And How to Survive Them
Oh no! Not another article on COVID-19!
Yeah, yeah, I know. If you’re like me, you may be thinking, “if I hear one more thing about this virus, I’ll… well I don’t know what I’ll do but I will do something, and it won’t be good!”
So in that spirit, I promise to keep this article light and short. I know you’re busy so I’ll be brief. As I expected, I’m getting quite a few calls on how to better survive this storm. Unfortunately, I can’t go back through my many years of experience and tell you what we did the last time we had a situation like this one. So like many, I’m somewhat flying blind.
But if I may, I would like to make the following suggestions which I hope will help you; some of which you may want to share with your clients. You’re welcome to do so–plagiarize away. Just let me know if you do, deal?
1. CASH IS KING
- Do your best to cut all expenses unless absolutely necessary and unless the long-term benefits are guaranteed.
- Defer paying suppliers. Fortunately, many suppliers are quite understanding.
- Work with your bank. Reduce payments to only interest if you can. Don’t wait for your account to be dry.
- Do your best to collect your receivables. This is difficult given you know many of your clients are hurting. But I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with reminding them you’re not a bank, that services were delivered, that you incurred all the costs related to providing the service, and that it’s only fair you get at least partial payment to cover those costs. If they do not budge, consider negotiating a payment plan that works for them and you.
2. THINK LONG-TERM
Business may be slower than usual, (well maybe not with tax season) but if tax season is not taking up all your time, it’s a good time to think about all the things you always said you’d do if you had time that would benefit your business.Here are a few ideas:
- Touch base with your better clients.
- Ask how they’re doing. If there’s anything you can do to help.
- Answer their questions.
- Provide ideas – like I’m doing here.Think Marketing. (More on this below).
- Train your team. This may be more difficult due to social distancing but get creative and think about ways that you can teach them remotely.
- Try to anticipate what everyone will need when life resumes and how you can help.
3. THINK MARKETING
- Upgrade your website.
- Design flyers or update old ones.
- Write articles for future newsletters. (Now’s the time to write out content so that you’re you’re set for the year).
- Shoot the informative videos you’ve always wanted to do. (Hollywood is always watching).
- Host webinars.
- Provide your clients with information related to how the government is helping.
4. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF & MONITOR YOUR ANXIETY
- If your anxiety is high, be careful not to make important long-term decisions. Now may not be the best time to trust your own judgment, especially if you’re near panic. We seldom make good decisions during times of high anxiety.
- I would also suggest that you keep contacting your clients to a minimum on days you feel anxious. Clients will pick up on your anxiety, and that’s something they don’t need.
HOW TO CONTROL YOUR LIZARD BRAIN
If you find yourself having a difficult time controlling that anxiety of yours, maybe these few pointers can help:
- Read. There’s tons of literature, podcasts, YouTube videos, …etc on managing anxiety.
- Exercise. Even a stroll outside can do wonders.
- Breathe. Don’t forget to breathe–long deep breaths.
- Watch your information intake. If the news make you anxious, don’t watch or listen. I doubt there’s anything there that will hurt you if you miss it.
- Surround yourself with calm people. You know who they are. Those people that are capable of staying calm and seeing the world in a positive light even when the world is crumbling. Call them. Spend time on the phone or your preferred communication platform with them.
- Laugh. This is the best remedy of all. There are tons of videos out there to make you laugh. If you got nothing, email me. I’ll send you a few good jokes.
Remember, this will come to an end. If you’re careful, you will undoubtedly survive and I dare say likely thrive shortly thereafter. If you have your doubts, call me.
And keep telling yourself, this’ll be a hell of a story for my grand-kids.
I’d really appreciate hearing from you.
It’s always good to hear others’ perspectives, and it’s always nice to hear that we’re not alone and that others are living a similar experience. I want to know what you’re living, what you’re feeling, and anything else you’re willing to share. I’m sure you also have some excellent ideas and coping mechanisms, and maybe a few good jokes worth sharing.
I’d love to hear your thoughts so that I can share them with our practitioner community and we can all help each other out.
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