As this joke shows, most entrepreneurs and businesses are struggling in the current environment, but every crisis offers opportunities, and this one is no different.
Before we go into considerations for surviving the current situation, we want to talk about self-care. We all know what the issues are. To analyze, plan, and get on top of this, we need to ensure that we are healthy, safe, and in a good mind space. Establish routines, talk to as many people as possible, and make the most of the current situation.
Most importantly, focus on things you can control.
Empathy and decisiveness are the two key qualities that a crisis like the COVID-19 outbreak needs. Your ability to empathize with people in your business and your key relationships will ensure support and loyalty. Decisiveness towards survival, and later investing, will move the needle forward.
Cash is everything
For entrepreneurs, cash is everything right now, and there are seven places where you can look for cash in your business: price, volume, cost of goods sold, overheads, accounts receivable, inventory, and accounts payable. It is crucial that you work out -given your current revenue and funding (equity + debt) availability- your scenarios, and establish a path forward to optimizing cash. Without knowing your runway, the rest of what I am about to say falls flat.
In the now, revenue is about generating leads and retaining clients. To do both a company needs a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. If you don’t have one, spend the time to set one up cheap, and load it with all your customer information. If you don’t have visibility of your pipeline of clients, you are operating blindly. Pipeline, ultimately, makes every business thrive.
Once a CRM is set up, first think about how your customers are doing. Empathy for your customers right now will go a long way. Help them with a service or product that they need, regardless of whether you will make money or not. Your support in these difficult times will go a long way in retaining them for life. Engaging clients through knowledge sharing, thoughtful ideas, and proactive support will build a strong, long-lasting relationship.