In times of crisis, it is not so much what you do but how you do it that makes a difference. The way you deal with your employees and customers in times of distress can go a long way to how you will emerge once the crisis is over. You may be asking at this point how do I keep my business afloat?
The first area to look at is to see where you can reduce costs to the bare minimum so you can keep your business viable.
We know that many businesses cannot operate during this time. If you are a service-based business, for instance, you are not able to make house calls or see clients in person.
What ways can you still provide service? Can you see them virtually? Can you deliver your service in another way?
Could you, for instance, make a do it yourself video for a customer and have the product delivered to them?
This is where thinking outside the box comes in to play. It’s also where you can make huge strides in differentiating yourself from your competition. Creating a deep and wide moat allows you to control your destiny and step into a category of one. Adversity can create opportunities.
One thing is certain, the business that is present, caring and helpful during these times is the one that people will remember. Hand-holding, in this case, virtual hand-holding, is a trait that customers and employees can both appreciate.
Look at ways that will allow you to maintain some form of cash flow. By offering cards for future services, or advance payment with a discounted offer for services in the future.
A colleague of mine is developing a financial services platform. Even though they had to slow down the build-out of the platform, they can still stay relevant in a low-cost way that will bring in cash flow by offering gift cards that will reach the same target audience.
If you are under a lease, you need to address the situation with your landlord. Can you arrange to lower payments for some time? If you are the landlord can you offer your tenants a break that will ensure they will survive this during the time and when things improve? Do not forget that there are many government programs offering assistance. Make sure you are aware of and avail yourself of all that is being provided. Assisting your employees to apply for these programs is also a great way to repay them for their hard work and ensure they return to work when full operations resume.
The obstacles we face today may seem like huge boulders but in fact, can be the stepping stones on which you cross to a successful future.
Rick Moore CEO, ActionCOACH Canada
Rick is well into his third decade of working with business owners to achieve their dreams and goals. He has financed and advised both public and private businesses. He has co-founded two companies, sat on several boards, and worked as a coach and consultant. It is in coaching business owners where Rick finds his passion. Each day he brings his strong belief that every business deserves to succeed. Rick is an author and public speaker. Populating Canada with the best trained, and most inspired coaches is his mission.