It’s been a tumultuous week. For now, it’s not clear how long the current restrictions and obstructions to what was previously our normal lives will continue.
Obviously, all our businesses will be affected to greater or lesser extent and some business owners will have more financial resilience than others. If we assume that some businesses in the chapter will suffer a downturn in trade and that they can withstand this for a period of time; how can we make use of his downtime to be stronger and ready to grow faster to take advantage of the inevitable upturn in the future?
How will your business be affected?
By now you’ve probably considered that question and the answer will be different for each of us. Discuss with your group some of the things they have done to try and proof their business against the downturn.
•Implemented recommendations for Covid-19 including how much can be done remotely
•Reviewed cashflow and revenue forecasts and talked to the relevant stakeholders to make sure the business can keep going
•Made sure you understand your obligations around sick leave and annual leave
•Checked on eligibility for support offerings from Government
If we can’t work from home, what can we do to make best use of our time?
So, you’ve made plans to lessen the impact and survive. what can you do to improve your business if it gets quieter? Discuss with your chapter the things they could work on in their business while they have more time?
•Develop or document processes and procedures
•Implement new technology (which would normally have been too disruptive to the business)
•Train or retrain staff for new tasks
•Get closer to your customers and suppliers to assist when their circumstances improve
•Ensure you have sufficient stock or clear out surplus stock
•Look at new markets you haven’t had time to explore yet
•Review all marketing collateral and update anything out of date especially social media
•Update policy and procedure manuals
•Update goals and business plans to include the new paradigm
Use the time for self-improvement – BNI University is a great tool for this – You could complete your BNI Member Success Programme training if you haven’t already.
Riding the Elevator (or hit the ground running)
So, you have you made your business more resilient and done some of those things you haven’t previously had time for. What other opportunities are there to be ready for the new normal?
Brainstorm with the chapter their ideas for things they can do in their business perhaps while there is more time to get ready to ride the upturn of the recovery.
•New Products – design and development
•Acquisition of competitors
•Bring in new investment from shareholders who can help grow markets •Have ready marketing campaigns for when signs of recovery occur •Increasing staff levels especially drawing from the pool of newly available people
Help is at Hand
If you are struggling, or your business is struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out to the other members of your chapter.
Have a 1-2-1 and discuss your situation, perhaps they can help with either ideas, suggestions practical or financial.
Members in your chapter have a wealth of practical experience and are here to help.
Crises, while stressful, do create opportunities. Fortune favours the brave and the prepared.
Being part of a support system like BNI helps get us through the crisis and to be prepared to take advantage of the upturn.