A Strong Offense is Your Best Defense in Times of Uncertainty
By Drue Lawlor, FASID
Director of Coaching at Gail Doby Coaching & Consulting
“Keep your fears to yourself but share your courage with others.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
When you focus on sharing your courage with others and take the approach of setting up a strong offense for your business you will find your fears tend to recede. Here are a few tips to help you set up your “defense”.
Remain optimistic – the confidence in your voice will come through just as will pessimism. Your employees, clients as well as your family and friends will feed off of your attitude – make it optimistic. Identify and talk about new opportunities because of changes you have had to implement in your business such as some positives of having your team work remotely.
Communication is key! During a time of crisis you should increase your communication even more with your team and your clients. With so many people being isolated at home the need for human interaction is more key than ever. That means phone calls and virtual meetings, virtual coffees or happy hours. A company on the offensive makes quick decisions and adjustments with more team meetings and brainstorming. Take the initiative and make a call just to check in and find out how your team members and/or clients are doing. These calls are not work-related for a team member and not sales-related for a client – they are just “how are you doing” calls. Don’t rely on emails and texts – the human voice is what is needed as we are not able to have in-person interactions.
Monitor your cash flow and reduce non-essential expenses where possible. Evaluate ways to get emergency cash if needed.
Collaborate and brainstorm. Use this opportunity to reach out to referral sources, vendors, and other business people to share strategies on sustaining business stability and brainstorm ideas for the future. You may find that with more time available, you can start to build those relationships that you have been meaning to create and it will position you more effectively for the future.
Leaders on the offensive realize the value of continuing to invest in their team and their business – even more so in the midst of a crisis. Evaluate what equipment and tools will best help your team continue to learn and expand their knowledge and abilities so your company will be prepared to bounce back ahead of the competition. Now is the time to create and/or review and update policies, processes, and procedures. Start with your policies and remember that policies are what applies to the entire team – such as dress code, how you communicate with your clients, etc. Then focus on your processes. These are what turn “inputs into outputs” – the key milestones you set to reach your objectives, and the procedures are the details – the tasks you set to reach those milestones.
Don’t let uncertainty undermine you or your team. Often it is out of times of uncertainty that new ideas, approaches and relationships can emerge. Be courageous and seize this opportunity!