11 Steps Your Business Needs to Prepare for the Coronavirus Economic Panic
It ‘s time to get ready for the economic shift that’s begun as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. While it’s completely understandable to be worried, your best bet is to channel any anxious energy and get prepared NOW. It is important during these early stages of the pandemic to be prepared, not panicked. Turn panic into a plan!
The steps below are provided by ActionCOACH’s founder, Brad Sugars.
Step 1: Communicate – Worry leads to negativity. Good, bad, or ugly, you need to communicate with your team daily to update them on what is going on and the changes you are making. You should also communicate your precautions with your current and potential customers. E-newsletters, social media, and press releases are great tools to get this message out.
Step 2: Be Positive – In every massive change, there is opportunity. Instead of feeling paralyzed in panic and worry, look for small wins and ways to take advantage of the situation at hand so you will see better results in these trying times.
Step 3: Know the Cycles – The economy moves in a cycle, which stays consistent within a 7 to 10-year span. The U.S. has had a strong economic boom (the summer season) that has gotten us past the 10-year mark from the market crash of ‘08. However, at the end of every summer comes the fall. Will this fall/winter last long? It depends on the virus. We can expect for the “winter” season of low economic growth to be shorter than in 2008, as our economy should spring back quickly once the virus has peaked and the spread begins to decrease.
Step 4: Change – Don’t wait to implement change in your business until it is impacting you. Now is the time to get ahead of the potential crisis to minimize the damage on your business. What changes do you need to make in your products, services, prices, delivery, and staffing?
Step 5: Cut Back – If the crisis is as big as we predict it will be economically, it is advised to stop spending on unnecessary items. That does not mean to stop spending on marketing, sales, and expenses that will help your business grow. Hold off on making upgrades that you can live without in the next 30-90 days and reevaluate at that time. Consider the top 10 industries that are booming right now because of the virus. How can your business assist the Costcos and the Amazons of the world?
Step 6: Extend Credit – Banks are still lending right now, so extend your credit lines and open more credit cards while you still can. You’ll want to have that extra credit so you’ll have the ability to spend more during the recession.
- Consider refinancing if you have to. Renegotiating your rates to get the lowest rate as possible can help minimize your expenses.
Step 7: Staffing Cuts/Changes – Layoffs may need to happen in order for your business to survive. Before making staffing cuts, consider encouraging your staff to take their vacations and accrued paid time off now during the downtime. Can cutting back on hours for your staff keep them employed? Pay cuts are also an option. Suspend your bonus programs to tighten your belt through this phase.
Step 8: Plan to Work from Home – Will your technology needs be met? How will you communicate with your team and your customers when you are out of the office or not available in person? Make a plan for how to conduct meetings and how to share reporting for less disruption on day-to-day tasks.
Step 9: Online Deliveries – As your customers are encouraged to stay home and distance themselves socially, you still need to be able to serve them, but through a different platform. Do you have the online technology to make this possible? If people aren’t coming to you, how can you reach them?
Step 10: Marketing and Sell – In times of economic crisis, marketing is the last cost you should cut. However, your marketing is going to have to change. Your customers are panicked, worried, and thinking about consumer products and services in different ways. How can you best meet their current needs? Can you create special rates or offers to motivate customers to keep spending money with you considering the current market?
Step 11: Repeat Business – Keeping your existing customer base is the most vital thing you can do right now. Be in communication with them, offering them special deals to get them back “in the door.” Make sure they feel like they are important and valued.
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