The world seems to be spinning backwards. Just a few weeks back the economy was roaring. Now here we are, small business owners who are experiencing lost revenues, the fear of financial disaster, and the information on the internet and social media are constantly telling everyone that it is going to get worse. What are we to do?
Verify The Information You Read
There’s a lot of misinformation circulating on the internet and social media. Rather than spend your time on questionable sources, visit https://www.cdc.gov .
Put This Situation Into Perspective.
Realize that in the US alone, during this 2019 to 2020 flu season we have experienced 38 million to 54 million cases of the flu with 24,000 to 62,000 deaths* (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/preliminary-in-season-estimates.htm). These results are similar to what United States citizens experience every year. At the writing of this article the entire world has experienced approximately 44,000 COVID19 deaths and the US has 3,600 deaths. Certainly 2,900 deaths are horrible. But why haven’t we had a crisis every year over many more flu deaths?0
Count Your Blessings
We are still blessed when we realize that we still have our family and friends. We live in a free country. We have plenty of food and beautiful weather as well! We now also have more time to spend with family and friends. Take a moment, go outside and breathe in the fresh air and smell the flowers!
Know What’s Really Happening in Your Local Community.
I talked with my family doctor yesterday about getting a prescription refill. He suggested that I come in for my annual checkup. I told him that with all the information out there I had been hesitant to come in because of how busy he must be with this crisis. He said, “Heck no, we’ve been bored. People are staying home.”
Certainly we realize that some areas of the country such as New York, Washington State, and California have a more serious situation, but we should also stay on top of what’s really happening in our local community and compare facts with our area’s population. The same is true if you have a business in one of these “hot spots.” Compare the statistics with your population size to calculate the percentage of cases and deaths. For example the number of cases in New York at the time of this article is less than 1% of the population. Granted, New York City is densely populated in a similar way as China. We will likely see many more cases and deaths in areas like that.
Help Other Businesses and People You Know.
Currently there are over 163,000 US cases of COVID19 and it’s growing rapidly at this time. Do your part to help these people, other business owners, these communities and the health professionals with money, resources and your gratitude to them for their selfless service. If your team helps others, this will help you all to keep things in perspective. We all need to wash our hands frequently and keep them out of our orifices, and maintain our social distancing.
Reduce Fear by Sharing the Truth Frequently With Your Team.
Meet with your team frequently and share cdc.gov results. Share what’s happening in your local community. Share your business results. Keep your team informed about actions you are taking to preserve the business and their jobs. Allow your team to express their fears but then correct their misinformation with facts.
Stay Close in Touch With Your Customers.
Contact your customers via zoom, phone and other ways to serve them and show them that you care.
Offer Added Value Services to Your Customers.
Now is the time to over deliver on your promises to your customers. Find new ways to help them and take action!
Apply For Help From the CARE Act.
Many small businesses will receive financial help from the Small Business Administration. Here is a link to apply: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/apply-for-disaster-loan/index.html
Take Action Now to Cut Out Unnecessary Expenses
One of my clients co owns a used car dealership along with his wife. After facing his fears, he went through each check that he writes every month and cut out some expenses. Then he contacted all his other vendors and renegotiated his agreement with them. Results: he reduced his expenses by $4,300 per month plus $1,900 for April and his landlord offered him lower monthly rent.
Delay Other Expenses
Other clients have contacted banks, vendors, and landlords to delay payments due during the next few weeks and months. Everyone realizes that we are all in this together. At this time many will be open to working with you.
Brainstorm With Your Team To Improve Your Results.
Get a flip chart with some markers. (If you are working from home then use zoom.us screen share and a Word document). Lead your team to find new ways of doing business. Identify new services that you can provide. Find ways to save money. Do this at least once a week.
Catch Your Employees Doing Things Right.
Reinforce what is really important to your business. Things like customer service, helping others, teamwork, saving money, and winning sales; catch your employees doing things right. Make a big deal about their positive acts in front of your other employees.
Stay Busy and Keep Your Employees Busy to Reduce Fear.
Now is the time to make changes that you have wanted to make for so long. Keeping yourself and your employees busy will reduce fear and keep everyone focused on productive things.
Don’t Stop Marketing Your Business.
There are hundreds of Guerilla Marketing (low cost or no cost) Strategies that you can deploy to market your business. Now is the time to get busy doing these, so that you can capture more business now and be ready to rocket your business when this crisis passes. Check out this blog post Creative and Free Ways to Grow Your Business.
Join Our Mastermind Group.
No charge to the first 100 qualified businesses. For more information check out the: Business SurThrival Skills Mastermind Group
Don’t Give Up. During times like this we can remember another leader hero who spoke when it appeared that all was lost; “We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” Winston Churchill
As long as you keep fighting for your family, fighting for your customers, and fighting for your team members, you are not finished. Keep fighting!