In uncertain times, leaders take action

The COVID-19 pandemic tested businesses’ ability to adapt to challenges
With every disruption, there's an opportunity to find success. (Photo: Weerapat Wattanapichayakul, Dreamstime.com)

The spread of coronavirus around the globe this spring created a hysteria unlike anything most of us have ever seen before. In many states, residential remodelers and construction companies were considered essential businesses and allowed to remain open. However, people were afraid, and fear results in one of two things: paralysis or action.

[Related: 4 ways to break down common communication barriers on the jobsite]

The pandemic is a stark example of why business owners need to have an emergency plan to address unforeseen challenges. When you are prepared, opportunity knocks. With every disruption, there’s an opportunity to find success.

Be a leader

How do you lead your people, both employees and customers, through crisis? How do you acknowledge that regardless of the situation in the world today, you are still here to offer a service?

People need hope. They need to believe that tomorrow will be a better day. It is up to you as a leader to communicate that to your people. Call those meetings, write those emails, and listen to your workers. Let them know that you are interested in how they are managing, and let them know how the company plans to move forward. Keeping lines of communication open lets them see that glimmer of hope.

The same holds true for your customers. Be interested in them because they are facing those same fears. Use your lines of communication with them and reassure them that you are working hard to take care of them. 

Once you have addressed the fears of your people, take away the paralysis and change that to action. It’s time to put your emergency plan to work.

The customer satisfaction that you have worked so hard to maintain over the years will likely be the lifeblood of your business, especially in times like these. They are your most loyal ambassadors, so maintain engagement with them.

[Related: Grow your business with trust, communication: GROW 2019]

Hopefully your systems are set up so that you can go into your database at a moment’s notice and adjust your marketing messages to adapt to the current needs of your customers. How have you tagged each one of them for follow up for future services? For example, maybe you had a conversation with a customer about doing a kitchen remodel after the bathroom is done. Would now be the time to start? There are benefits to getting going during a down time, and so now it’s up to you to build value and take away their fears.

Whether you are working with your internal customers (employees) or your external customers, you can set the stage for encouraging and inspiring people to take action, despite what’s going on in the world around us.

Susan Raisanen is president of Profit Finder Pro, a CRM software provider serving small businesses. She can be reached at [email protected] or 800-972-6952.

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