Wow! I don’t know about you all, but I didn’t see this coming! I look back and I think about what my plans were for my company just 3 months ago and sending people to work from home, navigating the waters of what’s next, and watching the news headlines vigilantly was not in my 12-month plan. As a business owner and entrepreneur, I find myself under even more pressure to make this company succeed. Not only is my livelihood on the line but so are the livelihoods of my teammates and the families that the company I am blessed to be in charge of, is responsible for.
I know a lot of you are just like me. And even if you do not own the company, you are invested in the company you work for. You are a business development person looking at their pipeline and going WTF!? You are a CFO biting your nails looking at balance sheets. Or you are any other person who has put their life into their work and feels like everything might really be out of your control. Interestingly enough, I have had phone calls from all of you, and what I have found is that COVID-19 is a polarizing event. On one side of the coin, I am seeing companies look at this and see devastation – they are turning in, thinking about layoffs, and operating out of fear. While other companies are being cautious about making the right moves, but are looking to use this time to really work ON their business instead of IN their business and grow!
If you are part of the latter set of folks, then I am speaking to you. Here at The It Crowd, supporting local businesses and helping our communities is top of mind. We also want to be sure we are taking steps for our business and the companies we are responsible for to continue to succeed. We are becoming clear on how to make sure we use this time wisely. We know these actions will help us not only get through this time but will most definitely make us a stronger company coming out of this craziness.
Top 10 priorities we are focused on during this time:
- Our Network
First and foremost, we are working on getting a hold of people – these are our clients, vendors, networking partners, and any other relationships we have. We are asking questions about how they are doing; we are being raw and honest with what is going on with us, and we are genuinely asking if they need help. Not because we are trying to sell marketing – but because we are genuine human beings and are concerned for our fellow man.
- Assessing where to start
With quite a few changes in our economic climate, our new work environments, and just wrapping our heads around what is going on- we are first sitting down to assess where to start. We are taking some self and company evaluations to get a list of action items and deliverables we do have control over and now have the time to complete.
- Who we are as a Company and as Individuals
What is our why? Bringing this really to the forefront of our current daily lives and talking with our team through the lens of these values to help us navigate this situation. We believe our why is what will keep us going.
- Where are we going?
As a Company and Individuals – we are sticking with our goals. We are being smart, but staying the course. We are really looking at Q3 and Q4, assessing our goals and milestones, and we are thinking more strategically than ever about how to achieve success.
- How do we track all of this?
With working from home, how are we doing team check-ins? Are our KPIs going to be the same or are we going to need new ones? How do we measure success remotely?
- What are our processes?
We are taking this time to reflect on what has worked and not worked in all areas of our business. We are defining what success looks like and creating roadmaps and documents around these specific processes.
In times of uncertainty, security and productivity are more important than ever. We are assessing everything we are currently using and looking into new programs as well. We are also starting to have conversations about whether we should have our IT stay cloud-based or if we should bring this in-house.
Our people are just as nervous about what is going on and it is important to educate ourselves on how to communicate effectively. Tying back to our “why”, as our teammates continue to take care of our company, it’s important for us to continue to take care of our people. We are also putting in place ways to cross-train 2 people on every critical task.
After taking a hard look at our relationships, we are identifying customers who are the most susceptible to economic downturn. We are asking ourselves how to support them and are negotiating favorable terms with vendors.
Let’s face the facts, if we run out of money, we all lose. We are having conversations with the banks to see what options we have with them, looking into federal and state programs that we can take advantage of during this time, and evaluating where our current expenses can shrink. There are a lot of luxuries we currently spend money on that are easy to cut out for the time being.
Now how do I actually do all of this? My team and I will be working on sending out resources and tips as we navigate through this together. These resources will have action items, tracking methods, marketing tips, and further reading materials for you to absorb. If done correctly, these tactics will help you work ON the business and set you up for organizational growth as we all navigate the next few weeks.