Just as babies need to crawl before they walk, businesses need to survive before they thrive. Keeping this in mind during a crisis is key to staying focused on the bigger picture. Whether it is a local or global crisis it is important to understand where your thoughts are at, to best serve your business and your community.
FLIGHT: These are the planning thoughts. A plan for during and after the crisis. These owners will communicate clearly, research and assess resources. Time, Money, People and Skills to create an action plan. They are strategists
FRIGHT: These are the worried thoughts of only treading water and biding time. These owners have little clear communication with their team, customers, and community. They are preppers
FREEZE: These are the panic thoughts of the end of business. These owners listen to the news continuously, have no clear communication, and believe someone or something needs to step in and save them. They are victims
What they all have in common is their leadership or lack of leadership is showing. The good news is leadership is a skill to develop. Every owner can tap into their leader within.
Lately I have seen an increase in requests from not only shop owners but local business owners, industry associations and local groups on leadership advice and next step help.
My Three-Step Crisis Survival System
This system has served me well through a personal and/or business crisis. It has worked for me in multiple businesses.
Step One – Clarity – Identify the crisis. Is it yours or everyone’s? Who will it affect? How do you feel?
- Stressed– Feeling overwhelmed can affect your eating, sleeping, mood and the quality of your decision making.
- Concerned– Feeling concerned about the situation while looking for solutions and steps needed, for the next 30, 60 or 90 days.
Step Two – Control – You cannot control the situation, but you can control how you react to it and how you handle it. Crisis affects every area of business. Sales, Marketing, Financials, People, and Operations.
Creating your plan for during the crisis and after the crisis. Understand it will evolve as more information and data becomes available.
Step Three – Confidence – You gain confidence in the doing. Implement the plan. Who will do what and when? Learning and growing from action taken, will open your mind to innovation and creativity.
All Areas of your business will be affected during a crisis
- Marketing: Assess messaging
- Sales: Assess conversations
- Operations: Assess processes and systems
- People: Assess communication
- Finances: Assess your numbers
The fact is many of the practices that owners consider necessary now are practices that many made excuses for not doing in the past.
An owner’s role has always been messaging, financials and relationships. The need for these becomes more apparent during times of crises.
Many business owners do not see themselves as leaders. You are a resource to your team, customers and community and you have influence. People come to you for solutions. How you choose to show up and use your influence is up to you.
The challenge with this crisis is we have no idea how long it will last. Safety is a priority. Good leaders will try to survive a crisis. Great leaders will see opportunities and take action to thrive after a crisis. They will see past themselves, their business, and align with the needs of their customers.