you’ve invited all of those people into your circle as well.

We can find lots of reasons why fifty years of watching just three dominant TV networks wasn’t ideal. But the combination of oligopoly and the FCC meant that none of them spread panic. They weren’t built for it. When cable “news” showed up, they discovered that panic was a great way to make a profit. Not to make things better, simply to spread anger and fear.

If panic is helpful, of course you should bring it on. But it rarely is.

Instead:

Curate your incoming.

Stay off Twitter.

Do the work instead. Whatever needs doing most is better than panic.

Being up-to-date on the news is a trap and a scam. Five minutes a day is all you need.”

My clients are all looking at ways to look for opportunity.

One of my clients runs a restaurant. Overnight we’ve changed the business model and will be delivering meal kits, cooked food, groceries and alcohol.

Another client who runs a security business has ramped up marketing to customers and prospects as it is vital for building managers to ensure their buildings’ systems are in tip-top shape as more and more people will be receiving home deliveries.

What’s your opportunity?

Ways to prepare yourself and your business

Here are some ways you can prepare yourself and your business in the best possible way.

  • Communicate. With your team, suppliers, customers and network.
  • Be Positive. Panic and worry never help. Lead. Look for small wins all the time.
  • Get Credit. Get it if you can. You don’t have to use it but it’s nice to have.
  • Know the cycles. Just like the seasons, we seem to have a crisis to deal with every 7-10 years, i.e. Y2K, stock market crash, 9/11, the GFC. This crisis will pass too.
  • Change. Take charge. Think about changing the business model entirely or your products, services, delivery, staffing etc.
  • Cut Back. Where can you reduce outlays? Postpone or delay. Remember, cash is king. Re-negotiate with suppliers NOW. Keep marketing and selling.
  • Staffing changes or cut-backs. Let staff take holidays, either one at the time or at once. Reduce salaries. Suspend bonus programs.
  • Plan work from home. What technology do you need? How will you deal with customer service? Have your meetings online via Zoom.
  • Online or deliveries. If customers don’t come to you, you ‘ll go to them.
  • Market and Sell. You must keep marketing. Increase the volume, don’t decrease. Renegotiate rates and get cash upfront when you can.
  • Repeat Business. Existing customers are your best customers. Create deals just for them. Keep them at all costs. Communication is vital.
  • Common sense and compassion. Overdeliver on customer service. Clean and don’t touch. Provide sanitizer. Put people first. Be nice and take a Chill Pill. Don’t buy too much toilet paper.

Lastly, make sure you look after you. Listen to wholesome audiobooks from audible.com.au, meditate, eat well and try to exercise when you can.

I coached clients through the GFC which lasted 18 months. This too shall pass. Feel free to browse my website and book an appointment for a confidential chat. No charge.

All the best,

Mark Vischschoonmaker
w. Businesscoachmark.com.au
p. 0403 88 11 05

e. markv@businesscoachmark.com.au

© Mark Vischschoonmaker | ActionCOACH Pyrmont