The Coronavirus is Ruining Businesses! Here’s What To Do To Minimize Its Impact!

The Coronavirus is creating a mass panic  all over the world. While it is still too early to estimate the health impact on the world over the long term, one thing is for sure, the economic impact of this on businesses all over the world maybe huge. The bigger the health impact, the economic impact will be even bigger.

Stay prepared

First things first, we need to protect ourselves and our families. If you yourself are not protected, it is hard to protect your business. Even if you are not worried about yourself, you need to be worried about your family members and people who are older and have co-morbid conditions. Take the necessary precautions, the biggest of which is avoiding mass gatherings and physical contact with strangers as much as possible and taking proactive steps towards hygiene.

This does not eliminate possibilities of getting infected but it lowers the probabilities.

Dont watch news too much. 

It is important to be informed about what is happening in order to take pro-active steps. But if that is all you do, you are going to be brainwashed into panic and that is all that is going to go through your head.

You have to keep things in perspective. While the Corona-virus may have health impacts, the economic impact created out of fear and panic is much much larger. As a business owner, you have to treat it as a situation that is temporary and prepare to minimize the negative economic impacts it is likely to have on your business.

Learn learn Learn

Now that it is likely that unless you are in the medical/pharma business, your business will likely take a hit to some extent for a while, what is it that you can do in the situation?

The one best thing you can do in this situation is to learn, learn and learn some more. When you are busy with business you are so caught up in the rat race that you are only stuck in day to day operations and can’t take business to the next level.

Now, the situation will change, many businesses will take a big hit.  At this stage, most people go into a contraction and complaining mode. What you need to do is to start learning as much as you can to figure out what you can do to keep your business running even during these tough times and how to come out of it stronger, when the economy bounces back.

 Invest in reading books or online programs as much as you can to be aware and educated on the strategies to acquire customers during times of crisis. You should also get your team on board this. Invest in an online program where teams can attend learning remotely and progress is consistently being measured so that people have a high morale and do whatever it takes to steer the business out of crisis.

If you want to avoid suffering in business, you need to learn!  Don’t be like those who say  ” We don’t have time for training!” when the economy is good, and “We don’t have money for training!” when the economy is bad!

Stay on top of your customer’s minds. Never stop Marketing Or Lower Quality!

There is a story of a man who used to run a restaurant which was quite popular, but he was uneducated. One day, his college educated son returned home and joined the family business. The moment, he came, the son said,

“Why are you spending so much on marketing your business, don’t you know a recession is about to come? Don’t waste money!

Also, why are you spending so much on training the waiters on etiquette and serving habits. Absolute waste of money! Finally, stop putting in so many high quality ingredients in the meals, they cost a lot and hurt our margins. It is very important to squeeze out every last penny during the recession. Lower the quality of ingredients to maximize our profit margin!”

So, the man thought his son was college educated and he must be right. He stopped marketing his business, he lowered the quality of ingredients and he cancelled etiquette training for waiters. Slowly, people became less and less aware about his restaurant. Those who used to love the food started disliking it because of the quality of food and because they thought the waiters were not as well mannered as before.  Even the positive word of mouth disappeared.

The man’s income dropped down drastically. You know what the man did? ” You are right son! There is a huge recession going on! Thanks for giving these suggestions. If it wasn’t for you, I would have gone bankrupt!”

Oh the irony!

A recession is real, but your response to it should not be like that of the masses if you want to come out of it stronger. Do not lower the quality of your product/service if you want to retain positive word of mouth. DO NOT stop marketing under any circumstances. Sure, you may renegotiate rates or switch to more cost effective channels but you need to be on top of your customer’s mind so that you get a steady stream even during a recession and when the boom period comes, you are the name everyone knows!

As Warren Buffet Says – ” Be Greedy When Others Are Fearful. Be Fearful When Others Are Greedy.”

But Ethically!