With stock fluctuations, speculation and unknowns swirling around the coronavirus situation, business owners are focused first on ways to continue doing business. But especially for those who are planning to exit their businesses in the next few years, there is concern about maintaining the value of their business.
First, some general advice….
Don’t panic – stay calm no matter what’s going on around you. Make decisions based on fact, not fear. We do have to navigate this unprecedented event but remember that this is temporary – we WILL come through it. Focus on what you CAN control – your outlook, your attitude, your choice to stay connected with others, and your ability to comply with recommended CDC and public health protocols to keep yourself, your family and your team safe and healthy.
Managing Your Business and Maintaining Its Value
I’ve been fortunate to observe how some very successful entrepreneurs are dealing with the situation and would like to share some of the actions they are taking, along with some advice.
- Keep it Going
- Be there – keep your business operating as normally has possible.
- Continue to maintain accurate records and know your data.
- Optimize your use of technology. I have become an even bigger fan of Zoom for meetings with clients, networking and even a happy hour.
- Stay abreast of what’s going on in your industry and with your competitors.
- Support Your Staff
- As a leader, model rational thinking and positive actions.
- Allow, encourage, or perhaps require your people to work at home when at all practical. Be proactive in providing what they need to do so, and check in with them regularly, not only about their work but their personal well-being.
- If your business has been included in the “Essential Businesses” designation, provide your work force with documentation of such on company letterhead, along with your contact information.
- To minimize fear of the unknown, keep your staff informed about developments within your company, how you will be supporting them, any changes that are expected, and plans that are being made.
- There are now federal programs in place to aid small businesses and workers. But if it becomes absolutely necessary to cut, consider reducing wages temporarily rather that laying off or dismissing staff members.
- Connect with Customers and Meet their Needs
- Be there for your customers and stay connected. Check on their personal well-being as well as their business needs.
- Set yourself apart by finding ways to become the “go to” choice for what you offer.
- Continue to stand behind your products and services.
- Consider special offers or payment plans to both help and retain clients and customers.
- There are opportunities for every business to fill a need – be on the lookout for those opportunities within this situation. One of my clients has successfully liquidated stale inventory because of the current need.
- Consider adapting your business plan and model to meet needs that arise. For example, a client of mine has added basic grocery necessities to the product line at his deli and includes those in his new delivery service. A major restaurant in Golden is providing groceries as well.
- Better Yourself and Your Business
- Use this time to review and refine your strategy.
- Assess whether operations align with strategy.
- Review and tweak your long-term business plan.
- Update processes and documentation.
- Consider refreshing your marketing plan.
- Be aware of issues this situation brings to light and use that awareness to make improvements. For example, are there ways you can better communicate with customers? What are some ways you can more effectively engage, motivate and reward your staff?
You’ve been successful at building your business. Stay the course! Focus on what you’re doing and how you’re doing it to help preserve and maintain your current value. Remember that you’re not at a disadvantage – all businesses are facing this same challenge. We are all in this together. I am here for you. Please contact me and let me know how I can help.