The phrase, “If what they’re saying is true,” is being echoed in team meetings and strategic planning sessions all across America. Start-ups,
Fortune 500 companies and everyone in between are all actively seeking to make sense of the evolving circumstances surrounding COVID-19. I myself have said the very phrase. The difficulty in making decisions has increased significantly. The truth is, no one will get it 100% right. We are all a part of writing the history of this time, but no one will look back without finding some mistakes were made. Ultimately, the goal is to incrementally move forward.
The first step of decision making during the age of misinformation is to breathe. At a time where everything appears to be on fire around you, it’s important to remember your breathing. Firefighters are trained to maintain control over their breathing to preserve the oxygen in their air packs. While this aids in the preservation of resources it actually accomplishes two things at once. The same focused breathing will also allow you to remain calm enough to snuff out panic during every hard-fought moment. Step one, breathe. Avoid conversations with individuals who can ONLY talk about the negative effects and possible outcomes of COVID. Spending time talking about what might happen only serves to distract us from what we could be doing today.
This leads us to the next step, gathering data. The data needs to come from your business. The company’s financials will provide a lot of the data necessary to come up with a plan. The WT Enterprise Center has put together an emergency tool kit which contains lots of valuable worksheets and resources that can help with this. It can be found for free here. The goal is to see where the business stands today. Your company’s staff also needs to be thought of as a resource. Who is on your team? What is everyone’s capability during this time? This can help as you might need to change employee responsibilities, work schedules etc. This will serve as the starting point from which all your decisions will stem from. Next, what outside resources are available to you? Between local banks, other businesses, and government entities the structure of how your business operates will not look like it did a month ago and is likely to change again soon. You will need to remain open to a plan with wiggle room. Remember the goal is not perfection, its forward progress. Our Executive Director, Kyla Frye, did an incredible job laying a lot of this out in a webinar over a company’s 30,60, and 90-day plan. It’s part of that incredible toolkit available for free to you here (it really is pretty amazing).
Breathe, gather the appropriate data and have a good idea of the options available through multiple avenues. It is time to create a plan that is not reliant upon the latest COVID case numbers or days China has gone without a new case. The Enterprise Center has virtual office hours with our staff members to help you as needed. A schedule of availability can be found here. We all hope to get back to our long-lost sense of normalcy, but you have what it takes to pivot and maneuver your business through trials.
Overcoming hurdles is the foundation of entrepreneurship. If there is anything we can do to help you build a great company please let us know.