(This information is accurate as of March 13th 2020.)
Just when we think the world can’t move any faster, it does. Like many of you, my thoughts and actions around the coronavirus (COVID-19) have changed rapidly in the last 48 hours. It feels almost as if life itself may never be the same, and if you are watching the news, it seems like a certainty.
However, we’ve felt this before, and we will feel it again. All we can do in this moment is control and manage ourselves, which is quite a lot. Now is not the time for a fear-based reaction, but a time for conscious action. My first word of advice to us all, is to breathe… but maybe not in a crowded room.
To help us business owners stay as far away from fear-based decisions as possible it is critical we ensure our loved ones are minimizing their risk of exposure and we’re all doing our part to minimize the risk of exposure to those most vulnerable. It is also vital to be knowledgeable on what you can do to prepare your workplace for COVID-19
How long this will be the new normal no one can say, but there are some things that are certain:
- Some institutions will flourish amidst the chaos and fear
- Some institutions will fundamentally alter the way they do business and serve customers
- Some institutions will fail
Our team gathered together to come up with our ideas on how your business can weather this storm and come out stronger on the other side.
- Communicate. Communicate with your clients. Communicate with your employees. Communicate with your vendors. Communicate with your trusted advisors. Communicate until someone tells you to pipe down. In times of uncertainty the best thing we can do to stay grounded and connected is communicate freely.
- Plan. Don’t wait and see. Get on a Zoom call or Google Hangout or GoToMeeting with your team and sketch out a plan. It doesn’t have to be pretty and it doesn’t have to be detailed, but it needs to get you all singing from the same hymnal. We will all need to accelerate the rate at which we make decisions. Planning will be critical to making the best decisions possible.
- Think outside the box. Necessity is the mother of invention. If you are one of those people who find yourself saying “this is how we’ve always done it”, this is your time. Stay open to possibility and iterate as you can. You most likely will find a better, more efficient and more effective way of working if you let yourself.
- Become a Futurist. As people work and take classes remotely will many want to do more of that or will they miss their co-workers so much that they think they never want to go through that again? What impact will that have? How might you need to position your business to succeed in the world that emerges from this.
- Use Cash Wisely. Cash is KING (or Queen). In times like this it is imperative to be as liquid as possible to stay nimble and leverage any opportunities that might come your way.
- Analyze Your Debt. The Fed made its first emergency rate cut since the financial crisis of 2008 on March 3, and it likely won’t be the last of the year according to experts. Is now a good time to refinance or take on a new debt to fund a potential investment? Unsure…. Just give us a call, we can help you with that.
- Do the BIG Work. If business does slow, use the opportunity to do the things you’ve been putting off. Do the inventory counting, deep cleaning, team training, strategic planning, marketing planning, voice of customer research, systems analysis…… Take the pause and turn it into an amplifier.
- Take Care of Your Team. Review your leave policies, send them technology care packages, ask how you can support them. 4 in 10 Americans are not prepared for a $400 emergency. What can you do to help your team members stay resilient during these times?
- Advocate for Change. If there is a blessing in all of this, it is that it is clear many of our systems are failing us. When this crisis is over, my hope is the call for change isn’t.
Fortunately, this crisis is occurring at a time when we just went through a historic run of economic expansion and prosperity. Hopefully your business has plenty of cash reserves and will not be severely impacted by the closures, quarantines and cancellations. However, if you find yourself in need of assistance, the SBA announced today that it will be offering Disaster Assistance Loans for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus. If you would like help applying for this program and any other aid that becomes available to the business community, our team here at MACKEY will gladly help free of charge.
Lastly, be flexible and stay informed. This crisis is a daily, fluid situation.
I look forward to seeing you healthy, happy and prosperous on the other side of this very soon.
Sarah Grace Mohr
Chief Operating Officer