This is, beyond a doubt, the most unusual business environment and questionable future that I've witnessed in my lifetime. That said, I'm watching my family, friends, and clients split into several tracks:
- Anger – this is, without a doubt, the worst. I'm watching people I love and respect in anger just lashing out at everyone. It's not helping anything nor anyone. This is the time to be kind.
- Paralysis – many people have a wait and see attitude right now. Some of them are waiting to be rescued… and I fear no one will be there to do so.
- Work – I'm watching others dig in. With their primary revenue streams broken, they're looking to alternatives for survival. This is my mode – I'm working day and night on lifting alternative revenue streams, cutting costs, and maximizing the resources I have left.
With retail and offices shut down to flatten the curve and distance themselves socially to reduce the spread of the Corona Virus, people have no choice but to stay at home. While this may bury many businesses, I can't help but wonder why companies aren't being decisive and taking advantage of this time to ideate, innovate, and implement.
One of my key clients had to let me go to salvage their revenue which is solely dependent upon schools. The CEO called me personally to explain the situation. He had to protect his company. I have no doubt it was the appropriate decision and I let him know that, at no cost, I would be available for any transition or implementation that would help them.
This specific client just launched a direct-to-consumer product. We had been slow and deliberate to not promote the product to test and improve usability and ensure it was properly integrated into their manufacturing workflow. I shared with his team that this was the optimal time to step on the gas, though. Here's why:
- Less Disruption – with skeleton crews and minimal orders coming in, launching marketing automation software to promote the product is going to be less disruptive internally to their staff. They can better handle the influx of issues on launching the new product and new systems to support it.
- Time for Education – with staff working from home, unable to attend meetings, and not getting distracted by office issues, the staff has an incredible time to attend training and implement the solutions they need. I've set up demos for the internal staff to attend and encouraged my vendors to help them to schedule time to attend.
- Process Automation – I don't believe we'll ever return to business as usual after this event. We are faced with a possible global recession, a necessary look at isolating our supply chains, and probable layoffs to protect companies from going under. This is the optimal time for companies to invest heavily and optimize their workflows so that they can continue production while decreasing costs.
Companies: It's Time To Go To Work
I'd encourage every company out there to get to work. Your staff are working from home, have connectivity, and can be busy implementing and training on new platforms. Integration and implementation teams largely work remote nowadays, so contractors are prepared like never before to assist you. My company, Highbridge, is coming up with some integration ideas for meeting intelligence solutions to assist companies with remote work environments.
Employees: It's Time To Pursue Your Future
If you're an individual whose pay is in jeopardy, this is the time for you to jump. If I, for example, was a bartender or server… I'd be jumping online and learning new trades. You can wait for a bailout, but that's a relief… not a long-term solution to your predicament. In the technology industry, this could be signing up for a free Trailhead course on Salesforce, taking some free code classes online, or learning how to open your own shop on Etsy.
This is no time for Playstation and Netflix. This is not the time to be angry nor paralyzed. No one can stop the wrath of Mother Nature. This or some other cataclysmic event was inevitable. This is a time to take advantage of our daily lives being interrupted to step forward. The people and companies that take advantage right now will rise faster than they ever imagined.
Let's get to work!