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Shirley Pearson - Settling Into The Rhythm Of COVID-19

It's interesting how the coronavirus is bringing out the best and worst in businesses. There are some businesses that have forgotten their value of integrity and have stopped paying suppliers even though the money is owed and right now they have the money to make the payment.

I've always believed that everyone has integrity until their courage fails. No doubt our current situation is going to require extraordinary amounts of courage. On the other end of the scale we see businesses turning to the opportunities that the situation presents.

The wisdom of the ages has always said that we see the world not as it is but as we are. Perhaps that is why we see such different reactions from business owners and leaders during the Covid-19 lockdown. I dare say that the greater the challenge, the more of ourselves will become evident to the world. The one thing that can't be denied is that we are all in this together. We need to be open and honest with one another, which requires dialogue with customers, with suppliers, with our employees. I'm talking about conversations not emails. As we settle into the "corona rhythm" we will continue to have to do what is necessary to get through ( for a one stop shop of tools and relief that is available).

The prevailing view is that whilst we are now in a recession, we will avoid a depression. This is an important distinction, which your strategies over the next three to six months must take into account. More than ever we need to remain flexible, to be able to pivot to the changing circumstances. But more than ever we need to find the opportunities.

How do we begin to do this, to find the opportunities?
Well, firstly you have to find a way to manage your FEAR (False Expectations Appearing Real) and stress. When we're in a state of stress our brain power shuts down, our entire physiology supports survival reactions. This is the exact opposite to the state needed for finding the opportunities. (Join us on our Friday webinar held to support business owners and leaders ).

Secondly you have to start asking better questions. I often remind my clients that they have all the answers. What they don't have is the right questions. OK so what are these questions that you need to be asking? There are of course an infinite number of questions, but here are some that my coach Andrew Laurie (Executive Coach, speaker and author ) shared with me;
Our customers still need services/products - how can we change to still help them?
How can we streamline/improve our processes as a result of this?
What can we sell that people need now? What phone support? What online services? What slightly different products/services from our normal?
What adjacent markets (segments, products or services) can we move into?
When competitors fail, how do we pick up their business?
Which suppliers and customers should we actively partner with to work through this?
How do we most productively use the extra free time our team has?
What will become available at low cost? Staff? Inventory? Entire businesses?
How can we leverage government support, including tax breaks, interest rate cuts, etc?
And as for me and mine, we will continue to do what we do best ...helping business owners to build business that support the lifestyles that they wish for themselves and their loved ones, to build businesses that contribute to a better South Africa for all.

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