Coronavirus has hit the world hard. News stations have been reporting about the pandemic non-stop. We hear all of the negative that is happening in the world.
Businesses are suspending operations. People are losing their paychecks and, worse, possibly their homes, vehicles, and more.
The Coronavirus is devastating the economies of the nations. Take a look at the stock market. Stocks have taken a nose-dive and it doesn’t look like it will end soon.
In this pandemic, business leaders need to keep their cool. They need to be willing to make hard choices. Ones that will impact the lives of those they lead and those in the community.
You may feel like you’re drowning in a sea of uncertainty. You don’t know if the government is going to shut down all non-essential businesses in your state like Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and other states. In times like this, it’s crucial business leaders look for ways to lead like no one else.
Today, I want to challenge business leaders to think about Coronavirus in a different way. Instead of looking at Coronavirus through the eyes of fear, let’s look at Coronavirus through the eyes of hope.
4 Things Business Leaders Can Do During The Coronavirus Pandemic
1. Look for ways to help:
Pam and I visited one of our favorite local candy shops. They may be the best candy shop in Muskegon. The owners are friendly and always have something nice to say.
When we visited them on a Friday in March, one of the owners told us of the kindness another local business showed them.
He had visited a local restaurant. When he entered, he saw the restaurant had a hand sanitizer dispenser. Hand sanitizer and dispensers are hard to come by during this crisis.
He asked the restaurant owner where he purchased the dispenser from. The only gave him something better than an answer. He went into his restaurant and brought out a new hand sanitizer dispenser and gave it to the owner of the candy store.
There are ways to help others during this crisis. You don’t have to horde hand sanitizer or toilet paper. You can still be generous at this time.
Look for ways to help those around you. Can you give a free meal as the Curry Kitchen did to families in Muskegon, Michigan? Can you offer kindness to those struggling to pay for basic necessities?
Your business is more than what you can get out of it. Your business is to benefit the lives of those around you. Help them. They will help you.
2. Get rid of draconian sick leave policies:
Sadly, many businesses have had to create sick leave policies due to bad employees abusing a more open system. You may be one of those businesses. You limit the number of sick days a team member can take before they’re fired.
In a time of crisis, it is time to reevaluate your sick leave policies.
If a team member is sick or not feeling well, give them the time off to recover without penalty to their pay or job. If a team member has to take care of a sick family member, allow them to go take care of their family.
Sick leave policies can hurt valuable employees… but only if you let them.
3. Find new ways to do business:
I love to attend comic conventions. The Coronavirus outbreak has forced many comic cons to cancel or postpone their shows. For many, this may be the nail in their coffin.
One of the side effects of these closures or postponements is that comic book artists, writers, and creators who were going to attend the show no longer have a show to attend. They’re unable to do business because there’s no show to go to.
I’ve seen many comic book artists and creators create something new. They’re using the power of the internet to create virtual comic cons. During the virtual comic con, these artists are streaming live drawings, ask me anythings, and more to help drum up business.
I love the ingenuity of these artists.
They’re not letting a show cancellation stop them from making money. They’re finding ways to make money come to them.
Are there new ways you can do business? Can your sales team become a virtual team that reaches out to people they would normally meet with face to face? Did you have to cancel a lunch and learn? You can make it a virtual session and send the attendees a gift card to a local restaurant.
There are more ways to do business than you’ve been doing business. Look for new ways to do business and you’ll be in a better position than those who chose to do nothing.
4. Reach out to your raving fans:
Your raving fans love you. They don’t want to see you go out of business.
In times of dire straits, you need to be willing to reach out to your raving fans. Let them know what you’re doing beyond cleaning (God knows we’ve seen enough of the “Our business loves you. We care about your well-being. Because of this, we’re cleaning our shops more than we have in the past.” emails.).
Let your fans know you have a virtual storefront. Help your fans to share your message with their friends. Tell them you need their help.
By being honest, helping them to see ways they can still do business with you, and sharing your need, you can create a free sales team that doesn’t need to be paid. This is a sales team created from the trust and goodwill you’ve built up with your clientele.
Coronavirus doesn’t have to be the end of your business. Rather, Coronavirus can be the turn your business needs to find a new way to do business.
Don’t let this opportunity slip by you. You have the world at your fingertips right now. Let them know you’re still here and you need their help.