Tip Number 4 was: Don’t bury your head in the sand – plan for the future. As with all disasters, there will come a time when the disaster will pass, and things will return to near normal.
After any disaster it is tempting to look forward to when things will go back to the way they were. If you do that you are possibly missing an opportunity. A disaster, like bad news, is often the catalyst for change. We may not like being told by the doctor that we need to lose weight but, like it or not, we have the choice to make different decisions for a different result in the future.
Unlike many disasters, Covid 19 has had an impact on everybody and gives us all the opportunity to do things differently.
Be prepared to get out of your comfort zone. Comfort zones are really important to everybody – they are where we feel safe and comfortable. They might be somewhere physical like home or a favourite chair or our car or they might be certain people – friends, families, loved ones. Life without comfort zones would be intolerable. Yet the downside is that it is easy to become too comfortable. The current Covid 19 disaster has forced everyone out of their comfort zones and, for most of us, we still don’t know what will really happen in the end.
Lack of confidence, being too comfortable, being unsure, fear, desperation, lack of self-belief can all lead to paralysis – just not knowing what to do so we don’t do anything. Do not do this on your own – team up with friends or family or other people you trust and help each other. Set some goals that will push you to move out of your comfort zone. Small steps are best and celebrate each one! Have fun moving forward – your confidence will grow and you will keep moving!
During Covid 19 habits are changing – handwashing, social distancing, the way we do business. Take this opportunity to review your own work habits, decide which ones you are going to change and commit to make the change – tell others so they can hold you to account and keep you on track.
Work with your team to make decisions about the future of your business and decide what you are all willing to do differently. Pay attention to the way you communicate with each other and with customers; can you plan better; how can you improve teamwork; how do you deliver better services and products to your customers; how can you make more money in the future? Is now the time to focus on your technology and learn new skills?
Doing something different also means being prepared to stand out in the crowd. Use a business advisor to help you develop the skills and confidence you need to stand out. An advisor will help you develop your own self-confidence and self-belief by encouraging you, helping you to set goals and take new steps, guiding you along a new path.
Whatever you do, keep learning – it is easy to go back to old ways especially when the pressure is off, and life returns to ‘normal’.
We are encouraging all business owners to get the advice they need to take action to survive, and so we are pleased to be able to offer businesses survival advice free of charge through Business Link Pacific, a New Zealand funded programme to help businesses affected by the economic situation created by the virus crisis and TC Harold. Contact me for further details. Also find information on your local Chamber of Commerce and Industry or Business Association website.
Stay safe and take care. Coming next – the final tip in this series - you are not the only one affected by the disaster.
Founding partner at Breadfruit Consulting.