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If you're in business long enough you're going to have to endure some kind of economic crisis. In my professional career we haven't gone more the eight years without a major disruption to the economy.
While the current crisis regarding COVID19 is serious, it only represents another in an unending series of external challenges any business owner will face.
Understanding how a crisis impacts you and what you can do about it is vital to the survival of your business. In this episode we'll discuss some ideas about how to put a plan together and tips on implementing it.
Let's bridge that crisis!
For more detailed information listen to the audio version of the podcast or watch the livestream recording.
- Resource Management
- Self Care
Restore Your Calm
It's okay not be feel okay right now (not my line but I love it!). So the idea of 'remaining calm' is pretty much out the window. In the absence of that... we need to find a way to restore our calm and get back to a place where we can make objective and rational decisions about our business.
Take Care of Your Head
These aren't new:
- Eat right
Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.
Make a Plan
Get the Facts
I can't overstate this. It is SO important to get in a good place in your head and then start digging up the facts... the real impacts on your business. This is not what we fear will happen but what we can see IS happening.
Make a Practical Plan
Create a realistic action plan that reflects the following:
- Actions you can take
- Resources you have at your disposal
- Business elements over which you have control
Identify Possible New Revenue Streams
- Look at not only how to deliver your normal products & services using no-touch channels.
- Are there ways you can deliver VALUE in a different way?
Cut Expenses You Don't Need
I run a pretty lean business as a rule but it's important to look at what expenses are out there and whether or not you REALLY need them.
For a quick win... check the automated subscriptions on your credit cards. Do you need to continue them?
Trim Expenses You Can
Maybe you can't completely eliminate an expense but see if there are ways you can use fewer resources or services and still provide the service or product that your customers have come to expect.
Defer Expenses and Investments That Can Wait
This may not be the best time for that big capital expense. Having said that, if your cash can support a big purchase there's a whole supply chain that will be grateful for your business right now!
Pay What You Can
The best thing we can do for the market economy right now is find ways to keep money moving. This means that paying for what we can even in times of crisis.
Pay what you can but stay in control of your cash!
Work With Vendors/Customers Early & Often
It's an uncomfortable call to make but it's important to contact vendors early and let them know if you're going to have to defer payments. They will appreciate your communication and be more apt to work with you as we move through this crisis. When you call them, call them with a plan... not just a problem. Be ready to discuss where things are, how you expect to handle them and what a reasonable payment schedule would look like. Start the discussion with a proposal and an open mind... you may be amazed (and hopefully grateful) at the outcome!
It follows that we need to be receptive to the fact that our own customers may also have problems and need our understanding. Put some thought into how you might reply to this when a customer calls and have some ideas about how you can be of service.
Make a Good Plan
Don't worry about having the 'best' or a 'perfect' plan. You don't have time for that. This is time for a good plan that you can put together quickly and begin acting on immediately to save your business.
Block Time and Act Now
Block the time on your calendar or however you manage your time to complete specific actions from your plan. Dedicate that time and use it.
Okay so this whole post is basically practical action so I'll just add that you can't wait on this stuff. You need to get your head right, get the facts, make the plan and then implement it immediately. For many of us (that's 'us' me included) this will mean taking action that hurts. I wish I could do an episode that would make that go away but when we signed up to be entrepreneurs and business owners... this is part of what we signed up for.
Do what you want to do least... first.
After I did the show I realized that the whole concept of 'crisis management' is a misnomer. What we really need to be discussing is 'resource management during crisis'. It's impossible to manage a crisis... it's out of our control... that's way it's a crisis. What we can do is manage the resoruces we have available to us in the most beneficial way possible to get through it.
Have you found any tips that are helping you operate during this craziness? Drop a comment below and share what's working!
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