As a business owner, you are frequently surrounded by chaos. Throw in a pandemic, civil unrest, and elections and the regular chaos can easily become a maelstrom. So how do you, as the person steering the ship, navigate the storms?
Ignoring the situation is not an option. You may be tempted to abandon the ship, but that creates a whole new set of problems. So where do you start? Don’t feel like you need to tackle every issue at once. Chances are you will not have the energy, or the cash to take care of everything at once. Listen to your team and customers, then prioritize. Identify which things are critical, and which are urgent. Critical and urgent move to the top of the list!
When you are in uncharted waters, it’s OK to ask for help. Call on your business coach, banker, your CPA, and your business attorney. Leverage your network to get the help you need. Your payroll company may be able to help with validating unemployment claims and HR questions about medical leaves due to COVID-19. Work with your banker and your accountant when considering or requesting financing. Check with your tax professional – is an option truly a tax credit, or a delayed tax that you will still owe? Reach out to suppliers and vendors. If delivery schedules have changed, see if payment terms can be adjusted. If you are not able to offer a product or service at this time, renegotiate with your suppliers. Utilize the expertise of your business coach to help manage your time, cash, and priorities.
Within your own team, delegate. You may be the captain, but you still have a crew. Utilize them. That may mean reassigning responsibilities. You may be surprised when you ask your team to do a little more, or to do something different. The key here is to communicate Who, What, When, and please don’t forget the Why.
By dealing with issues and problems one at a time you will see progress plus have the reward of accomplishing several things over time, rather than a little bit here and there. Including your team in the effort, and using outside resources, you will chart a course to success.
Your crew and your customers are looking to you for leadership. If you believe that you will thrive amid the chaos, and take steps to make it happen, you will make it to a safe harbor stronger than you were before the storms hit.