In a matter of just a few short weeks, we have gone from living how we’ve always lived to changing just about everything we do. Schools are out for weeks if not months. Cruises have stopped sailing, and air transportation may be next. Bars and restaurants are closing, sporting events are nonexistent and so many people are now unemployed. If you watch the news or follow social media and see the number of infected keep rising, you can’t help but wonder when (or if) life will return to normal.
As a result of these unprecedented life changes over such a short time, many people today 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.
I believe that the accomplished and determined business owners in our world are facing a unique brand of fears: Will I lose sales and revenue due to the coronavirus? What if I have to lay people off? How can I retain 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 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 to your partners and vendors, stay in contact 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 ol’ phone, email, 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 check 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, your partners and your Accountability Groups 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.
Step #4: Be MORE Than a Businessperson.
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 vendor, but also 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 and your life.
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 need immediate IT support or if you need help setting your business up so your employees can work remotely from home, contact us today.