Tips for Small Businesses When Managing a Crisis

With the recent outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, many businesses and organizations are panicking on what this means for their business and their growth opportunities for the remainder of 2020.  How does a small business owner prepare for a recession or an economic crisis?  Below are 6 tips for managing a crisis or potential downturn in the economy. 
1.) Don’t panic.  This sounds very simple, but extremely important.  So often, we become reactive, instead of proactive.  Our response to a crisis will often determine how we manage, how large the crisis becomes and how much it affects our business and clients.  Although we may have some anxiety, we know there are always opportunities within a crisis. 

2.) Look for the Opportunity.  As you stand back and look at the crisis or problem, which issues are not being addressed?  If you do not know your clients or industry well, this may be a challenge for you. (HINT: Know your clients and your industry).  What can you contribute or solve?  Get creative and gain a different perspective about the issues at hand. 

3.) Feel Your Clients Pain.  What are your clients/customers feeling right now?  Are their businesses on hold? Are they doing well (some businesses are thriving right now)?  Will they need to focus on other issues for a short time? Whatever the pain or issue, know it.  Feel it… and then act accordingly.  

4.) Talk to Your Clients:  If your business or society is facing a crisis, assess the situation by speaking directly with your clients.  Ask about their concerns and effectively communicate how you are dealing with a crisis.  Clients want to know that they can still trust that their business is being handled. 

5.) Be a Thought Leader: This is the time to show your value and expertise to your audience, if applicable.  If there is any aspect you know about the crisis, now is the time to write, blog, speak and teach about the subject in various ways. Look at the situation from different angles and determine how you can be of value to your clients.

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