If you are a small business owner, I am sure you are intensely stressed and are looking at things day to day if not hour by hour. Did you have a plan in place for crisis situations like the one we are in now? If so, how is it going? Let’s talk about a few steps and some words of advice to help us in these times of uncertainty.
What a time we are living in right now! We are facing uncertainty in our nation’s economy, not to mention the world economy. For most of us, the workplace looks remarkably different than it did just a few weeks ago. I now work with a view of my bedroom, and my usual coworkers have been replaced with two black dogs. Some are worried about having a place to work. Maybe you have already been furloughed or have lost a job. The news is constantly changing and finding unbiased information can be difficult.
Take care of your team.
No work, no company, no profits or losses are worth the safety of you, your team, and your customers. Let them know you have their back; you care about them and their families. This time is uncharted territory for many, which can cause anxiety and additional stress. Do your best to reassure them you are going to do all you can to reduce their stress. Now is not the time to be strictly enforcing PTO, sick day or vacation days. Happy employees are the backbone of a successful company.
Create a Communication Strategy.
With the technology we have in 2020, communication is easier than ever before. Decide on one way to communicate and make sure everyone is on board. That may be a group text, instant messaging apps like Slack, email, the options are endless. Video chatting is another way to keep everyone on the same page, both with work and with socialization. Being able to communicate with each other will reduce stress, wasted time, and give everyone some sort of normalcy in these unknown situations.
Make a financial plan.
Knowing where you stand financially during times of uncertainty will reduce stress, save time, and make decisions easier. Even if the numbers are not ideal, being secure in the knowledge they are correct is KEY. Crisis mode is not the time to be guessing, hoping, or crossing fingers that your financial data is accurate. Reach Reporting is always up to date with your QuickBooks. It is data you can trust and data you can understand and data easy to find. How’s that for reducing your stress levels?
Look to the future.
Times of crisis do come to an end. Life does return to a new normal. Things may be different, but it is more of what we consider normal. Using hard things we endure to learn is the best way to ensure we don’t repeat mistakes. Figure out what worked, what didn’t work. Who handled the stress well, and who needed more time to adjust? How did our bottom line do? Part of being a leader, we need to evaluate all situations, learn from them, and make adjustments.
“And I knew exactly what to do. But in a much more real sense, I had no idea what to do.” -Michael Scott
Most of us, if not all of us, have heard the saying, “The only constant in the world is change.” While I believe this current situation will pass and things will return to “normal,” we should use this moment to make sure we are as prepared as possible for the next unknown in our lives.
How is your company adjusting to our new temporary normal? What has worked or not worked? Please share in the comments.