In a matter of just a few short weeks, our lives have completely changed. Schools are out for months. Cruises have stopped sailing and flights completely halted. Bars are closed, sporting events are non-existent and unemployment is rising. If you watch the news or follow social media and see the number of infected keep rising, you can’t help but wonder when life will return to normal.
As a result, many people are frozen in fear. They don’t know what they can do and what they can’t do. They’re numb, fearful and questioning everything.
The business owners in our world are facing some tough issues: Will I lose sales and revenue due to the coronavirus? What if I have to lay people off? How can I keep my team and keep them working hard? How will I continue to provide for my family? How long will this last?
Here are five steps you can start taking now to stop being frozen in fear and move forward with your business, your family and living your life.
Step #1: Communicate Often
You should make an effort to constantly communicate with all of your stakeholders. From your employees to your customers, partners and vendors, stay in communication with them to share how your business is doing and how you can continue to serve them.
While in-person visits may not be ideal at this time, you can always resort to the good old phone, e-mail, videos or webinars. You can bet that if your customers aren’t hearing from you, they are hearing from your competitors.
Step #2: Be a Valuable Resource
While money is always important, now is the time to be a trusted resource and friend to your clients and prospects. People today need bold solutions. If you’re actively bringing solutions to your clients, you become a valuable resource. If they’re simply writing a cheque and never hearing from you – especially in today’s environment – you’ll be first on the chopping block when they have to cut expenses.
Step #3: Lean on People
It’s ironic that the one time we need people more than ever before, we are supposed to socially distance ourselves and stay in our homes. Through video conferencing and web conferencing, work together with your team and your partners to lean on one another. Because nobody has gone through anything like this before, nobody has all the answers. But as a collective group, you will find most every answer you need.
Reach out to business contacts, people in your LinkedIn network that could be a valuable source of help and information. You will have something you can offer them too.
Step #4: Be MORE Than a Business Person
They may be your employees, your colleagues and your clients. But they are PEOPLE first. And just about everyone you interact with in your business world has endless stresses when the workday is done. Their kids are home from school all day getting into who knows what. They’re worried about going to the supermarket and if there will be meat and toilet paper. They’re concerned about keeping themselves and their family healthy.
When your clients and prospects start to see you not just as a business owner, but as a friend and someone who truly cares, that’s when they want to do business with you for life.
Step #5: Be Informed But Not Obsessed
People were glued to their TVs for weeks after 9/11. As a result, although they were informed, they were also more stressed, depressed and fearful. Don’t do that to yourself. Yes, it’s prudent to know how to “flatten the curve” and protect your family, but watching too much news or social media right now can dominate your thinking and actions. That can negatively impact your business.
During this otherworldly pandemic, it’s good to have a little fear. To keep us safe. To keep us making good decisions. However, if you want to ensure your business is stable and growing, to help your family cope and get through this, you should take these steps to rise above the fear.
If you any immediate IT concerns or if you need help in setting your business up so your employees can work remotely from home, contact us today.