I have a bit of a light hearted question for you today. I wonder, has COVID-19 caught you with your business pants down? This whole situation lately has been quite random, completely unexpected, and really caught a lot of us off guard. Some of the things you might have realised about your business during the lockdown, are really really important to stop and acknowledge. It’s not necessarily just a global health crisis we’re in. There are other things going right on right now that have given you insight into your business. Insights you might not have been granted if this did not happened.
It has been shocking, and it has been really challenging. I have tried to see the opportunity though, and to use it to create new outcomes. For myself and for all of the business owners who are going to make it through, this will be a chance to really get moving with our business. To honestly assess our business and find out where its weak spots are.
“To improve is to change. To be perfect is to change often” Winston Churchill
Let’s have a look at what these weak points could be:
Perhaps the challenge you’re facing right now is a culture crisis, and your company values aren’t as pervasive as you would have liked them to be. Now of course there’s a health crisis going on, don’t get me wrong, but making sure that your company values are strongly drilled and followed up on is very important. Ask yourself, as your routine has changed, if you are still standing on those core values? Are you able to deliver them as well as you were before? With such change, it is interesting to find that those values aren’t really as entrenched as we would like them to be, so we can use this insight to reinforce them.
The next observation is, maybe you’re facing a leadership crisis? This is where too much of the business has relied on you holding things together. Let’s just be honest for a second, have you been doing too much in your business? Are the cracks that were already starting to show, turning into gaping wide holes? COVID-19 has turned routine on its head, and now allowed you to see if you were doing too much. If so it could really be a problem, not just seeing it, but feeling it in spades right now. If too much of the business relied on you holding things together, this is the time to fix that.
The next thing you might have noticed, is that you are experiencing a cash flow crisis. Depending on the nature of your business, and the pressure you are facing, your revenue streams may not be as foolproof as you thought. Now, there’s no judgement, I have personally faced some real challenges in my cash flow too. Though I think it’s really important as business owners to be able to roll with the punches, and understand this reality: if you’re struggling with your cash flow now, then you may have eventually struggled anyway. Now is the time to find alternative revenue streams, and really strengthen your core business.
If your staff didn’t have adequate resources or instruction to work with, then perhaps what you’re facing is a workflow crisis. When your staff are left without adequate support, or even clear instruction, it can cause your business to falter. Your workflow process has come to a grinding halt because your people don’t know what to do. This is a great opportunity for improvement in this area, to provide the resources, build the support, and build out the required process documentation systems. Many may still create really great outcomes, even without close supervision, but this is the time you work to bring everyone up to par.
Finally, could you be facing a motivation crisis? Perhaps up to this point, you’ve become a little bit complacent. Perhaps you’ve been stuck in a rut, where you were putting off the next project because you were comfortable. I’ve spoken to so many people who have said, “I wish I’d got my business online before” … “I wish I’d figured this out before” … “I wish I’d set this up” … “I wish I’d done those things.” Well you know, we’ve all been caught out now, and we’re all learning. We can use this to see the vulnerabilities in our business, and really tighten things up to create an even better business ship that is running really, really well.
By having a good look and understanding the weak points that have been exposed, we are taking the first step in changing them. Let’s take these lessons and turn them into some of our greatest strengths in business instead.