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I know that there is a lot of uncertainty right now. I cannot offer you medical advice or predict what the stock market will do. I can assure you that the pandemic will end, and we will have changed. Right now, you need to take action and control what you can so that you will not only survive, but you will thrive.
First and foremost, communicate, communicate, communicate. Make sure you are taking time every day to communicate with your team, your customers, your network, and your community. Only communicate facts. Tell everyone your current status, about the new and exciting things you are working on and what to expect in the coming weeks. It is important that your associates and customers know that you plan to continue your business. Be positive. Focus on what you can do.
So, what can you do?
Let your network know what services you offer that can help them – writing professional emails to customers, put together a fitness routine to do with their kids, stretches to reduce clenched jaws, host a virtual meeting with others in your industry, or host a virtual trivia game night.
Preserve cash and keep credit lines open. Talk to your bank about options, including low interest loans for small businesses, or an extension of payment terms.
Get creative – how can you use your time or your assets differently? Can you use your vehicles to help with deliveries for other local businesses? Can you offer virtual training for employees, or for other business owners? Do you have space you can offer for storage? Yes, ideally you are looking for ways to generate revenue yet there is also tremendous value if you can positively impact your community. I’m not suggesting you give away your services. I am suggesting that you act with compassion.
Speaking of compassion, we all need to take care of ourselves physically and emotionally. The future seems uncertain at the moment, and the news can be downright frightening. It’s important to take some down time. Nothing new here. Get plenty of rest and eat well to maintain both your physical and emotional well-being. Take a break from the news every so often. Take a walk (while maintaining social distance). Reach out to someone you have been meaning to call or email. Read one of the books you have stacked up for someday. Check on your family and team members to make sure they are taking care of themselves.
Your leadership is needed now more than ever. This crisis won’t last forever, so it is important that we stay calm and emotionally strong for ourselves, our families and our community.
Author: Sandy Merritt, Business Coach in Louisville, KY