Pandemic Checklist: Part 1
This is not the 2020 you planned for.
As a business owner, you have concerns and questions about the economic impact of the pandemic on the business environment. I can’t predict the future, but I can share valuable tips on how to respond to these challenges and ensure your business stays successful.
This is the first in a series of emails on managing your business through the pandemic and beyond. I’ll cover a lot of valuable information on what we as business owners should be doing, starting with three steps you can take right now.
Tip 1: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
When we don’t communicate we create fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), and FUD leads to chaos. Clear messaging, on the other hand, informs, reassures, and motivates.
Businesses communicate to different audiences, and effective communications are customized to each audience. Here are some of the audiences you should communicate with immediately about the status of your business:
- Your team
- Your customers
- Your networks
- Your suppliers and stakeholders
- Your community at large
Here are examples of the kind of information you should share:
- When are you open
- How are you operating
- What’s different from the way you usually operate
- What should they expect from your business in terms of future communications, services, availability of products, and financial items
- What is the best way to get in touch with you
Mass media is generating an overwhelming amount of messaging. If you don’t own your messages, your audiences will rely on mass media to make assumptions about your business.
Tip 2: Be Positive
Every day, you have a choice: how will you show up at work? A positive mindset is a game-changer.
Let’s face it, this won’t be easy on anyone, but panic and worry accomplishes nothing. Here are ways to stay positive:
- Look for small wins every hour of the day. Celebrate successes.
- What’s your business’s most prized possession? For grocery stores, it’s toilet paper — as soon as they restock the shelves, they are selling out of product. What do you offer that everyone wants now? What is your toilet paper?
- Cut back on news. Stay informed, stay aware, but don’t spend the day reading news commentary and opinions.
Tip 3: Don’t Argue with the Facts
The pandemic is a fact, not a matter of opinion. We can’t pretend nothing has changed.
FACT: Work, shop, and entertain now take place at home: for example, in a number of cities, residents can’t leave home except for essentials or if they are exempt from shelter-in-place
FACT: Distribution methods have changed: for example, many types of businesses have adopted drive-by and no-contact deliveries
FACT: Supplier/supply change will change: for example, businesses that rely on Chinese production have already seen the impact of the pandemic
YOUR CHALLENGE: Accept and adjust to the new normal to be successful. Things are changing daily. We don’t have to like it, but we do have to be quick, be nimble, and be decisive in charting a new course.
If you would like to learn more about how this might apply to your business, let’s talk: