Get Through COVID-19 With This Crisis Action Checklist
Making important decisions under pressure is always difficult and even more so in the current climate of COVID-19. In times like this, strategy is key for clear direction and to minimise the impact on your business as much as possible. Here’s a handy guide and downloadable checklist to help respond to the crisis and ensure critical steps aren’t overlooked in this tricky time.
List your business’ purposes and goals at the top of your action list and ensure you stay true to them. Having this in the back of your mind will help provide direction and structure to your plan.
Don’t rush into anything. It’s okay to slow down, assess your options and strategise before speeding up and responding to the situation.
Make use of existing news reports and government data and information and base your decisions around these.
Consult with your team, your peers in the industry and trusted experts about your plans to ensure that you’re headed in the right direction.
Create a plan for before and after Covid-19 and communicate this with staff
2. Strip back
Now is the time to cut non-essential costs. Begin with anything that doesn’t deliver revenue or bring in new customers.
Digitise or automate lower-value, labour-intensive tasks if you can. Doing this will drastically improve your efficiency and hopefully cut costs.
If finances get tighter, you may need to cut costs further, so prepare a list of second tier costs that may need to go.
Apply for grants and subsidies for Melbourne and Australia-based businesses such as the following:
3. Foster positive relationships
Even while you aim to bring new customers or clients to your business, don’t forget about your loyal, regular ones. As long time customers, they’re already invested in you and your business and what happens to you directly affects them!
If you are finding that your primary industry is really hurting during this time, consider pivoting to attract other, more steady clients in other industries.
Be proactive in finding new customers and clients. Call, email, do a flyer drop or even DM them to promote your products and offer your assistance, instead of waiting for them to find you.
Demonstrate empathy through trade terms such as discounts, deferred payments or more fractionalised payments if cashflow is a major issue for clients.
Use cash reserves or unexpected downtime to engage in innovation, such as new products or services, or teach yourself a new skill that may be helpful in the post-crisis economy.
Consider what the world will look like post-crisis and how your business can pivot to take advantage of new demand. This might require you to shift the values and aims of your business, so think about how you might re-articulate these to customers.
5. Communicate outside your organisation
Be helpful – We’re all in this together! Now is the time to collaborate to solve bigger problems as a community.
Stay visible with your marketing and social media activities. This will keep you at the top of your audience’s mind and enable you to capitalise on demand when it returns.
6. Adapt to working from home if you are able to do so
If staff are still working from home, create a Zoom call weekly or fortnightly to keep each other updated and stay in touch.
Use Monday, Trello or other organisational suites to stay in touch without needing to speak directly to one another. These tools will keep everyone on track.
Use your calendar for due dates with everyone added in and alerts created for everyone for when tasks are due
Know how you operate best and implement a routine for during the work week. Get up at the same time, have breakfast, have a shower etc, write to-do lists, but even more so, plan what you want to do in your down time. Do you want to feel like you’ve achieved something in your work day – do you want to cook something epic for lunch or maybe put something in a marinade in preparation for dinner? How about a walk or run to a part of your neighbouring suburb that you haven’t visited in a while? Think short, medium and long term every day and have lists for all of them. This will help make every day feel accomplished and help you stay satisfied.
7. Offer help and support to those within your organisation
Be human! Lead with authenticity and genuine concern while remaining calm, your customers will thank you for it.
Be transparent with information you have available and share what is appropriate, considering how others might receive it.
Take more time than you usually would to check in with those around you. Your people and partners will appreciate the consideration and will be more productive if they’re settled.
Touch base with all your stakeholders beyond employees and customers. Think about suppliers, community and environmental partners and regulators. Keep in mind that everyone is feeling the impact of COVID-19, so be available for assistance, motivation and general conversation. It will go a long way.