In time of crisis it pays to keep a cool head. And to keep a cool head in a crisis you need some wisdom in your life! I took a bit of time to revisit one of my favourite books of wisdom: Sun Tzu’s The Art of War.
There’s no doubt that Covid-19 is a global crisis. The biggest in my lifetime. And we should all be doing what we can to help each other, to be charitable and to follow the advice from the experts. But that does not have to be at the expense of your income, business, hopes or dreams.
Here’s 3 things I found helpful to keep in mind if you’re running a business or thinking of starting one at this time.
Before we begin let’s establish a few things:
This epidemic has caused 1000s of logistical, physical, emotional and practical problems for people. Whilst this is terrible, it also means that there are 1000s of new (or increasing experienced) problems that need solving.
This doesn’t mean that you should take advantage of people who are in need, by stockpiling or overcharging them. These people will be remembered and punished by the market after the crisis is over.
It does mean that you have an opportunity to set your business up for short and long-term success.
Whatever you do, find ways to serve people who need a solution.
What does this mean for you and your business? Get ahead of the curve!
This crisis isn’t going away as soon as your 2 weeks of isolation is over. In fact, there is every sign that it’s going to drag on for months to come. And even once it’s over, the economy (and humanity) is going to take some time to recover.
How can we get ahead of the curve?
Read about what typically happens during financial crises. Swot up on which companies come out the other side with a hefty new percentage of the market and which ones suffer the most. Get a good idea of what the landscape is going to look like before your competitors realise where the battle is going to be taking place.
Financially challenging times put pressure on relationships. Even in marriages, money is one of the most common reasons for divorce. So just imagine what stress it places on economic relationships: business partners; employees; service partners; clients; and customers.
In these challenging times, these relationships will be tested. I hope, for your sake, that you have nurtured these relationships already. But even if you haven’t, it’s not too late. How you treat the people in and around your business in these times will be remembered.
So wherever you can, be generous with your staff, understanding with your partners and supportive of your customers.