The past week has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding time as a father, husband, son, brother, friend and entrepreneur.
I have spoken with many entrepreneurs about the uncertain times that our businesses are facing. Many entrepreneurs are worried about their businesses closing. My message to fellow entrepreneurs is that we can weather this storm. Here’s the inital gameplan:
Reach out: Mentorship. It is lonely at the top. These are the loneliest times. Don’t weather the storm alone. Reach out to other entrepreneurs ASAP and don’t be shy. I have four entrepreneurs who are willing to volunteer their time to help and mentor other business owners during these challenging times. We may not be able to solve your business problems but can act as a sounding board. Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org if you need mentorship help or would like to be a mentor.
Do right by your employees: Don’t leave anyone behind. Any business decisions we make will impact employees’ and their families. Make sure they are one of the top 3 [if not the top] considerations while you make change.
Growth: With each crisis comes opportunity. Find how your business can weather this storm and come out positively. Figure out a way to add value, helping your business’ existing customers and your future together.
Embrace change: We are in uncharted waters. The pandemic is threatening the way we do business and our livelihood, our jobs, the way we do things and our families’ future. “Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when the storm comes.” – Alexandre Dumas.
Communication: Build daily/hourly communication methods with employees, customers, community and vendors – use tools like Slack, EZ Texting, WhatsApp, SMS, etc.
Cash: Plan for worst-case scenario. Continue building cash reserves so the business can weather the storm. Reduce spending by refinancing and reducing interest payments on equipment as recent reduced interest rate. Renegotiate leases and offer to extend terms for waivers now. Be creative!
Calm: You must lead by example. You are the quarterback in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl and your team is trailing with seconds left. You must stay calm when your team worries. Even if you don’t have a plan, make sure your team trusts you to help them get through this.
Relax, Reflect and Re-energize: We have a unique opportunity to not travel, nor attend back-to-back meetings, lunches, dinners or obligatory events. Take this time for yourself to relax, reflect on the past and plan for future. Re-energize your body and soul.
Community: This is one of the most critical aspects of being an entrepreneur. Our community is suffering. Many people are struggling. This is our opportunity to give back in a big way. Take the funds you were going to give for elections and invest them back in the community. Help local restaurants, food banks and help anyone that needs a hand.