In times of crisis, many businesses turn to “survival mode” and begin to tread water (so to speak). There are often many opportunities for business growth during a crisis, yet some entrepreneurs continue to tread water without truly going anywhere. Often the reason they continue to tread water is because they don’t know which direction they should swim; should they go back to shore and the way things were OR should they swim out to sea to discover new things.
Don’t get me wrong, from time to time as a business owner we need to tread water in order to recharge our batteries or to determine the best direction to begin swimming.
So, how does one stop treading, make a decision and continue to move forward?
Step #1 – Get Very Clear on Your Vision
First and foremost you need to figure out if your vision for your company has changed (and it’s okay if it hasn’t). During a crisis, many of us can become paralyzed in analysis paralysis. We aren’t sure which direction to go so we stop. Instead you need to start asking yourself the following questions:
- Is my vision still achievable or do I need to adjust it slightly?
- What are the pros and cons for my business as a result of this crisis?
- What will my business look like immediately after this crisis ends?
- What are the opportunities to make the long-term vision even better?
Getting back to your vision for your business is always important. In most cases, a small tweak can get you moving again.
Once you have the answers to the questions above, I urge each of you to take some time in quiet solitude and reflect on your vision again (both short-term and long-term).
Step #2 – Evaluate What Needs to Change (Both Short-Term and Long-Term)
The next step is to determine exactly what needs to change to ensure you can achieve that vision. The best place to start is by looking at your financial picture and ask yourself what tough decisions might need to be made over the next months and then in the long term. Creating a cash flow analysis of your predictions will be very important in helping you to make these decisions.
Another important evaluation is to look at your team. Do you need to reduce or build your team? Are the current people supporting you going to be the best people to support you both short-term and long-term?
If you determine you need to reduce your team ask yourself, who has been your biggest supporter and what capacity do they have to take on more? If you determine you need to build your team what skills and personality do you need to get you there? Should you be hiring from the top or from the bottom?
Step #3 – Create a Plan to Get You There
Once you know the vision and have done the evaluation, the most important step is next … you need to create a plan to get you there. I always suggest starting with your short-term vision and asking yourself the following questions:
- How is this vision different than where I am today?
- What resources do I need to assist me in creating this vision?
Once you have listed the exact things that are different and the resources you need you can begin to create the action steps that will assist you. Then I suggest transferring the action steps to a calendar (or project management program) with deadlines and who will be responsible for completing the task.
When you have completed your short-term vision and know the plan, you can move onto the long-term vision and create a plan for it too!
Of course, if you are struggling with creating your plan want help The Weld Group can help! Click on the button below and chat with Yvonne so she can provide you with ideas catered directly to your business.