Right now, here and around the world, it looks as if life, commerce, people will remain in a significant isolation period for a while. The small business leaders I spoke with last week all express great concern for the sustainability of their enterprises. Although no one knows when our world will head back to being a more familiar place, we should all be planning for that time while anticipating what the nature of more normal days will actually be like.
While we all share this new world experience, we each have the opportunity to access our perspectives, management styles, beliefs, and responses (and not only around our businesses). This at-home closeness, the intermission and reality check period that has suddenly opened to over half of the world’s population, is expected to become a significant and inspiring time in many ways.
May I suggest this to those owners and key players in entrepreneurial companies worried about the future. Turn your worry into creative energy, that way when we look back at these “inspiring” times, you’ll be glad you grasped the notion, took the initiative and examined functions with new perspectives. Look beyond today’s financial circumstances to greater efficiencies, better managing and motivating, new offerings and creative business development ideas.
Here are some good areas to focus on right now:
- Uncover what the business can do to generate revenue with its current customer base (upsell/cross-sell)?
- Look at new products and services that are consistent with your business that clients could benefit from immediately?
- Develop a strategy for a longer-lasting event?
- Consider best practices for managing in contingency mode
- Forecasting – Predicting the rebound, production adjustments, inventory control
- Sales and collections –Tactfully determine when it will be OK to promote business again
- Employee needs, retention and team building
- Securing your business model through development of a detailed operating manual. This one measure can off-load most tactical, redundant, rapid-fire and, nuisance-type pressures (all successful businesses and every US-based franchise runs with a manual).
There is no bad time to recognize you might not have all the answers. If you need guidance during this period, or a referral to other of the varied professionals (law, accounting, restructuring and much more) with whom I have worked with during 21 years of small business consulting, just let me know. Further, free, 30-minute virtual, business sustainability and leader support consults are available by clicking here. Simply state your specific support requirement in the message section.
Keep family first. Good outcomes to all.