In the best of all worlds, for every decision we make and every action we take we would have sufficient time to consider every angle, think through all scenarios, and answer every “what if” question that comes to mind.
We don’t live in such a world.
In business, especially, success often depends on the ability to make snap decisions and take quick action to seize opportunities or respond to crises. Wait too long, waffle on a decision too much, and the time to act might just pass you by.
BUSINESS OWNERS SEARCHING FOR ANSWERS
The coronavirus pandemic and resultant shutdowns have shuttered businesses and forced people to stay at home and social distance. Business leaders have had to be nimble and adaptable, or else risk losing it all.
- Should I close completely, or can the business stay partially open? Are we considered essential?
- Can I adapt my business, what I offer, and my messaging so that I don’t have to shut down? What ways can I think “outside the box” to keep the business afloat?
- What should I be communicating to customers during the shutdown? How can I reach them most effectively to offer reassurance?
- What should I be communicating to vendors and suppliers during the shutdown? How do I maintain these important relationships throughout this crisis so that they are in place when business, at some level, resumes?
- What kind of government aid does my business qualify for? When and how should I apply? Are there strings attached? What happens if I wait too long?
- How can I keep the lights on, rents and leases paid, and my businesses overall infrastructure intact?
- Should I furlough employees or try to retain them somehow, especially key ones, so they are still in place when business resumes a more normal pace?
- What should I be communicating to employees about closure, unemployment benefits, their health benefits, etc.? What aid do they qualify for?
- Are there things I can be working on while closed down to better position my business for when the economy reopens?
- As the economy reopens, how can I adapt my business model to incorporate social distancing guidelines so that I can open as quickly as possible, but still maintain safety for customers and employees?
- As my business resumes, what do I NOW need to communicate to customers, vendors, suppliers, employees? How can I reach all these audiences most effectively and cost-efficient?
As you can see, there are many questions to be asked, with each requiring an answer. Of course, the answer for each business and business owner is unique to his or her situation. Unfortunately, there is no cookie cutter approach to sheltering place, surviving the crisis, and making it through to the other side. What works for one situation won’t necessarily work for another—and there are no ready-made answers.
DOING NOTHING IS NOT AN OPTION
Anyone who tells you he or she has all the answers is either lying or misguided. Labeled by many as a black swan (a low probability/high impact and unpredictable event), shutdowns of the magnitude we are seeing with the coronavirus have never occurred in the history of this country or the world (certainly not in modern times). No one living truly has the experience or the expertise necessary to make well-informed decisions. No one has been in this situation before. There’s a lot of guesswork, which business owners typically hate.
While no one is suggesting business owners should move forward recklessly, doing nothing is not an option. We can’t sit still just because we don’t know all the answers. When, as business owners, have we ever known anything for certain? Most of us simply collect data, make some logical assumptions, weigh our options, and move forward accordingly. Now is no different.
From the outset of this crisis, Barrel O’Monkeyz reduced its service pricing. We recognized that our customers and customers-to-be needed to able to utilize our services to communicate with and serve their key constituencies. It became a win-win for them, for us . . . and for everyone. We’ve also focusing our efforts more on helping customers leverage their social media, website, and digital marketing assets to help maintain business momentum. A digital/virtual approach requires little social interaction and therefore little chance of exposure to or spreading the virus. That’s another win-win.
How has your business responded to this crisis? Could you use another set of eyes and ears to help you execute a plan for your business?
Don’t let analysis-paralysis leave you non-responsive. Opportunities exist, even when the outlook seems bleak. Sometimes all that’s needed is another perspective.
WE ARE HERE TO HELP
Barrel O’Monkeyz is a virtual team of strategic, tactical, and creative types who have been working remotely with clients for more than a decade. Our expertise is digital marketing, email marketing, social media, public relations, and website development. We recognize this is a stressful this time, especially for small businesses. If you are struggling with how to keep your business afloat, we are here for you. Give us a call to discuss strategies and potential services to help you weather the storm. We are reducing our service pricing to help businesses stay on and/or get back on their feet! Contact us today.