A crisis like this demands significant action, now.
Great leaders are forged during a crisis because they are willing to try things that normally wouldn’t consider. They decide to take calculated risks and bold actions that change the trajectory of their company.
On the other hand, many others freeze. They sit and wait. In the best scenario, they develop incremental strategies that aren’t really either innovative or competitive.
Let’s clear the air first and get rid of these dangerous perceptions:
- There is no way to thrive during a pandemic
The pandemic is heavily impacting the economy, your market, your business. No one will ever argue that.
Here’s the thing. Now it’s the coronavirus. Yesterday was the financial crunch. Tomorrow will be another recession. Maybe your competitors are changing the rules of the game. Maybe your clients are not buying anymore.
You can keep moaning and blaming others and external circumstances. Some people love doing it. Don’t get dragged into that. Yet, the press and the internet are full of stories of entrepreneurs and businesses that have been super successful during turbulent times. Many Fortune companies were born and thrived in 2008.
What to do?
- Focus on what you can control. You can’t control the market or the outbreak. So, don’t waste any time on external factors. Learn how to adapt in the new context so keep your business alive and in-demand.
- Take full responsibility and ownership of your new problems. Build a sense of urgency to solve them. Explore different options and ways to find solutions. Experiment or use proven systems.
- My strategy is good enough
John Maxwell said: “What got you here won’t get you there”. I strongly believe this is true.
You had success in the past and your business performance reflects that. I am sure you did well in your field. But now there is something new standing between you and the next level of success.
Now it’s time to be vulnerable. Be ready to criticise your own strategy. If your ego prevents doing that, this is not going to end well.
In fact, the strategy you developed and implemented a few months ago is not working anymore. Sooner you realise that the faster you come through this.
If you’re not outpacing your competitors right now, then your plan is simply too old.
What to do?
- Focus on three things: your clients, competitors, offerings. Your clients are still buying, but differently. What are they thinking right now? Do they have new fears and issues now? What are your competitors doing right now? Are they offering something different and more effective these days? What about your services? Are they solving your clients’ most pressing issues or not? You get the idea, right?
- Focus on a few priorities. You don’t have time to rebuild the whole business to get short-term results. Build the foundations by all means but you have to include early wins to get immediate traction and mojo back.
- There is no money on the table anymore
Wrong. There is plenty of money. The fact you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not available. It’s just going to someone else right now.
If you are clients are leaving you or are not paying anymore, it’s not because they don’t have money to spend. It’s because your solution is not what they are looking for or it’s not good enough for their current problems.
It’s your responsibility to keep your message and offerings relevant. Your clients have multiple options to move forward, but you need to make sure you are in their inner circle right now.
What to do?
- Learn to assess your clients more and better. This is not a time to impress them (in my world though, there is never a time to impress…). They need to be in the spotlights, not you. Are you assessing them right now?
- Focus on value and help. During challenging times, the best way to avoid getting ignored is to provide lots of help and value in all different ways. This must be your priority. Give away. Give for free what you can. Monetise later (and later could be just a few days after you gave that..)
To summarise, you need to become extremely good at what you do and take full ownership of your own success. Being good enough is an expectation. To win, you need to step up your game and become better than who you are now.
It’s your path to leadership that matters right now.