COVID-19 and business are intertwined. The virus has targeted not only individuals, but also the business infrastructure, trade, supply chains and consumer behavior. We are in the midst of ongoing change and disruption, trying to establish some normalcy while dealing with the unexpected.
It’s time to think, plan, and act.
Consider both the immediate realities, as well as a vision into the future, and plan proactively to take advantage of opportunities and meet the unexpected.
The Immediate Realities
Right now, governmental support programs are in rollout mode. Information is often incomplete and changing, as entities fast track programs. There are multiple resources for information and updates, including the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs,) SCORE, banks, accountants, business groups, and chambers of commerce. Take advantage of these to identify and claim the assistance programs which will benefit you and your business.
We are in a time of significant change, without a definitive timeline or roadmap. This mode may continue for a few weeks or more, and the progression to a different mode is uncertain. While financing is paramount, do not ignore other aspects of business which are critical to survival.
Take time now and take stock of your business.
- What would have been your “normal” for this time of year?
- What has been upended, and how?
- What do you still have?
- What do people currently need?
- What can you do or offer to meet immediate needs?
COVID-19 and Business Restarts
At some time, business will transition and begin the process of restarting and rebuilding. Start thinking about what the new realities will be.
- What will business look like?
- What will have changed – customer expectations? resources? priorities?
- What will your past, present and future customers and clients need?
- What will they want?
- What will be their emotional needs?
- What will continue to evolve, and how quickly will these evolutionary changes occur?
Your Strategies and Tactics
Take time to focus, center and plan.
- Have a plan for both the immediate term and the reopening of business channels. Base these on your best projections.
- Consult others in different industries as well as colleagues. Each person may draw different conclusions; that is expected.
- Stay current in your assessments and revise them as necessary when conditions change.
- What goes on the back burner?
- What can you offer that is critically needed at this stage of the game?
- What new offerings can you promote?
- How will you stay ahead of the curve?
- Take thoughtful action. Avoid both panic and paralysis.
The Future for COVID-19 and Business
As much as we might wish otherwise, COVID-19 will have a long-term, and likely permanent impact on how we do business. We will transition from this acute phase of activity to a new normal, which probably will be different from the past.
We are not helplessly relegated to a totally reactive mode. Take proactive measures to anticipate, adapt and manage the new world of COVID-19 and business. Pause, focus, take a deep breath and think, plan and act!