Planning for the indefinite

Every now and then, Mother Nature gives us a wake-up call.

So, in my very humble opinion, we’re better off respecting these three rules: 

  1. Mother Nature is always in charge.
  2. Respect rule number 1.
  3. The best way to survive in life and business is to develop and adhere to a proactive plan for every situation.

 With this latest challenge of COVID-19 there is a lot of uncertainty about how it may impact our individual businesses. We will soon see the US economy grind to a halt ON PURPOSE, to avoid a recession or worse.

I believe that the best thing we small business owners can do is not panic, be decisive, and prepare for what may come. My experience during 9/11 and other types of catastrophes taught me well and sometimes painfully.

Here are 10 other business suggestions:

One-Circle Evaluate and eliminate excessive debt. If your revenue has already dropped or you fear it might, inquire about eliminating any unnecessary debt.
Two-Circle Track and analyze all your figures daily. Look at what you’re spending, the revenue coming in, your scheduled prospecting discovery meetings, what you anticipate closing soon, your website analytics, everything. But DO NOT be obsessive. We watch these so we can tweak and recalibrate them.
Three-Circle Eliminate any profit-eating sales and don’t even THINK about discounting. ALWAYS is a good time to analyze any products and services we offer that are not profitable and do away with them. As for discounting, we should never, and I repeat NEVER, discount. This always sets a very dangerous precedent. Quality and service should always be our message.
Four-Circle Expand geographically, if possible. Every time I’ve attended this type of rodeo over the past 30 plus years, I’ve used the opportunity to look at other geographic and demographic territories to conquer. Try it; It’s a good thing to do periodically anyway.
Five-Circle Create a new Sales and Marketing message. This too shall pass; it’s not the end of the world. Keep in mind that your prospects and clients are also probably worried, and their sales may also be impacted. Now is a good time to craft a new marketing message to address those concerns and draw them to you. By the way, your low-hanging fruit are your existing customers!
Six-Circle Downsize. Reduce your headcount, if need be. You can deliver the same amount, or more, by increasing productivity.
Seven-Circle Reduce inventories and business overhead. Look for any items that do not move or sell frequently and either return them or prepare for a “fire sale”.
Eight-Circle Train and cross-train yourself and your staff. Trying times are sometimes the best to learn new “tricks”. Firstly, since everything is ever-changing, we must endeavor to stay ahead of the curve. Secondly, learning is a good way to keep psychologically positive.
Nine-Circle Manage effectively. First manage your TIME! Then focus on your people and your projects. Keep a keen eye out for what may be wasting your resources.
Ten Reach out to old and existing clients. Now is a good time to reach out to people you haven’t spoken to in a while. Remember that they, too, are potentially stressed out. Be the leader they need to hear from.

Lastly, there are a lot of things in life we can NOT control. However, what we CAN control is our behavior.

Think, decide, act. Don’t worry, this too shall pass.

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