For your business, yourself, and your families/friends.
The quick spread of the pandemic has brought a significant hit on the businesses. The entrepreneurs are suffering more, especially for small businesses, and some of them had been open for only a couple of days before shutting down.
Below are the strategies I took before. I also added some great ideas from my friends, who are also entrepreneurs. I hope they can give you inspiration on what actions to take for your businesses.
For your business:
#1 Create a budget plan.
Pay attention to the cash-flow budget. List out every due deadline. Find out any unnecessary costs and cut them off.
#2 Check your insurance.
Confirm what your insurance will and will not cover. Not every insurance covers COVID-19 related losses.
#3 Check the status of the stakeholders, keep frequent communication with them.
The stakeholders include:
- Suppliers, including service suppliers and product suppliers.
#4 Avoid being overwhelmed by bad news. Analyze your situation calmly. Maybe it’s not so bad as you thought.
For instance, the bad economy may decrease the consumptions but the high-end consumers may still have very strong consumption power.
#5 Check the policies and financial support guidelines from the governments and NGOs.
If you are doing businesses in more than one market, say in both the U.S. and U.K., don’t forget to check the policies by the two countries.
#6 If you need loans, do read the details carefully.
If you can, print it out and find several other people to recheck the policies with you. Remember, they are still loans and need to be paid back.
#7 Figure out the strategies with your key team members. However, keep the plan flexible.
No one can foresee what is coming out. Make the movement quick but small.
#8 Create a safe working environment.
Your employees are your assets. Keeping them safe will help you avoid more accidents.
#9 Strengthen the partnership with your partners.
In some cases, you will find new opportunities out of your partners’ new demands. Or you will work together to find out some solutions. In China, some local supermarkets and restaurants worked together to share employees in the pandemic.
#10 Keep an eye on the markets where you haven’t noticed before.
For instance, the markets in other areas, cities, or countries. If you only focused on the markets far away, maybe it is time to dig into the demands in your neighborhood. If you provided the products to businesses, perhaps you can offer products to consumers now instead.
#11 Continue the brand awareness effort and networking.
In the crisis, in the beginning, you’ll somehow never know where the opportunities are. Send the messages about your product and services out, and you may get clients from unexpected places.
#12 If you are still running your business and providing products or services, make sure your customers know about that.
Make it easy for your customers to interact with you.
#13 If you’ve never tried the internet tools or social media tools before, start your research and try them.
#14 Before you sign up for any new programs, make a comparison and read the policies carefully.
Negotiate with the vendors and check if there are any free trials or even efforts to release your financial pressure.
#15 Form a group or join your community to negotiate for a better offer together.
#16 Pay attention to the possible price changes from suppliers.
In the crisis, the costs may change frequently, and your suppliers may have no time to inform you. Assign specific time or employees to pay closer attention to the prices and take actions timely.
#17 Don’t spend too much time on trying to find out the best innovative ideas.
All your competitors have the same problems now. The winner would be the one who makes fewer mistakes or no mistakes. Pay attention to the details.
You would have lots of actions to take; however, it’s critical to identify the most important problems and narrow down your action list to turn it a powerful one.
#19 Acknowledge and celebrate every small improvement or accomplishment with your team.
Accumulated achievements would be the driving force for your organization. Enjoy the “small” things. Show your support and respect to your team.
#20 Review and improve your customer service system.
Customer loyalty is the key to make you go longer than your competitors. Even for the customers who can’t afford the products/services now, they may be your first customers right after the pandemic. In the crisis, maybe your competitors will have no effort in the details related to the customers, but you will. A banner on your website, an email, or a phone call, may help.
#21 Review your messages to your customers.
Maybe you need to modify your words a little bit now, as your customers may have different feelings and attitudes to their needs. You don’t need to have an outstanding agency to deal with it. Just put yourself in their position, make your messages warmth. Sometimes, even a lovely small heart at the end of the note would make a difference.
#22 Talk with your investors.
If you have wise enough investors, they will have plenty of experiences or best practices to share with you.
#23 If some employees resign, accept that calmly.
Don’t treat it as a worse matter. They may leave from your team anyway with or without the pandemic. And it doesn’t mean that you are not a good leader.
#24 Set up a team or have enough time to find out how to support your team in remote work.
It’s not complicated. Don’t be nervous. If they know how to send out the emails or you can read the article now, it means that you will nail it anyway.
#25 Don’t rush to change every strategy you made before.
Analyze the conditions related carefully enough to identify which to improve.
#26 Think of the new trends in the pandemic.
At this stage, things related to home-schooling, baby-care, cooking-at-home, have increased demand. Think it through to find out whether you can have new product lines or services to grasp those opportunities.
#27 Conduct frequent communication or review meetings with your team.
Be honest and make sure everyone knows about what happens and the strategy. That would bring the whole team together and keep the morale up. Your team may come out with more innovative ideas to help solve the problems and promote the products more actively than before.
#28 Make quick and tough decisions if needed.
In a crisis, it would be a disaster if the leader can not show their decision-making ability and leadership.
#29 Mindset: every successful business should go through some disasters in their journey to their successes.
Don’t be afraid that if all the companies in your industry are suffering. Your competitors’ failures in this crisis are making way for you.
#30 Think through your original mind of why you start the business.
Turn it into a new driving force.
#31 Force yourself to sleep well.
I understand it’s hard, but it is vital. Try some methods to improve your sleep quality, like white noise, or melatonin.
#32 Have some time to stay away from the news about your industry.
If they are reporting something terrible, rereading the news will not help you to think of solutions. If they are saying that your competitors’ are doing well, that news will put pressure on you. So, turn off the T.V. and your mobile for a little bit every day.
#33 Put a sticky note with the below messages to yourself: “ Eat on time. Drink water. Control the emotions.”
Display it on the refrigerator or other prominent spot.
#34 Eat slowly and carefully.
Under pressure, your stomach is weak. But you need the stomach to help you absorb the nutrients.
#35 Keep your house clean.
Clean every room. Display something you love at your desk. They will make you released.
#36 Let the sunshine in.
A bright environment will cheer you up.
For your family and friends:
#37 Show kindness.
Your business only plays a role for a period, while some of your families and friends will accompany you until the end of your life.
#38 Share your schedule with them.
Engage them to work together on the schedule. They may understand you and support you.
#39 Maintain a sense of humor.
For people who care about you, it breaks their hearts when they see you unhappy or depressed. A sense of humor can help you keep positive.
#40 Put on your work clothes while you are working from home.
Make it official and smart. That would help win more support from your families.
#41 Set up boundaries and try to clear out an area for you to focus on your business from Day One if you work from home.
#42 Respect your spouse’s work, feelings, and boundaries.
You are all making an effort to work through this together.
Every dark cloud has a silver lining. And it’s true.
Hi, I am Tracy, a Strategist in a leading Internet company, a Consultant, and also a Serial Entrepreneur. I have studied and worked in both the U.S. and Asia. I have 3 successful side jobs, writing novels, running an online store, and being a video blogger. I have provided coaches on planning and time management for over 100 people. I never give up my hobbies (piano, painting, and traveling, etc) and curiosity to explore life. I would like to share what I have learned with you.