7 Ways to Immunise Your Business Against Covid -19

Being a high achiever, an ambitious leader, eager professional, business owner, or a type-A entrepreneur — failing to meet personal, professional and business goals, life objectives, relationship demands and living your full potential can set you back and leave you discouraged, frustrated and alone.

In the last few weeks, due to the outbreak of Covid-19 virus, many people feel they are left in a limbo-land. The business world too suddenly feels to be in a state of unrest as individuals, corporations and governments work out how to best respond or not respond to the rapidly developing situation.

The impact has been seen clearly in the aviation sector, in the sport and music industry, in global meetings, and in the conference sector as some significant events around the world have been cancelled. However, others have gone ahead as planned with no noticeable ill effects, leaving the decision on whether to attend, go ahead and adopt a business as usual attitude to individuals and business owners.

Many business owners, self-employed coaches, consultants and speakers, myself included, have had engagements, travel arrangements and events we need to attend. Some are going ahead, some are cancelled and some postponed. For many of us, new engagements, meetings, client enquiries and leads are put on hold.

The truth is, any unpredicted uncertainty in the world can have a massive impact on our businesses, cash flow, employee engagement, productivity and morale. The question many people around the globe are asking is what moves to make and what decision to take as bills and overheads still have to be paid.

Since the news of the dangers of the Corona Virus Outbreak hit the headlines, my diary is being booked with clients seeking clarity on the next steps and how to handle best major decisions that my clients may have to make if the outbreak of the virus worsens.

One of the common mistakes business owners I have consulted in the last few weeks make is not having clear communication and up to date disaster recovery plans in place. Another one is considering to close the business due to Covid-19 virus based on fear due to gossip.

Recently I spend the day with a client, a successful law firm owner in the city of London to help him demystify his and the business’s response to Covid-19 virus threat.

After he gave me a very frustrating introduction to what he hired me to do for the day, jokingly I said to him, Tom don’t be a diva. You can make emotionally driven demands and get upset, but it won’t get you where you want to be. I guided him to stop for a moment, close his eyes and take a deep breath in and relax. With his eyes closed, I asked him to think in silence for about 5 minutes about what he can do to help his employees, clients and what decision he needs to make to get him through the next few months.

He opened his eyes, and calmly we started to look at every aspect of his business, his employee behaviours, and the origins of the Cortona Virus rumour that was going around from person to person.

The more areas and aspects of his business we analysed, the more he realised that acting from fear and panic state was not helping anybody. We created a step by a step Covid-19 response measure in case of a full outbreak, updated his communication and disaster recovery plan that ensured the safety of his employees, customers and community in compliance with the government’s advice.

To Immunise Your Business Against Covid -19, here are seven-steps I helped some of my clients implement for you to consider. Implementing them effectively may help you not only to survive the worst of any bumps but also put things in motion that can help you and your business thrive.

  • Have a Clear Plan of ACTION for the Next Six Months
  • Openly Discuss Concerns, Fears and Hearsay
  • Educate Your Employees, Customers and Suppliers
  • Put Measures in Place that Prevent Infection
  • Update Your Disaster Recovery Plans
  • Have a Cushion in Case of a Downturn Due to External Factors
  • Be Adaptable, Flexible and Travel Smart

The Covid-19 has been an excellent opportunity for many of us to revisit what we have in place in our businesses, booking forms and contracts we have in place to ensure that we’re equally giving ourselves and our client’s maximum attention, flexibility and protection.

For instance, one of the things I implemented in my business and with my clients that you could consider is to not charge for short notice postponement and offer one rescheduling for free.  Few of my clients have called me to thank me for my flexibility and even offered to pay for their cancellations.

Be aware of FAKE NEWS and FAKE EXCUSES. You may also have clients, suppliers, employees, friends and random people messing you around using Covid-19 as an excuse rather than a reason.

The question you may be wanting to ask yourself is this, what action will you take today to help you prepare yourself and your business for the next few months?

Are you stockpiling “toilet roll” or putting in place measures to help you store funds, new IP, client goodwill, and alternative service arrangements to tide you through until things improve.

Another preventive measure I helped a consulting company implement to Immunise Their Business Against Covid-19 virus is for their clients to access their pull of expertise online, through Skype, Telephone and Video Conferencing. For another client of mine who is an author, we made sure that his readers and clients have the option to buy his books digitally, and as an inspirational speaker people from all walks of life can access FREE content on his website, social media including YouTube and his blog.

Having several channels that customers can use to purchase your products, services and expertise leave you less exposed if one of your existing channels fails. Take time to look at the products and services you sell and think about how you can deliver them if you’re not able to do business as usual.

Remember to remain open-minded, flexible and understanding. Bear in mind that your clients are working within a rapidly changing and very challenging atmosphere too. That large organisations or events are far less agile than small, or even one-person businesses can be, so they may have to make conclusions further in advance or in ways that may seem like an over-reaction to us. If you are concerned as yourself, what is it you can do to be helpful, to be an ally – and to be a friend to the people involved?

The following quote/proverb/cliché “What stops your success is what you know that isn’t true.” taken from the award-winning book A Path to Wisdom I use it to help my clients better manage the change that comes from unpredictable uncertainty.

The question you may want to ponder with is this, what do you need to do or not do to invent or reinvent to survive in these turbulent times? And even if that turbulence isn’t as severe or doesn’t last as long as some are predicting, how might that inventiveness benefit your personal life, your business, your customer, and humanity anyway?

Don’t waste time, take action today and prepare, update and implement disaster recovery plans that efficiently can immunize your business against unpredictable risks such as Covid19. Doing the above actions isn’t just crucial in times of crisis. They’re essential business skills that we all must embrace to future proof our business.

If self-isolation is an option, just take a moment and imagine how much stuff you could finally get done.

Tony J. Selimi

Award-Winning Author, Filmmaker, Business Coach and Human Behaviour Specialist