These are certainly unprecedented times when every business on the planet will be facing challenges that they haven’t faced or planned for before.
We asked our non-exec Chairman, James Phipps for his top 10 tips to get through it so we could share them with our followers.
1. Keep communicating – to your teams, customers and suppliers.
2. Show your company values – goodwill goes a long way and people will remember them after a time of crisis.
3. Show leadership – It may be a hugely stressful time but all of your team will be having a stressful time, especially if low paid or zero hour contracts.
4. Preserve cash – think about the things you HAVE to have versus the things which are NICE to have. Talk to suppliers about more flexible payment terms, talk to lenders about support if required and be aware of any help from government or sector/business support organisations. Remember it is not a lack of profit that will stop a business trading, it will be running out of cash.
5. Show loyalty – If you possibly can stick with your team, you will grow as a team for going through this together. Show loyalty to your customers, work with them on flexible contract/payment terms as I did to many in the last recession and they are now 10 times bigger and have shown that loyalty back.
6. Look for the opportunities – a crisis brings change and some of these can be permanent ones. It can provide a unique opportunity to grab market share or create a new market even, like pubs going into takeaway food for example, so although most businesses in a crisis pull all their marketing and PR actually if you possible can invest now to grow out of it stronger.
7. Stay positive. It can be tough for anyone who runs or owns a business but the reality is what goes down comes back up and the mental health of the team may not survive unless the right culture and approach is shown.
8. Really try and add value to your customers in this difficult time, not just trying to exploit the situation for more profit. If you go above and beyond for them now to help them survive then they will remember it. Think of extra services that may cost very little but may help them a huge amount.
9. Be ready to react quickly. Make sure your information is as up to date as possible, customers payments for example, and that your decision-making is prompt. In times like this where the world can be moving very quickly knowledge is power and you do not want to be left behind.
10. Remember you are not alone, this will affect every single business not only in the UK but the world. Ask for help, if you have a mentor or Non-Exec team then use them as they may have good advice and experience in a situation like this. It is hard to not be emotional when it is the survival of your business but the best decisions are the ones made without the emotions looking at the business not being in the business.
Remember survive….then thrive.
Hope you and your businesses and family stay safe.