There are a lot of blog posts, social media posts, mass emails from companies, and videos talking about the wild and historic current events.
I am not going to cover tips for working from home, or supplies to have in the pantry/house, or strategies on what to say to prospects during the start of what will most likely be an economic meltdown. There are plenty of other people talking about all those topics.
I am also not going to focus this on the companies who feel like everything is on hold because of the state of the world.
What I am going to write about is what a lot of business owners and managers don’t want to hear.
At times like this, times of massive and sudden crisis, your company (and your own character) is being tested. It’s being pushed to the limits of what it can withstand.
If you have built a proper business with systems, processes, redundancies, back up plans, reserves, and a strong corporate culture then this “fire drill” will not crush you. It might in fact actually make you stronger.
However, if you are like businesses, 11+ years of a good economy have allowed you to generate enough revenue to cover up a lack of systems, processes, and culture. If that is you, right now you’re freaking out, your people are struggle to handle this period in time, and most likely your revenue is close to drying up.
I am not trying to be offensive, but you need to hear it – if the above feels like your current reality – then your have been running a sloppy business.
For years I have met or spoke with so many owners and managers who were doing “fine” in their business. They didn’t see the need for a consultant like me, even if they were referred to me by someone who thought I could help them.
They didn’t think they had a problem. Sales were still being done. Revenue was high enough. The bottom line was looking good. Things didn’t need changing. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” right?
Again, I am not saying this to offend anyone, but if you haven’t already it is time to see the reality of your situation.
My Own Sloppiness
Don’t believe me about the “sloppy” business comment? Let me share a personal story of sloppiness.
My first official, professional sales role was in the residential mortgage industry. It was the early 2000’s, things were easy for loan officers, there were a lot of options and a lot of people wanting to buy/refinance.
After a few years I made a change and decided to go into business for myself buying house to remodel/sell and helping people avoid foreclosure. Business was not great for a while, money was going out for a long time before anything came back in.
During that time of basically “no income” it became super obvious that my spending habits had gone out of whack. My income had dropped to basically zero, but my spending habits and lifestyle had not changed.
Watching the dollar amount in the bank account seemingly drop moment to moment, I took drastic action to first audit where the money was going. In doing that we realized that I was spending a lot in categories like dining out and clothes.
My finances had become sloppy when times were good (a nice six figure income) but the sloppiness was still there when times became bad.
Now Is The Time
This is what I saw with the business leaders I spoke with in the past. The sloppiness was there – the lack of systems and processes, the lack of metrics and oversight of the KPIs, the lack of company culture driving the team to perform – instead having to use the carrot/stick.
Unfortunately, most people won’t change a bad habit until they hit some sort of rock bottom. And everyone’s rock bottom is different.
For me and my finances, hitting a hard financial rock bottom where my last credit card available declined at the grocery store was the key to changing life long spending habits.
For companies who thought they were “doing good” but are facing a new reality, I hope you do not have to hit rock bottom to change habits.
Normally I don’t push hard with a call to action in my articles…but these are extraordinary times and I feel like it is my duty to help save as many of you from that rock bottom. For your sake, for your employees’ sake, and for your customers’ sake.
No matter how you are doing right now – holding on, doing well, or fearing the worst – please call, text, email, carrier pigeon – whatever it takes for us to chat and talk about ways to put things in place right away to help weather this storm. Then we can tackle the bigger systemic solutions to help you come out of this in a much better position.
Final Thought – I wanted to end this by saying that I know that during times like this fortunes are made. When things are bad most everywhere, the ones who can figure out how to be of service to others, still selling their product or service, will come out way further ahead (especially if their competition doesn’t make it). I am not talking about being opportunistic, I am talking about seeing the opportunities. Even at a time like this.
I know that if you are reading this, it’s because you have a business and want to make it through this, and I want to help. Call me at (206) 234-1848 or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.