Small Business - What Now?
If you are like me, you are looking at the climate today and thinking “How can things change so quickly?” In just a few weeks, the economy and our daily life have shifted into unrecognizable territory as a result of a health crisis—a pandemic like nothing we have experienced in our lifetime. In so much uncertainty, how do we continue to move forward as small business owners?
Which Group Are You In?
Matt Nettleton, Sandler Training DTB, shared the feedback he has been receiving from client conversations:
“Businesses like ours are responding to the current crisis in three different ways.
· 20% - It’s tough out there, and we are fighting through to the other side!
· 20% - It’s tough out there. We are going to bury our heads and hold on until this passes, then we will get going again.
· 60% - It’s tough out there, and we want to fight through this and are trying to figure out what that next step looks like.”
Which category does your business fall into? My own business started in the third mindset, and we are eagerly moving toward the first. We are leveraging our expertise in a way that fits the new economic realities. Yes, we focus on helping our clients identify talented candidates for important positions within their organizations and the climate has changed in the hiring market; however, there remain many ways that we can help. We are actively seeking out solutions to help our clients, prospects and candidates in the current job market as they step forward so that we all come out stronger on the other side. What can your business do to add value in the same way?
John Maxwell said it well—we have a choice when faced with tremendous challenge. This whole crisis may have you struggling and feeling knocked down at times. But be encouraged— if we are struggling, then we are still in the game. We can give up, or we can GET UP! If we choose to give up, success is no longer an option. But getting up means taking the next right step forward. For me, this looks like:
· Discovering ways to adapt to the current market need.
· Identifying ways to leverage skills and offerings as a service to prospects, clients, and candidates.
· Continuing to take the next right step forward through setting goals and specific plans to pursue and meet them.
Remember: struggle is not the same as failure. We have no chance to succeed if we stall before getting started. When the COVID-19 crisis passes, we want to already be in motion, ready to charge ahead. We can choose how we walk forward. Will we lose the battle before beginning? Or will we take small steps forward—learning, adapting, and adjusting as we go?
Supporting One Another
What can your business do to serve others within your space? I am thankful for the many businesses (Sandler Sales, Constant Contact and LinkedIn—just to name a few) that are leveraging their skills and offerings in new ways to educate, motivate, encourage, and propel their clients (and prospects) forward. Their initiatives have challenged me to consider how our company can do the same for our clients and candidates in the job market.
Did you know that currently there are many opportunities to participate in webinars of all kinds – a big thank you to all of you that are offering them. We can refine our tools, grow our knowledge, and be better versions of ourselves for our teams. Let’s use this time to develop ourselves and our teams personally and professionally.
You have a product to sell or a service to offer. Is now the time? Yes, it is! There are companies continuing business as usual (maybe remotely or in a new way). I’ve heard it cleverly described as “Business as Unusually Usual.” If your aim has always been to help your clients, now is no different. Now is a time to connect with your clients, asking the sincere question, “How are you doing? How can we help?” Is there a necessary service that you are able to offer? A new need that you can meet? Now is a great time to try! Let your existing clients know that you are still here, and you are nimble and can pivot with changes in the market and its current climate.
We Are All in This Together
We have the ability to come alongside one another in many ways. As we all work to manage expenses and are making short-term changes (hoping to minimize the impact on our teams as much as we can), let’s remember how others are helping us adapt and accomplish our objectives. How might you do that for one of your clients? Each of our organizations leverages skills and specialties in different areas. If we work together and spur each other onward, then when this crisis has passed, we will be prepared to take next steps…together!