We are nowhere near the end of the Covid-19 health crisis yet we are faced again with another challenge – the economic crisis that was brought about by this pandemic. Millions of people around the world lost their jobs. Many businesses closed. It will take years before we can ever go back to the way it was before. The challenge now for many is how to survive this economic crisis?
I recently attended an webinar on Transformative Leadership. It was about developing business strategies on how to survive a crisis based on lessons from a leading conglomerate in the country. The key point is transformation. There is no way to survive this crisis without making some changes. Abandon the old model and create a new one. I found the lessons applicable on both businesses and individuals.
Here are my notes on the transformation guide and some insights and lessons on how you can apply them not only in your business but in your personal lives as well:
1. Ensure Financial Sustainability
The very foundation for everyone right now should be financial sustainability. Financial sustainability means being able to meet the cash flow requirements of the operations of the business or the monthly household expenses of the individual. There is no telling until when will this crisis last. So, liquidity is very important. It is time to cut down any unnecessary expenses and preserve cash.
For Businesses: Do you have enough cash? Do you have access to capital to continue operating your business? Do you have enough funds to continue paying your obligations? How to continue earning profit amidst the crisis?
For Individuals: How was your income affected? Do you have enough savings? Do you still have enough money to pay for your monthly household expenses? Are there already warning signs that you are living beyond your means? How to continue earning amidst the crisis?
2. Serve Customers
The customers are the foundation of any business. Knowing and understanding the customer needs at this time is essential for any business.
For Businesses: How will you be able to serve your customers without sacrificing your financial sustainability? There is no point continuing a business without profit. You also need to take into consideration that this is a health crisis. So, it is best to consider how to continue serving customers without putting their health at risk?
For Individuals: If your income was greatly affected by the crisis, it is time to look for other sources of income. Ask yourself, how can I serve others now using the skills and talent that I have? What can you offer to the community? Instead of chasing the money, focus on how you can be of help to others. Money is a by-product of the service that you rendered. The most successful businesses in the world addressed and solved an existing problem.
3. Protect Your People
The employees are the most important resource of any company. In these trying times, it is important that you have motivated and healthy people around you.
For Businesses: How do you protect your workforce? They are the ones who has a direct relationship with the customers; so, it is important that you protect your people. The success of any business heavily relies on customer satisfaction. In order to stay motivated to do their jobs, employees must first feel safe. Is their work environment safe enough?
For Individuals: Protecting your family and those who are dear to you should be one of your main concerns. It is hard to adjust to the new normal but it is the only way to stay healthy and safe during this crisis. Always remember that first and foremost, this is a health crisis.
4. Abandon the Old and Create A New Plan
Change is a necessary part of life. It is crucial for growth and success. However, it is also one of the hardest things in life. There is always that fear of the unknown. That’s why many people choose to stay in their comfort zone simply because it is familiar and comfortable.
Unfortunately, Covid-19 is here to stay. The world will not go back to 2019. Unless your industry benefited from the pandemic, it will be difficult to stay afloat and survive this economic crisis without some changes. Yes, it is ok to abandon the old plan and change to a completely different one.
For businesses: Assess your business model. Is it still applicable? If not, you need to abandon the old business model and create a new business plan for your company that will adhere to the new normal.
For individuals: Was your work greatly affected? Were your future plans and goals disrupted? Instead of merely just waiting for things to go back to normal, it is now time to reassess your goals and make some adjustments or changes. Redesign your life through a bucket list.
5. Come Up with a Transformation Recovery Plan
A total recovery will not happen overnight. Recovery would be done in stages. Without a plan, it will take longer to recover. This is also the time to have tough goals in order to make it through. Remember, your main concern now is SURVIVAL.
For Businesses: The business transformation recovery plan should include strategies and timeline. It should also include procedures and responsibilities. Tough goals include reduction in workforce, following strict schedules and time frames and coming up with new goals that are totally different from the past. Once in place, regular testing and validation should be done to make sure that the plan is working.
For Individuals: The transformation recovery plan for individuals should start by the creation of SMART goals based on the bucket list that you just made. To ensure success, your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-based. Tough goals may include doing work that you have never done before.
6. Transform Corporate Culture
Corporate culture pertains to the shared values, beliefs and behaviors of a particular organization. The transformation recovery plan will only be successful if there is cooperation of all members of the organization. It is impossible to do it alone.
For Businesses: There will be a need to retrain people.You need to work hand-in-hand with your staffs. Make sure they understand. Make sure you are on the same page. You need the complete support of the organization to make it through the crisis.
For Individuals: Just like in businesses, the whole family should be in the same page. Each member of the family should understand what is going on. Everyone should do their share for the common goal.
7. Embrace Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is basically using technology to reach customers, transform processes and implement business solutions. The new normal would be heavily dependent online. That’s why, an online presence is essential for survival. Digitize what you can.
For Businesses: Do you already have on online presence? Can you reach your customers online? What part of your business processes can you digitize? Integrate digital technology in several areas in your businesses.
For individuals: Whether you are selling products or offering your services, you need to take advantage of the digital world. If you are looking into changing careers, there are lots of courses available online. The possibilities are all in your finger tips.
Good luck and let us all emerge from this economic crisis successfully!
Feature Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay Images.