We aren't connecting in person but we are connecting online.
A lot of businesses have had to lay off employees - maybe you're one of those.
Many businesses have had to cut expenses - maybe you're one of those, too.
What we CAN do during this time is help and serve others, including our customers. It's hard to concentrate on helping others when it feels like our business is in trouble. If you're in the US and haven't seen this yet, here's a link to the Small Business Association page that provides information for COVID-19 disaster loan assistance.
On a different and positive note, there are things we can continue doing to keep our businesses running and moving forward - one day at a time.
Here are 5 things you can do now to continue moving forward:
Create new content - Most, if not all, of us are working from home or home now. Now's the time to focus on content creation. Have you been wanting to start creating videos? Start now. Interested in starting a podcast? Think through the strategy and if it makes sense, start now. Now is the time to start something new - that thing you keep talking about but either haven't had the time or the know how to take that first step. There are so many people offering free training, resources and tools - if you don't do it now, it's a confirmed excuse. Just remember to be consistent with your content once started (even after we return to our new normal).
Update existing content - Do you have a blog but haven't posted anything in months? Take an old blog post and update it or even create a new post with the content with a fresh perspective. Look at how content is ranking on Google and figure out how you can get it ranking higher. Other content you can revisit is your sales pages and/or lead magnets. Are they still relevant and reflect our current time? If you have a course that might need some updates, review the materials and update accordingly. Know what's working and what's not then find ways to make it even better.
Cut expenses - As mentioned above, most of us have had to cut expenses in one form or another. It could have been employees, marketing budget, tools or even office space. Unfortunately, we are in a time right now where expenses need to be cut in order to keep the business moving forward. Do what's necessary to 1) keep your business running and 2) keep as many employees on staff as possible. Those are the two top priorities. Just make sure you are communicating effectively to everyone involved so they know what's happening or forth coming. Most importantly, let them know what any communication means to them. Be sure to not make promises you can't keep, i.e. you won't be cutting employees then cut them later. It doesn't look good on you and it won't be good for the future of your company. Follow through with what you say. It's time to get lean - reduce high ticket items, look at programs, subscriptions and extra monthly fees to see what you can do. Look at time and how it's spent. Include your team in this process so they are involved and part of the process.
Create transparency - Do not sugarcoat or promise if you can't deliver. It shouldn't need to be said so this is a reminder to be honest and upfront with everyone - your team, your customers, your messaging. Now's the time to create security in these uncertain times. The last thing you want to do is communicate one thing and not deliver.
Continue showing up - Whether you're the business owner or a leader in your organization, you must show up. You may be going through challenging times as well but as a leader you need to be there for your team. Create times in your day to focus on both but separately. It can be a challenge for some people to compartmentalize things but now is a very important time to do this or learn how to do this. Be understanding of their situation, be there for them and keep doing what you're doing. People appreciate this even if they aren't vocalizing this. They will share that will you when they are feeling more secure in their world.
Keep focus on what we can control and not on what we can't. It's a tough time for all of us. We need to help each other. Focus on what you're doing and how you can help. Be the leader, authority, and we will come out of this stronger, better and more helpful.
Reach out to me if you need help with any of the above. I'm a great listener, encourager and creative problem solver. I'm here to serve and provide help however I am able. If I can't help, I'm confident I can direct you to someone who can.
We will survive and rise above the chaos together.
Vicki O'Neill is a fractional CMO in Ohio with over 20 years of marketing leadership experience. She's the founder of KenKay Marketing, a marketing solutions company founded in 2011. Vicki hosts Connect the Dots a marketing and sales educational podcast for entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. In January 2020, she launched a podcast, The Power of 3X, with her Gen Z daughters to help people who want to learn about this generation. You will find Vicki on most social media platforms but you'll find her mostly on LinkedIn and Twitter.