We are living through some trying times with high levels of uncertainty, saying the least. While we don’t know the future, we know this will pass, and we can look at the Spanish Flu of 1918 for some guidance. We have some painful times to work through the virus transmission peaking and then tapering off. BUT it will taper off. This will be in our rearview mirror. How long will it be? Estimates are 2 – 6 months. I think six months if we don’t make hard choices now and two months if we do the work today. I am certainly rooting for the 2-month option.
This will pass
Knowing this will pass, what should we do while we work from home, shelter in place, and hope for the best.
Dealing with anxiety
A great antidote to anxiety is a plan. In this situation, we have scenarios to plan for. First is the immediate future, 2 – 4 months. Second, is the longer-term which we can scope at 2 – 4 years.
Focus on your long term plan
Let’s start with the longer-term plan. What do you want your business to look like 2 – 4 years out? How do you want to grow or scale? What new products and services do you want to launch?
Paint a picture in your mind, and then create the plan to reach those goals. With this long term vision in place, we can bring down the immediate anxiety we have, and then be in a better emotional and mental state to deal with the short term plan.
Define your short term plan
While many industries are being disrupted; restaurants, travel, services, others are seeing surges in business that seemed unimaginable just a few days ago. I am calling it the supply chain flip.
The underlying needs of people have not changed. People need food to eat, self-care items, entertainment, connectedness, and many businesses are still operating much like before, just without commuting. Our food is now purchased via takeout or delivery or grocery stores. Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, and even local grocery chains are hiring thousands of workers to meet the switch in the supply chain last mile that used to be served by restaurants. This is just one example of what I am calling the supply chain shift. There are others, and here is where many businesses can look for opportunities to serve people in new ways.
If you operate a nail salon, perhaps you can start a video series on how to do nails yourself, as well as setting up an online store to sell kits that have everything a person would need to do that. This is just an example to get your imagination started. The key point is if we focus on the underlying need for your regular business, and then reinvent the value delivery model to support the supply chain shift.
Will these new models be as profitable as your last? I am not saying they all will be. However, it is not all doom and gloom either. It could very well be these adjustments will help you create new, more scalable and profitable value delivery models.<
Stay engaged with your market and customers
Many people are stuck at home, and frankly bored. Create ways to engage your audience by offering entertaining or educational content to keep your business top of mind. This will end, and when it does, all past evidence points to the fact that businesses will bounce back with a vengeance. The businesses that are proactive now, and top of mind through this, will be the ones people gravitate to once this is over.
Millions of people will be stuck at home for weeks or months. They will emerge with a strong desire for travel, dining, entertainment, and getting back to their routine. Knowing this, we want to use our short term plan and execution to position our businesses for that upswing. Doing so will not only help you maintain sanity through these challenges but also create a connection to your long term plan and your future successes.
Take care of yourself
These times are stressful. Our business is affected by all our client’s businesses and all their client’s businesses. We are all connected, and the uncertainty is high. This is undoubtedly stressful. To help combat this, I am giving myself personal health challenges, involving working out more and taking moments just to breathe. These may not be right for you, but adding healthy moments to your day can help you maintain your mental outlook.
Stay calm. Compartmentalize the situation, Create your long term vision, and short term plan. Take care of yourself.
How we can help
We have helped our existing clients pivot to protect and grow their businesses. All of them are seeing growth over the past few weeks. We want to help more companies do the same.
If you need help with a revised approach for growing your business, we are here to help. If recent events have adversely impacted your business, we can work with you to design a program that fits with your available resources.