Don’t fall into the trap of focusing only on the here and now – prepare for the future, writes Oliver Isaacs for Entrepreneur.
Right now, in the midst of the global coronavirus outbreak, you are undoubtedly beset by problems that require your immediate attention – but, as our political leaders keep reminding us, this will come to an end.
Here are eight ways you can make sure you are still in business when it does:
1) Identify the challenges to your business. Make a comprehensive list of the challenges your business might face. Plan for every possible scenario, including the worst you can imagine.
2) Plan solutions with several scenarios in mind. Now you have your list of challenges, develop several potential solutions to each.
3) Find leads and customers ahead of time. Your competitors are focusing on the here and now. You should focus on building a network of potential future customers. This will show your customers you are on top of the situation.
4) Adapt your services to the current situation. If your business relies on face-to-face interaction with customers, self-isolation and social distancing are a major problem.
How can you provide your product or service in a different way? For example, cafes and restaurants are switching their focus to home delivery.
5) Market your solutions with coronavirus in mind. What is the relevance or use of your product or service in the current situation? Communicate the answer to your customers. Make sure they know you are still in business.
6) Ensure your services will still be relevant at later phases. Customer behaviours are changing in the current situation. For example, people are switching to using purchasing products and accessing services online. Do not assume they will switch back post-coronavirus. Plan for the future not the past.
7) Use alternative solutions to maintain daily operation. Coronavirus is likely to continue disrupting planned events and meetings for months to come. Instead of cancelling, brainstorm possible alternatives. For example, meetings can be held on Skype or Zoom and many art galleries are moving their exhibitions online.
8) Implement tech upgrades to keep communication flowing. For example, Google Docs for collaborating on and sharing documents, Asana for planning, and Coggle or Stormboard for brainstorming.
SURVIVE AND THRIVE
Successful businesses never focus solely on survival.
“While it might be tempting to focus on just staying afloat in the moment, putting out the fires as and when they threaten to appear, it’s crucial to plan for the future of your business and be fully prepared for what will come next,” writes Oliver Isaacs.