As your business navigates unchartered territory, it’s helpful to think about the progression as a series of steps.
By Michael Contento, CEO of My Blue Umbrella
Stage 1 began when COVID-19 hit. What will this pandemic mean to our business, our clients? Will we survive or will we go bankrupt? What programs and funding are available to help my business? How do I support my staff? How do we develop security measures to keep our employees physically safe? During this period we were continually communicating current developments to our leadership teams and preparing to communicate with our staff and clients.
For most of us, we’re now in Stage 2. Once we determined it was possible for us to stay in business through COVID-19, we began asking questions designed to stabilize the business. How do we run a business remotely? How do we ensure our staff has the tools and information they need to do their jobs? We prepared safety guides, work-from-home (WFH) schedules, and systems. We added layers of security to keep data safe from hackers. We ran fiscal scenarios to determine the impact of loss the business can sustain. At this stage, we’re reviewing additional expenses like RRSP contributions, and instituting a salary decrease for a minimum of a year to help the navigation. We communicated constantly to staff and clients.
Stage 3 sees us getting back to business. It sees us thriving despite the challenging business climate. We need to move forward without the constant reminder of COVID-19, and with the understanding that this way of life is the new normal—at least for a while. My Blue Umbrella transitioned to the third stage by pro-actively developing products to support both our business and clients through the remainder of 2020—and potentially beyond. If we can help our clients do their jobs better, then we can do our jobs better. For example, we recognized that our clients needed equipment—laptops, printers, headsets—to be able to work remotely. So we developed a Rent-to-Own option. And for those who still want to invest in their IT systems, a low-interest leasing option. We continue to communicate constantly with our staff and our clients, assess their ongoing needs, and work collectively. We determine what’s working, and adjust accordingly. Now, more than ever, is the time to build new business strategies, to look for ways to excel, and to keep the past and current events in mind, while looking to the future.
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