Covid-19 has changed our lives, perhaps forever. Here are three things you can do right now to help your business through and out of the current crisis:
1. No More News
Everyone is glued to the news. And the news is, mostly bad, increasing death and infection rates, lack of PPE, a crippled economy, and rising unemployment. Isolation is the new normality. Lockdown, a term only applied to prisons, is now our new lifestyle.
I bet if you’re anything like me you’ve been listening to the news several times a day. (In fact, for the first few days of the pandemic it was permanently on in every room of my house – it became a sort of sinister aural wallpaper.) However, what overdosing on the news does to your thinking is far more damaging than you might imagine. It feeds you a never-ending diet of fear, uncertainty and pessimism.
Overdosing on the news does to your thinking is far more damaging than you might imagine
The drip-drip of negativity begins to penetrate your subconscious heightening your fight or flight response and creating worry, concern and uncertainty in your thinking. Eventually, if you leave these feelings unchecked it results in ‘action paralysis’ as the negativity suffocates your rational brain like a boa constrictor consuming its prey.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying there is anything wrong with the news. We need it. It keeps us in touch with events and can help us prepare our businesses. We just need to control how much we consume and keep it to a healthy diet without it becoming toxic.
Dialling down the news to a short segment, once a day is a detox for your mind. It enables you to refocus on your business rather than your energies being depleted on worry and fear. When you allow your head to clear you can begin to think creatively and clearly which brings me to point two.
2. Innovate & Create
Abnormal is the new normal. Nothing feels quite like it was and for many businesses, their model will have to fundamentally change.
Some will be able to do this and those that can’t, may not be here next year.
Already, business has needed to adapt quickly:
Dance studios taking their lessons online.
Restaurants augmenting their income with home delivery and mobile stands.
Theatres streaming their content.
Taxis becoming delivery services
Breweries transforming distilleries into hand sanitiser production lines
3D printing companies producing PPE and so on.
History has taught us that crisis inspires creativity. If it weren’t for WWII we wouldn’t have modern passenger airlines (jets, pressurised cabins, synthetic rubber, radio navigation, radar), computers, nuclear power, superglue, satellites, freeze-dried coffee, jerrycans and more.
And so, the old expression “necessity is the mother of invention” is never more true than now.
Companies will need to innovate and apply their skills creatively. They will need to look at the world in a new light and shine that light on new products, services and ways of thinking. We have all been set a challenge and how we rise to it will be measured by our ability to invent and transform our businesses.
However, that’s easily said, not so easily done and that leads me to point three.
3. Help is at Hand
Imagine standing in a desert, the sun beating down on you. You’re thirsty and tired. There is water 30 feet below you, but you only have your hands to dig. You start digging – what else can you do, it’s a matter of survival. After a few hours of exhausting labour with hands now red raw you stop and look up to see someone with two shovels walking by. Do you a) carry on digging or b) stop them and ask for help?
I’m going to guess B!
Consultants, coaches, mentors, advisors, strategists – call them what you will – they are the people with the tools to help your business innovate and create. They have dedicated their careers to seeing the world differently and finding solutions to problems for their customers. They can help you forge new paths, create new products and services, develop and implement the marketing strategies that will work best in the post-Covid-19 world. Often seen as the first cost to cut, consultancy should be the first thing you reinstate. Once the world begins to get back on its feet, speed will be the factor that decides which businesses flourish and which wither. The quicker you can access the best information the quicker you secure your business’s future.
Consultants, coaches, mentors, advisors, strategists – call them what you will – they are the people with the tools to help your business innovate and create
It won’t come as any surprise for you to know that I’m a marketing consultant, but I don’t write this cynically as I too rely on coaches, mentors and consultants to help me. I am deeply indebted to my own sector for all the help I have received – I recognise its value and even now continue to invest in advice for my business’s development.
I urge you to do the same and use the help around you to unlock the new untapped potential in your business.
The world has changed, and we need to change with it. We must protect ourselves against the effects that negative mindsets can have on running a business. We must foster creativity and innovation and be prepared to change. And to do this we must engage with the knowledge networks around us and the wealth of experience that sits within them.
I wish you good fortune on your journey.