What Businesses Should do in Uncertain Times
It seems some feelings are universally terrifying. Uncertainty is one of those, especially when it comes to your hard-earned business and livelihood you have built through blood, sweat, and tears. The chronic business uncertainty we are currently experiencing could have serious long-term implications for the health of your career and well-being. What will keep your business alive and thriving is how you choose to respond.
First, you have to come to terms with what is happening. It is not going away. Let the fear in, accept it, then take action! Letting the panic consume you will only be damaging to you and your business. Realize which reactions are irrational and which reactions to respond to. Responding strategically will be comforting, because you will have a plan in place for dealing with this unprecedented crisis. Let’s take a look at how to respond with strategy.
Act Now and Stay Updated
The difference between who does and does not succeed during this time will depend greatly on reaction. After you have accepted your current situation, it’s time to take action. Take small steps that will pay off over time to ensure you stay afloat, or even thrive, until the economy recovers. Stay updated through this time, such as the constantly changing government mandates and procedures, to ensure things continue to run as smoothly as possible.
Write Out your Goals
A challenge of uncertainty is there could be multiple outcomes, with varying degrees of bad to good. This means you need to be very clear about what you want to accomplish and maintain. Clearly define your goals and set a strategy in place. However, with the possibility of multiple outcomes, be prepared to see any of these scenarios play out.
Be Prepared for a Shift in Consumer Mindset
Recognize that priorities change when life is disrupted. What once was a part of everyday life for your clients may now be a luxury to many of them. Understanding this, and giving it recognition in a concrete way will be appreciated by your customers.
Review your Current Business Model
Take some time to step back and review your current business plan. With the shift in mindset and new variables, your plan is likely outdated. Make appropriate and educated tweaks. Talk to your customers, research your competition, and communicate with your employees.
Use Big Data and Know your Numbers
After clearly defining your strategy, test it over time to adjust to outcomes that are not in your control. Use big data to help build your strategy, and define a concrete testing protocol to support this. Take a look at your KPI so that you can adjust accordingly. Implement A/B testing with different variables, or uncertainties. Meet with your sales team to deeply understand daily trends of expenses, cash flow, and profit margins. Doing so will prepare you for what is to come—good or bad.
Seek Growth Opportunities
Growth opportunities could seem scarce right now. Don’t worry, they are there. With a little creativity, it’s a good time to create value with appealing deals. With calculated moves, you can push the right deals that build value. Oftentimes, more motivated sellers will appear in uncertain times. Equity firms, for example, can take advantage of this when profits are depressed. Focus on operations and platforms that will bolster your core business.
First, evaluate your reputation. If you are known for being trustworthy, your customers won’t leave you. Always do right by your customers, partners, and employees. Doing so is the best long-term strategy in the book. With such a trusting network, they will genuinely want to see you thrive through uncertainty. Uniquely, no one has been left untouched by this unprecedented time. See what you can offer to reasonably help your fellow man—your customers, partners, and employees. As a leader, make your team and network’s world as certain as possible. Doing so will build lasting relationships.
The Power of Positive Thoughts and Actions
Don’t avoid this situation. Take on this challenge with renewed positivity and action that you certainly can control what is “controllable.” Know that most humans want to see each other succeed, and will participate in this sentiment.
Jessica Carr previously served as an educator. Her interaction with students and parents gave her insight into how communication and language develop. She is now Communications Consultant and Content Manager for Boss Leads, LLC. Here, she leverages her experience to manage consumer-facing informational websites. Jessica manages journalists in three countries.