The COVID-19 pandemic is first and foremost a health tragedy. Lives are being lost. But that’s not the only way it’s affecting our lives. The global economy is being put to the test and so are our leadership skills. You may have asked yourself a few times, “what do I do now?” That’s okay. This is not something any of us planned for so we’re going to help guide you through it. With things changing by the week, the day, and even the hour, here are some tips that will hold true no matter which direction the winds take your business.
- Now is not the time to retreat.
Social distancing doesn’t require distancing yourself from your work. Your work ethic should be in overdrive. Some of your normal responsibilities may have taken a back-burner but that’s only because there’s more you could be, and should be, developing. Remember those goals from the beginning of the year? Dust those off and tackle them. All of them. See your time quarantined as an opportunity to focus. Buckle down and work harder than ever so when you come out of this crisis, you’re stronger and more prepared for the future.
- Protect your employees.
This is a crisis—treat it like one. Be considerate of your team’s limitations, financial and emotional. Some may have outside stressors you hadn’t considered yet. Establish two-way communication to provide a safe space for them to express their unique needs. Work with them, but also be transparent. Everyone will have to work a little harder to ensure the business comes out on top. During such a stressful time, show confidence and use clear and simple language. Your confidence will dismiss their doubts and help them work towards an optimistic future.
- Create your own coronavirus task force.
You can’t do it all. Set up a leadership team to monitor and report back on changes to each of the following: financial liquidity, supply-chain resiliency, employees’ health and capabilities, and marketing and public response. Countless unforeseen events have already occurred. Understanding how to respond to the next one may take an in-depth analysis of each of these areas. Your dedicated task force should advise you and then be the ones to implement your response.
- Ensure you’re financially prepared.
We’re not saying you should hoard, but you should plan ahead. You should be prepared for things to get worse before they get better. Create scenarios contingent on how things progress. Meet with your financial team to review your current liquidity and what triggers could change that. Have a response for each in place that will stabilize the company. When in doubt, be conservative. Now is not the time to invest in risky endeavors, it’s the time to invest in the value your company offers others.
- Stay in front of your clients.
How many emails have you already received from businesses you’ve honestly forgotten about? Now is the time to reconnect. Use your marketing and advertising budget to connect with existing clients as well as potential ones. Think of all the advertising content that’s being consumed right now. Between social media, TV, and paid online advertising, the cost of advertising is dropping just as the audience is surging. Take advantage and build your brand so clients seek you out when this is over. Offer down-to-earth messaging that showcases what your business represents. For your existing client base, reach out and rebuild trust. Take new steps to roll out the red carpet and offer a high level of service they weren’t expecting, along with an experience they can’t find anywhere else right now.
We Can Help
Our biggest piece of advice is to stay in tune with the spread of the virus, monitor federal and local government mandates, and use language consistent with CDC guidelines. Things will get better. And when they do, you and your team need to be ready to get back to work at full speed. You may have tough decisions to make ahead but we’re here to help. For more in-depth guidance on how to stay successful during the coronavirus pandemic, give us a call at 973-809-5466.