As businesses begin to reopen over the next several weeks, it is important to understand what you need to be doing at each stage of recovery.  The Pandemic is taking us through three phases in our business and our lives, and we need to understand key behaviors and activities in each phase so we can move from Surviving, which is coming to an end for most of us in the Midwest,  to Reviving our businesses to Thriving once again in the new environment.

As we wrap up the Surviving phase, we need to do a quick assessment of where we are and what we learned.  What pivots did you make, and which of them do you need to make permanent or at least semi-permanent?  For example, restaurants will need to maintain delivery and curbside pickup for quite a while to maintain volume and cashflow even once indoor dining resumes.  What did you learn about your customers, your products & services, your supply chain?  All important lessons to carry forward into the next stage.

For most of us we are starting or very close to starting the Reviving phase in our business, a 2-step process involving the Warm-up and the Sprint.  Warm-up is the week or so you have left to prepare your mind, your customers and your team to re-open. Sprint is what it will feel like once open, even if you have fewer customers than usual for a while.  Personal keys for you as the leader are to create your new routine/calendar, increase your self-care, manage your energy, and keep laser focused on the plan and goals.  Business keys are to lead from the front (not from the back office), have a staffing plan the whole team buys into, document/train any new/modified systems, ramp up your marketing (with a new, appropriate message), focus on existing clients first, and measure your results.

We can’t really guess when the final phase will occur, and the timing will be different in each industry, yet we will all get there sooner than we think and must be prepared for it.  This is the Thriving phase of your business, where you shift back to long term thinking again, focusing on Growth and Profits once again.  Personal keys for you as the owner include driving consistency into your new routines, planning Fun once again, finding harmony in your life/business and seeing the new opportunities you now have as a result of what you have been through.  The business keys are to get back to the fundamental growth and improvement activities that got you to where you were 3 months ago.  The products and services may have changed, the delivery methods may be new, and your operations may look different, but that’s okay. Now is the time to hit the accelerator again and build the business of your dreams, the one that supports your family, your team and your customers.

If you need help figuring out where to start, take advantage of our free coaching and strategy sessions here.