18 Mar How do I run my business during these trying times?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken our world and turned it upside down. How we run our businesses, our cities and towns and frankly are lives looks nothing like it did a mere 7 days ago. We are in a haze of fear. Fear makes decision making very challenging.
I have spent the last week living in a form of triage helping my clients navigate through the constantly changing world. I am not a business coach, and I do not have an MBA, but I’d like to share just four thoughts with you and help in some small way.
Tell your customers what is going on. For those of you in business a long time, your customers are worried about you too. Share any changes to your office hours or staffing. In the event you need to close, try and continue communication through social media. If you have a POS system or a database of emails, communicate on a regular basis. Add a banner to your website with an update on your business hours or changes in your service. Your customers want to hear from you.
Look for options.
Social distancing is a necessity to keep this virus at bay and curtail it from spreading. Products and services must be delivered in person, but do they? Training companies, business coaches, even gym classes can utilize the technology tools that exist today. Many of them have a free version. Ok, is it as good as you are in person? Maybe not, but it provides a much-needed interaction for both parties that are alone in their homes working for the first time. Remote learning, working, and communicating is where we live right now.
Time and money are at a premium right now. Business has changed and for many working remotely they are faced with that challenge and a full house of their spouse, pets, and children. I can tell you having my college (athlete) sophomore home is harder for him than for me. Looks for ways to coexist.
You did not do this.
Business are hurting financially and emotionally. The situation at hand has been caused by a microscopic villain, not because of anything, or any decision any business owner has made. We have not experienced anywhere near a national upheaval like this since the days and weeks following 9/11. I have a friend who owns a market/restaurant. She and her husband have put their heart and soul into the business, and they see it slipping away. Support them. Support small business when you can and pick up that take out pizza or fish taco. It will do both your souls some good.
Be safe and stay healthy.
I hope this helped a little bit. Keeping fear at bay is exhausting and quieting the mind has never been something I can easily do…. but I am trying. Take an hour one morning, pour a cup of Joe, and hand write a note to your customers. It is cathartic for you and welcoming for them! Look for low cost ways to work new products or services into your business. Ever thought about starting a blog? Are you a designer that just has some ideas for greeting cards? open an Etsy account.
In the meantime, be safe and stay healthy. If you start to get antsy, call me or FaceTime me. Because when all this dust settles, our world is going to look quite a bit different and we will need to work together to get it back. I am all in for that.