7 steps to gain clarity for your business during COVID-19
Even if the crisis does not seem to have had an immediate financial impact on your business yet, take control right now.
Crises like the one we are facing cause stress and panic in consumers.
1. Take Control
Even if the crisis does not seem to have had an immediate financial impact on your business yet, take control right now. Crises like the one we are facing cause stress and panic in consumers.
Unfortunately, many professionals stop spending and investing in new projects when things are uncertain. For that reason, no matter where you are in the process, centralise and seize control of the direction of your business immediately. As the leader of your company, you should re-centre all strategic and financial decisions to you and other senior leaders you trust.
You then need to lead from the front by demonstrating how to be courageous and make the right decisions as you navigate uncharted waters. By being visible and modelling this, you can demonstrate your clarity and understanding of the situation whilst showing the confidence you feel in the decisions you’ve made about how to proceed.
2. Focus on Protecting Core Revenue
The truth of the matter is: we’re just seeing the start of the economic fallout of the crisis. Demand for services has already started to drop, so, make sure your senior team are totally focussed on protecting the core business now. Assume the economy will not be back for at least the next 6-12 months. Make sure you take all the steps you can to protect your core revenue (and keep digging deep to cut and minimise expenses).
3. Don’t get stuck on old plans
Of course, you have a business plan you’ve been following to grow and flourish. Most likely, however, you haven’t been following a business plan that also factor in a worldwide pandemic and recession. So, don’t cling stubbornly to the plan you’ve been working with. Instead, reimagine your future quickly in this new landscape and commit to a new plan.
4. Communicate Your New Ideas Clearly and Quickly
When you’ve come up with new plans and strategies, to add value to your customers communicate them clearly and quickly–both inside the company and your clients. The sooner people know about your vision to sustain and drive your business, the more confident they will be in your leadership.
5. Be Very Careful With Your Cash
It goes without saying, but cash is King in any crisis. Crises always hit the balance sheet, since people feel scared to (or can’t) spend. The economic impact often ends up being far deeper than you anticipated. It also usually lasts longer. So, when planning for the foreseeable future in the COVID-19 crisis, make cash the first priority for your business.
There are some ways to do this (some are simple, and some are more complicated). First, cut all unnecessary expenses and luxury costs, like software, satellite offices and other non-core subscriptions.
You may also need to change the size of your team or the amount they work. If you want to try to save your team during the crisis, consider looking for ways to reduce hours. This will minimise the amount of money you have to pay out until things return to normal, but still, take care of your staff. Once you’ve stabilised expenses… then it’s time to think about how to continue to thrive in this crazy time. One of the best ways to win is just to focus on survival!
6. Don’t Hesitate to Get Some Outside, Objective Advice
It’s okay to feel unsure and overwhelmed about the best things for your organisation to do right now. One helpful way to face your fear is to bring an external, independent advisor to challenge and correct blind spots. Someone who is not so emotionally steeped in the situation can help you make the smartest, best decisions for moving forward.
7. Take Some Time Alone to Tune Out Noise and Get Your Head Clear
The greatest personal risk for any leader in a crisis is losing perspective.
Make sure you take enough time alone to sit and hear your own thoughts. Don’t get led astray by other people’s panic and anxiety. Continue to listen to and trust your intuition as you move forward.
If you’re a business leader, it’s natural for you to constantly be thinking about how to win. It’s also completely natural for you to feel uncertain about how to do that in this strange, unfamiliar time. However, in the era of the COVID-19 crisis, it’s important to remember that “winning” in this scenario might look different than normal. It may, perhaps, simply look like surviving.
Keep the 7 steps above in mind for the foreseeable future and get clear about what’s happening at your organisation. Then, continue some smart, strategic, forward movement. Hopefully, you will find that at the end of these uncertain economic times, you have a business that is stronger and more prepared to brave any storm it encounters—and perhaps to even thrive through it.
For more information about how to gain control of your finances in these uncertain times, check out our 4 video series on How to Navigate Uncertainty during this global health crisis.