Get Positive In Uncertain Times
Let’s face it. We are living in an unfamiliar, uncertain world these days. It can leave a small business owner feeling both mentally and financially stressed. We feel it too. We are small business owners who are riding out this health crisis and waiting for the world to get back to normal. There is a lot of talk about how small businesses will survive, and with this in mind, we’ve written about how we are managing and providing advice on how you can manage these stressful times too.
Now more than ever we need to stay calm and not make impulsive, irrational decisions. While everything in our world is uncertain, we need to remember that it is only temporary, and we need to ride it out with both calmness and patience. If you start to panic, so will your customers.
Create A Plan For The Future
In the contract/consulting business, we’re used to riding out the highs and lows of the business cycle. Over the last 10 years of operating our business, we’ve adjusted our cash flows and planned for uncertain times. But cash flow can be challenging if you are in the start-up phase. Or maybe you’ve never devised a contingency plan for economic downfalls. If you’re in this situation, now is the time to start thinking about a contingency plan for unexpected times that could happen again in the future.
It doesn't matter if you're in an economic downfall already, refer to point 1 - don't panic, and start to write out a plan.
Support Each Other
We’re all in this together. We’re all faced with the uncertain feeling of wondering whether our business will financially survive and whether our customers will stay and return when all of this is over. Now more than ever we need to stay positive and support each other. It could be as simple as sharing another business’ social media post, or reaching out to them and asking if they need help.
Do As Much As You Can From Home
With the social distancing we are now facing, the typical office life may not be an option. Now may be the time to take a breath, or get caught up on projects you haven’t had time to do, such as filing, or updating your web-site. With so many on-line options available, take a course, read, or learn a new skill. It's also a great time to look at the mobility of your office and ways that you can make changes so future events will have less impact on you.
Reach Out To Your Customers
Your customers are worried too. Reach out to them and put them at ease. Let them know that you are still here for them and will continue to be here for them when this is all over. You may also be struggling with what to say and how to say it. It’s a delicate balance between communicating that you are still in business (you still need to keep the lights on!) and being sensitive to what is currently happening in the world. Messages of hope and community, as well how you can help meet their current needs given the recent situation seem to be working for other businesses. Just don’t come across as too pushy – the world is very unpredictable right now.
Many businesses are offering take-out, home or curb-side delivery. Consider developing or ramping up your on-line products and services. Get creative and figure out how you can still stay connected to your customers.
What advice do you have for other small businesses?