Strengthening Your Business During a Crisis
By Jeff Herzog, President, FPC National
“In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.” ― Albert Einstein
This is the age of coronavirus. Our businesses and our lives have been disrupted. Offices are empty, revenue streams have been interrupted, and employees are working remotely. This is anything but business as usual.
People are frightened. In the midst of this crisis, there are some business owners and executives who will lament the current situation, decimate their workforces, and cower in a corner until the world returns to normal. This could have a devastating and lasting impact on their businesses.
But there is another way.
Leaders with vision and an entrepreneurial spirit view this challenging time as an opportunity – an opportunity to strengthen their companies’ foundations, so when they emerge from this epidemic, they will be stronger and more profitable than ever.
Here are three things leaders can do right now to position their companies for future success:
At FPC, our motto is “It’s all about the people,” so it should be no surprise to anyone that we begin this roadmap with a focus on the #1 driver of business success and growth: People. And while revenue is down during the pandemic for many companies, leaders must think twice before making rash cuts to their workforce. Remember, we will be coming out of this crisis, and when we do, you will find your company crippled if you need to scramble to replace vital employees.
We all have budgets to consider, but instead of layoffs and furloughs, think about supplementing your workforce with top talent from your industry. Now is the time to provide a home for superstars who have become separated from their companies due to the pandemic. Forward-thinking organizations can establish a competitive edge by capitalizing on opportunities in the employment market.
Are you thinking that while business is slow, you should cut down on your company’s marketing to reduce costs? Think again. Now is not the time to take your foot off of the accelerator. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Here’s why:
Customers who have chosen to remain with your company will feel they made the right decision when they see your continued presence. By maintaining your visibility, you are projecting strength and inspiring confidence among your customers, prospects, and industry as a whole.
Additionally, cutting down on your marketing will damage your pipeline going forward. When we emerge from this crisis, you do not want to have to start from scratch to cultivate leads. If you hope to minimize the impact to your revenue stream, continue your marketing efforts so you can quickly expand your clientele once the business climate changes.
Double-down on your low-cost or no-cost marketing campaigns. Publish new content on your website and strengthen your digital presence. This is the time to ramp up your social media posting and network building efforts. And if you are active on LinkedIn, as I am, feel free to connect with me here.
If you find yourself with time on your hands, you can spend it productively by strengthening your operational foundation. Evaluate the internal systems within your company to identify opportunities for updating and improvement. Here are a few areas that may need attention:
- Employee Handbook: Review your current policies and make sure they are up-to-date and in compliance with industry standards and government regulations.
- Insurance: Assess your existing coverage and obtain quotes from other providers. You may be able to reduce your premiums and expand your coverage.
- Technology: Can you automate any time-consuming manual functions? This may be the time to convert antiquated systems to more modern applications.
Take a few minutes each day to check in on your long-term customers. A quick email or phone call is all it takes to maintain your relationship and show your customers that you are still there for them. Reaching out strengthens your connection with them and provides a sense of normalcy and human kindness in this chaotic time.
While this is a challenging time for all of us, we can still make tremendous strides in our businesses by planning for the future and seizing upon opportunities. As author author Kate McGahan said, “Deep within every crisis is an opportunity for something beautiful.”
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