Firstly, I want to wish you the best of health for you and your people.
Secondly, to support you navigate this tough (and uncertain) time, we have put together 17 tips that you can review and consider for the health of your business.
You can read them below and take action.
Lastly, you have seen previous challenges, war, 9/11, 2008 crisis, foot & mouth disease..
…let’s control the controllable, do our part and take MASSIVE action.
More power to you!
Kapil & all the team at All-Ireland Business Foundation
Managing Director – AIBF
#1 Don’t be an OSTRICH by burying your head in the sand and ignore the reality.
2020 is a different world now – you need to accept it & steer your boat accordingly.
No matter what you planned last year for your business in 2020 – it probably needs to change.
From fighting over toilet paper to sanitizer – we will be seeing a different buying pattern from your customers. So your plans and forecasts need to shift.
We’ll have to adapt and make changes (and many will be forced upon us). Constantly re-frame your understanding of what’s happening and adapt.
“Great generals should issue commands in the morning and change them in the evening” – Chinese proverb.
#2 Health is your No 1 PRIORITY
It is absolutely critical not to take any chances as you are the driving force and engine of your business.
Put your personal care, your family and your employees first. Be sure you are healthy; physically, mentally, and financially.
#3 Your Team Morale
Your team morale will likely be down with market uncertainty and job risks.
How are you communicating to your team about what’s going on in the company?
Good or bad, you need to communicate with them DAILY, even if it’s only a 2 min catch up.
Share with them what’s changing, the next thing. What as a team can you do to combat this situation?
Here’s a tip: Be the cheerleader of your team or appoint someone in your team.
#4 Your Customers, Network & Suppliers
For example, I got an email FROM KLM – they sent an email about new policies on HYGIENE and that you can switch and no penalties…
You’ve got to communicate with your customers (past and current) – assure them, reassure them about business as usual.
Tell them – what you’re doing, how you’re doing your service/product delivery (if any delays) etc.
Also communicate with your social media networks, your suppliers and other stakeholders.
Remember the virus is spread physically by people, but it’s spread mentally by the media. If you miss the Twitter hashtag or news, you’ll hear it again tomorrow.
Rather than watching news OVERLY – you can take advantage of this slow period to REFLECT. Spend time THINKING about your business SHIFT.
Think about that pending website update or working on repositioning your brand story or that next marketing campaign or the book you always wanted to write!
Take advantage of this extra time to tackle those pending to-do items on your list that you’ve constantly procrastinated due to NO-time.
When things will be back to normal this extra planning will ACCELERATE your success and you will recover faster.
Be Ready For A Changed World!
#6 Look for the SILVER LINING…
Every time there are massive shifts and changes, there’s an opportunity. You need to be looking for the opportunities right now. Where are the chances for you to do better?
Shift your perspective.
#7 Be the cheerleader of your industry
In the current climate where everyone is talking the same stories – can you be a cheerleader for people around you?
People are not looking for more negativity, they will naturally gravitate to the people and brands who are positive about what’s going on. So be that positive person.
#8 Cut the excess FAT from the system
Let’s make sure our businesses survive in six months. Cash right now is going to be king. Shift to a leaner, faster, better business.
Don’t wait for Titanic to go half way – if you know you’ll need to cut-back (pay, bonuses, spend) on certain things, do it sooner.
There is going to be light at the end of the tunnel. How far away the end of the tunnel is, I can’t predict and neither can you.
If you can stop spending on unnecessary things – do it now.
Now, that doesn’t mean you stop on marketing/sales or activity that help your business grow – because cutting this side will KILL the business.
Adapt a NOT-NOW attitude.
Think about where can you reduce your outlays
Where can you go and renegotiate your fees
Your costs and that sort of thing?
#9 Secure your credit
The new govt schemes – utilise them. Go and secure your extra cash. Banks are still lending right now. Act now before it goes crazy and secures your cash to sustain.
You want them now you want that extension of credit so that you have the ability to be able to fund your business during this time.
#10 Remote Working
It is happening but depending upon your industry it may not be the option.
So what infrastructure is required for such and if remote working is not an option how will you tackle your staff?
One of our Business All-Stars mentioned that their staff came forward and suggested – if required, that some of them would be willing to take unpaid leave to support them through the tough time.
#11 Your existing customers
Get the database of your existing and past customers and open the conversation. Remember they know you. They TRUST you.
The conversation will Lead to Sales Conversion.
#12 Leverage Technology – Find alternatives that work for your business
As people may not want to meet or talk, you can be creative. There is always away!
Consider switching to phone calls, teleconferences (using services such as Skype, Zoom) or staying in touch with customers via live streaming (e.g. Facebook Live or Instagram Live).
#13 Look into business interruption insurance
Ask your insurance broker about business interruption insurance to cover unexpected major events and see what qualifies for coverage.
It may not cover this emergency, but you’ll be better prepared for the next time.
#14 Shift In Your Marketing and Selling – Don’t Hard Sell, Show Support
I can’t emphasise enough on this. The first thing on your agenda IS to keep selling.
However people are in panic mode and thinking differently, so you’ve got to be thinking about your marketing from that perspective.
The most important question you should be asking yourself right now is not ‘How can I sell more?’. Instead, it is ‘How can we support our customers during this time?’.
Focusing solely on sales in the current situation will not do your brand any favors – in fact, it may work against it.
BE HELPFUL and people will still buy from you.
The support from your brand doesn’t have to be as extreme. I saw Hotel Doolins support for local people on food, this was an incredible act of goodwill and gesture on their part.
#15 Match Value Prop With Market Realities
“A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.”
You may be able to modify your company’s value proposition to conform to the realities of the market. For instance, a product that enhances productivity can be sold as a revenue generator in an “up” market and as a cost-saver in a “down” market.
How can you pivot your value proposition/product?
#16 Prepare now for the next crisis.
This is not going to be a one-off challenge. We should expect more in the future. Preparing for the next crisis (or the next phase of the current crisis) now is likely to be much more effective than an ad hoc, reactive response when the crisis actually hits.
#17 Lastly: “Control the Controllable” and KEEP THE FAITH
We have seen 9/11, 2008 crisis, World War, Foot & Mouth disease..
Like in the past, Stick in there, THIS, TOO, SHALL PASS
More power to you!