How To Lead A Confident, Bold, And Strong Re-opening

May 5, 2020, Written by Sue Miley

re-opening

By the time we lift the stay-at-home order here in Louisiana it will be at least two months of basic physical business shutdown.  Even if you were able to work at home, in most cases, business is still impacted.  Whether it is projects pushed back or lower sales as conservative customers modify their spending.  And, if you are working from home, it just isn’t nearly as efficient is it?

  • Keeping teams motivated and on track.
  • Keeping yourself motivated and on track.
  • Technology issues.
  • Kid or pet distractions.

If you watch or read any media, it is full of threats that even upon re-opening, things will not be the same. 

We still have choices.

We can plan and produce a best-case scenario, or we can wait and let whatever scenario occurs dictate our outcomes.  Practically speaking, we still need to communicate something to our customers and employees. 

I for one believe in being proactive and trying to create as positive of an outcome as possible. 

Disclaimer:  I’m not suggesting we to go into over control mode to make something happen outside of our dependence on the Lord and the Holy Spirit’s guidance.  However, I think He wants us to put our best foot forward with confidence that He is right there with us.

What Do We Need To Consider In Our Planning?

We all have different types of businesses.  All or some of these may be applicable:

  • Are employees willing and able to come back to work?  Some may be sick or have kids at home that still don’t have school to go to.   If you laid employees off, they may be receiving higher unemployment and unwilling to come back.  The higher unemployment ends July 30, so that would be unwise long-term for employees.
  • Are your facilities ready?  Do you need to do some deep cleaning?  Do you need to change your set-up to support social distancing for employees and/or customers?  Do you need extra PPE to ensure people feel safe entering your work environment? Some of our clients can assist with people to clean and equipment to help.
  • How will people know you are re-opened?  How will you promote your products or services to ensure sales rebound as quickly as possible?  Do you have a marketing program in place?  Do you need one?
  • If you received a PPP loan, are you proactively tracking expenditures against it so you can easily prepare your forgiveness application?  Are you able to follow the requirements of the loan and understand the implications if you can’t follow them?  We can help.
  • Do you have processes in place for your employees to follow that are clear and defined?  Do your employees know your plan and the message you want to send to customers, and do they embrace it? 
  • Are your finances in order as well as possible to operate?  Are credit policies in place to ensure payment and cashflow?  If you don’t have a PPP loan, do you have other cash or credit in place to pay for expenses until revenue regains momentum?

This may feel like too many questions and not enough answers.  Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all plan because weall have different circumstances.  That is why it is important to go ahead and start considering all of these questions; and come up with a plan for your business.

How Do We Ensure A Smooth Re-opening?

A few tips that work for any business:

  1. Lead confidently and boldly.  Regardless of your circumstance, you are the leader.  To execute any plan well requires strong confident leadership.  You’ve got this one.  Having a well thought out plan will automatically enhance confidence.
  2. Communicate clearly and often.  It may be clear to you, but, test your plan and communication on others.  Make sure to ask your team to repeat what they are hearing to make sure they understand and get it.  Things change so often right now.  You may be adjusting in your head and forget to update plans and communicate to others.
  3. Let each person on your team know the role you expect them to play.  Everyone will have to make some kind of adjustments in the re-opening plan.  Current team members may need to take on new responsibilities to ensure social distancing, to update customers regularly, to measure and track spending more closely or to help sanitize workspaces.  Don’t expect them to just know.  Communicate and explain how you will measure their additional responsibilities.
  4. Take customer service up a notch.  Whether you sell products or services, you have customers, whoselives have been upended too.  They are counting pennies and have frayed nerves.  Businesses should always have excellent customer service, but it is imperative right now.  Excellent service includes friendliness, clear communication, safety, follow-up, as well as high quality products and services. 
  5. Take care of your employees.  Again, communicate so they know what is expected.  Also realize that they have family concerns, extra issues to juggle, and in many cases have to adjust to new work protocols.  Make sure your employees are taking breaks, taking care of their own health and safety, and have a clear understanding of their pay and hours.  The distractions are exponential right now, so you have to provide clarity and peace.

Crossroads Continued Services

We have continued our services through week 6 of the 8 week Stay-At-Home order, and are here for the weeks ahead.  We have helped clients plan how to weather the quarantine period, how to get funding and cash flow, and how to continue operations and marketing wherever possible.  We have been fully functional through video meetings and technology, although we miss human interaction.   We are looking forward to a physical re-opening too.

  • Our full team is available and still working on business coaching, cash flow planning, full marketing services, and full recruiting services.
  • We are collecting supplies in order to re-open our offices and ensure proper social distancing, a clean and safe environment, and PPE if needed.
  • Our business coaching services will re-open when the governor lifts the stay-at-home order; although we are happy to continue video conferencing and remote work on your behalf.
  • We are praying for our clients and community daily.

We miss seeing our clients in person, but most importantly, we are committed to continued business support by providing flexible, responsive, high quality services, and keeping our clients and team as healthy and safe as possible as far as it is in our influence to do so.

If you need help creating your unique plan, we are here to help.  We can help you develop a plan that is specific to your circumstances.  We can help you recruit and find employees if your team is not whole.  We can help you communicate and market your business effectively to get your revenues back to where they were as soon as possible.  And, as always, we can help with the stress and strain most business owners are carrying right now. 

Give us a call at (225) 314-4147 if we can be of service.

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.