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While many unknowns remain about the Coronavirus and the full impact, it will have on anyone business, and one thing is clear: There is no shortage of people rallying no shortage of businesses pushing through and no shortage of planning.
With that in mind, many business leaders and experts are sharing their insights to help those who need guidance right now. Women in Business – Leading the Way Best Selling Author Marianne Ellis was recently interviewed and shared her candid responses to 6 questions that every business owner and entrepreneur needs to ask about how the Coronavirus is going to impact their business:
If my economy takes a serious hit, how will it impact my customers or clients?
It has already hit my Clients, and we are working through it. As a business coach for companies from below $1 to $25 million+ in manufacturing, professional, and business services, we are focused on business continuity: Rethink, Retool, Recover. Their primary concerns are for their employees, customers, capital, supply chain, and the future.
Understanding this impact on my customers or clients, how will it affect how, when, and what they buy from me?
First, you will quickly find out if you are considered a necessity or a luxury as a supplier. Where you are in the pecking order becomes evident in the first 30-60 days and will become even more apparent as they move into recovery. Secondly, the method of how you supply your goods and services could be disrupted as well as communication channels, so being flexible and service-oriented is critical. When COVID-19 hit, I assumed as a business coach, and I would be one of the first services cut. But that has not happened. These smart CEOs know that doubling down in a crisis is the right move. We are working on pivoting and offering solutions during the pandemic while streamlining operations and gaining the needed capital through the CARES Act-PPP, EIDL, Grants. We have also signed new Clients. Our CEO Community is secure and we will not abandon each other during these difficult times.
How can I take steps today to best position my company to best and most profitably serve my customers as these shifts are happening?
- Listen first. This is not a “selling” time. Start softly and find out how your Clients are feeling.
2. Then proceed to what do they need right now, in 3 months and beyond. Develop a timeline and also be firm about what is in your own best interest. Do not overpromise or take on more than the resources you have.
3. Offer to go beyond your current scope with proven partners as many company’s procurement timelines are challenged. They need proven suppliers to support them now.
“What steps can I take today to mitigate the risks to my company born out of Coronavirus?”
- Be pro-active with your Clients anticipating their needs and keep a close check on their satisfaction with your company’s performance.
2. Provide sensitivity to your employees but essential to keep the business running meeting deadlines and upholding your quality standards.
3. Deepen your relationship with key partners: Banks, CPAs, Lawyers as you need their counsel and advice.
4. Explore smart alliances with companies that can help protect your supply chain and look for growth opportunities.
5. Look out to the future and make sure you are staying ahead of this crisis.
“What big opportunities exist for me and my company born out of this situation?”
Understand how to best leverage the new virtual environment, emphasis on safety, and work/life balance. How can your company provide the next generation solution in these areas? Our world has changed; the question is how your company be part of the solution.
Let’s fast forward to an optimistic scenario. It’s March 2021. The economy has recovered. What do you hope will have changed to make it a better economy for Women in Business?
After coaching over 500 Female CEOs, what I know is that women are fighters. There is no doubt in my mind that they have found a way to rise about this pandemic and offer valuable solutions to their clients. I am excited for these Women In Business to be acknowledged for their leadership.
Learn More about Marianne Ellis, Co-Founder, and CEO of CEO Success Community
Website URL: www.CEOsuccesscommunity.com
Tera Jenkins is a Best Selling Author, host of Business Innovators Radio and contributor to Small Business Trendsetters and Business Innovators Magazine covering Influencers, Innovators and Trendsetters in Business, Health, Finance, and Personal Development.