Don’t capitalise on chaos: think, plan for the future
Hold tight and ride it out. “Cultivating a resilient way of life means preparing for shocks to the economic system before they occur,” writes Natural Investments’ Michael Kramer, co-author of The Resilient Investor: A Plan for Your Life, Not Just Your Money.
“This crisis is an excellent wake-up call for people to take personal life planning seriously and to develop and embrace a resilient mindset and lifestyle. In theory, a virus shouldn’t be able to bring the global economy to a halt, or even a recession. It is likely a temporary disruption. The prudent course is to hold tight and ride this out.”
Will I have a job in six months? Will we have enough money? How will I pay my rent? What about my bank loans? How can I survive as a service professional? How do I continue to earn as before selling, when face to face time is being discouraged?
Dealing with the uncertainties of life causes stress and anxiety – and there's a lot of uncertainty in the air right now. When it comes to change, we may not always be able to control the outcome, but we can control our response to it. That’s called resilience and it gives you the tools to bounce back from tough situations and thrive in the face of challenges.
One thing we know for sure: it’s no longer business as usual. If you don't continually disrupt yourself, something will eventually come around to disrupt you. This is a disruption that many of us weren't expecting.
While many of us are focused on covid19 the reality is that this crisis will pass, and another disruptor will follow. That’s life.
Dan Weedin, an expert in crisis management, reminds us: “Every crisis – regardless of severity – must attend to three areas for any company: people, process, and supply chain.”
“People” addresses how your employees will be affected. Can they contract the virus? Could they be laid off due to lack of work; is decreased employee morale a concern?
Process is about your internal operation. In the case of the coronavirus it is severely affecting how we communicate. Sales reps may not be able to do face to face visits for example so if this is the only pillar that you’ve been depending on for selling, then you will need to explore other pillars.
Supply chain is about the most critical vendors and contractors to your operations. What if they lose the ability to sustain manufacturing operations and your inventory will be decreased? What if they can't buy from you because they are merely trying to survive?
If you don’t have a business continuity plan, then now is a great time to create one. At the very least, you can start by creating an organisational plan around this current coronavirus crisis. A business continuity plan is your organisational guide to survival of a peril that threatens your ability to operate. This crisis has already had massive financial and impact if it spreads here in TT as feared, every business can and might be affected. Being ill-prepared is being negligent.
If you are a service professional, you need to focus on the work you can do remotely. If you have lots of work that requires you to be on-site, talk to your clients to ask if remote options could be made available. Rather than presenting problems to your clients, make suggestions and offer solutions.
Now is the time for you to perhaps learn to use tools that you may not have needed in the past.
You may need to consider:
• How to design and run webinars?
• How to conduct a virtual meeting?
• How to start and grow a newsletter as a platform for communication?
Now is not the time to bury your head in the sand and hope for the best. Now is the time to be proactive. Ask yourself some hard questions:
1. How will my work be affected? Is the lion share of my income from sources which are likely to get cancelled – eg seminars, workshops or public speaking. How can I plug the gap?
2. Will I be able to weather this disruption, both financially and structurally? Do I have enough clients? If I lost a client – would I be okay?
3. What will I do if I get sick and can’t work?
The point is not to raise panic but for you to consider and understand clearly where your risks lie so you can put contingency measures in place.
Laura Ortiz of SVX Mexico says, “This is not an era of changes; it is a change of era.”
Now is a really good time to stress-test your business. Don’t get lost in the sea of chaos. Stay focused, remain centred and start looking for proactive ways to minimise the inevitable impact of the coronavirus.
Whether you got off to a slow start in building your business, feel as if you keep chasing after solutions but not getting results, or feel as if you’re not earning revenue fast enough - send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for the book, An Entirely Realistic Approach to Getting Clients Fast
"Don’t capitalise on chaos: think, plan for the future"