We have all been through it. The Covid-19 pandemic. Like a thief in the night, this global crisis destroyed a lot of the things we were used to. Many small businesses were pummeled by the turn of events that unfolded. Others seemed to withstand the test of time. For a minute it felt like the lockdown, and the restrictions would never end, and all of us were caught off guard.
The aftermath of this global shutdown is still upon us, but now there is light at the end of the tunnel. As we all step back a reassess the damages, many small business owners that are trying to pick of the pieces are asking themselves “How do we get back to normal?” (Whatever that looks like nowadays)
We cannot go back in time and change what has happened, however, we can use these five steps to get your business moving forward again: evaluating your biggest challenges, create a concise plan of action, learning from the Experience and Build Your Company’s Resilience through brand awareness.
Take these steps now, and not only will you get back up to speed faster, but you’ll also be better positioned to navigate the next major crisis that rocks the world.
Step No. 1: Evaluate Your Biggest Challenges & Consolidate Your Team
With all the Covid-19 rules and restrictions, companies had to make the dramatic shift from “normal everyday business” to a sudden critical mass. Suddenly, we were all required to clean up the mess, and deal with a whole new set of problems. Maybe it was remote working, maybe it was supply chain shortages, dealing with travel restrictions, or just trying to maintain a positive outlook during such a dark time in history. The most challenging thing we dealt with is the uncertainty of the disruption to our normal lives as well as the looming question on everyone’s minds, “How long will All of this last?”
Many people adapted to the changes with a fight fire with fire approach, but now that the world’s starting to return to some sort of normalcy, with it comes great opportunity — the chance to get ahead of the competition and deal with problems head on before they arise.
Using a battle minded approach to solving these problems worked for handling your company’s most urgent problems during the 11th hour, but it’s not efficient enough for long-term positioning and managing multiple challenges. For that, you want to consolidate and place people within your organization where they’ll create the greatest impact.
A consolidated and more strategically planned assembly can solve many problems at once. The downside is that communication becomes more difficult than if you have all your decision-makers standing around the same conference room table. To solve this problem and allow your company to make swift decisions and achieve its goals, you’ll want to assemble a cross-functional team of people.
This task force, which should include experts from throughout the organization, can act tactfully to drive the organization forward. Instead of constantly trying to solve small issues that come up, the team functions together to move each compartment in the same direction.
Step No. 2: Establish A Clear Communication Plan and Narrative
The next steps in to be able to establish a clear communication plan and company narrative.
Throughout the pandemic, we were all bombarded with a plethora of information: The news, the elections the divide and the rest of the world and how they were holding up and dealing with these same challenges.
Now the virus is slowing, and we are returning to the workplace, the refocus is the establish a clear communication plan and narrative of your company’s direction. This will remind your team of the vision you all share. Being committed to straight forward talk with your team is of the utmost importance. Why? Because people crave honestly and transparency from their leadership after everything we have been through together. People process things at different speeds. By putting everyone back on the same page, you’ll build a foundation of trust, which in turn helps you get the most value out of your team.
Step No. 3: Learn From Your Experience
Compartmentalizing problems and reestablishing clear communication around the business’s direction will go a long way toward getting your company back on track. But what happens when the next crisis strikes?
It’s only a matter of time before something else happens. Maybe a natural disaster, a stock market crash, or heaven forbid, another pandemic, to prevent a repeat situation — you’ll want to hold a crisis retrospective while the recent events are still fresh in your mind. Bring your leadership team together to answer the question, “What has this experience taught us?”
They say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. You’re experienced now and if you are still in business after the smoke is cleared you can consider yourself not only a lucky one, but also a crisis veteran, and you’ll be better prepared for the next disruption when it inevitably happens. You know what problems will likely arise for your company, and you’ve figured out how to handle them.
By thinking ahead and creating strategies that encompass multiple scenarios, the next crisis will present an opportunity to get ahead of the competition because you won’t be busy putting out fires. Now is the time to rebuild and set up a backup plan for the next crisis. You may have already thought of plans A and B, but what about plans C, D or even E?
Build Your Company’s Resilience. So, the Covid-19 nightmare knocked your company down, but by taking these three steps to get back up, you can not only rebuild, but you can also rebuild with resilience. You’ve already paid for the crisis — now you’re cashing in on that experience and using it to pay for your insurance policy for the next one.
Larger companies like Disney and Amazon fared comparatively well, even thrived, during the pandemic, and it’s because they were already positioned to adapt quickly. They’ve learned how to pivot from dealing with past crises, and your company can do the same.