The real question for many of us – is what shall I do about it? How does this impact me?
For many – on a personal level, it it may mean reduced travel, increase personal hygiene and avoid any unnecessary contact with contaminated surfaces or people. But as a business owner, how do you deal with the coming months of uncertainty and likely impact to both staff and your bottom line?
Lets take a practical view of the situation and look at 7 key areas
1. Think about your EXISTING customers
Even though you're expereincing challenges, your clients and customers will be too, so spare a thought for them. What could you do to help them, to reduce problems - by working together we can all help make the coming months easier to navigate
Most importantly, the one thing you can be to your customers right now is USEFUL.
One action point might be helping to create provisions for a product or service they may run low on; or it could be making them aware that you are up-to-speed on the current risks and are taking every action to reduce them for your customers.
2. Initiate Remote Working for employees
With a likely increase in employee sickness, the potential loss of work hours in your business could be significant. Many employees would love the ability to work from home and perhaps you've been less than keen to try it up to now. Well, no time like a crisis to try new things and the current circumstances provide you with the opportunity to trial this and see if it is a long term solution.
3. Reduce unnecessary spending
With future income uncertain, it is a great time to look at all current costs and think about any items that do not add value to your future plans.
Perhaps you signed up to subscriptions and rarely it, perhaps you have domain names you'll never use or maybe you are paying for space that will unlikely get utilized in the near future.
4. Develop a new product/service offering
In times of change then it pays to get creative. We all have a creative spirit and in these times its amazing how open people are to new ways of doing things.
Could you consider an alternative delivery method to an audience? Could this be the perfect time to embrace Video Conferencing for Sales meetings?
Don’t wait for your current sales to dry up before you look for something new.
5. Pick up the (sanitized) phone...... lol
The key in challenging times is to communicate like a professional. You know how easy it is for something to be taken out of context and when tension is high, relationships really do make the biggest difference. Build on your relationships and sped the capital you've built over the years of client committment
Whether it is clients, prospects, suppliers or team members then it could well be the time to not hide behind a keyboard and instead, go old school and have a good old fashioned conversation and something that thinks about their circumstances as well as yours.
With face-2-face conversation it’s possible to find creative solutions around almost any challenge; more so than repeated and dry email exchanges
6. Refine and improve internal processes
You have probably a list of things you have been waiting for a good time to work on. From re-working your web copy, to documenting processes or even preparing your tax documentations. If you have been thinking of working on something for a while, and you know it’s important, why not bury your effort in something practical and meaningful whilst we learn the real extent of the situation?
7. Take a long-term view
Above all else, if you're looking for your business to survive in the long term, make every decision with the long term in mind. Short term planning only gets you to the end of the week. You need to think longer than that to make progress. Protect the relationships, stand by your values and do what’s right by the people that you care about.