Has the coronavirus crisis made you feel like you are racing down the autobahn so fast you can’t read the signs? To make it worse, the signs are in German! That’s what the fast-breaking news of COVID-19 feels like. All of a sudden life accelerated in a completely unexpected way. Here are 4 actions you can take now to successfully navigate this superhighway.
Nothing is more important in a crisis. Period. God gave you your business. He’s the owner – trust Him. Your boss is literally the Prince of Peace. Fear not. Your people need your calm reassurance. No one has all the answers in this fast-changing scenario. No one except your boss. He’s got this. Be a source of calm in this storm. Here’s some ideas we are using:
- Communicate: Be as transparent as possible. Develop a position and communicate it to customers, vendors, employees and others. Here is ours as an example. The CDC has ongoing guidance for businesses.
- Set up new communication channels if you are working from home – slack, whatsapp, zoom, google hangouts – are all great tools.
- Pray: This is a great time to share the reason for your calm. You don’t need to convert your workforce – you need to care for your workforce. They will see Jesus in your communication. Be humble, transparent and loving.
- Send words of encouragement and funny memes or other appropriate humor. Laughter is great medicine.
- Have a virtual lunch gathering over Zoom or Google Hangouts. We need each other in times of crisis.
- Encourage your work at home team to still get dressed and work with purpose – this is not PJ time.
- Pull your leadership team together and do hard contingency planning. Lay out three scenarios – there is always more than two: best case, worst case, and middle. Identify triggers for pivoting to one plan over another. Do the same with financials and keep re-forecasting weekly.
Crisis is an opportunity from your boss. This did not happen by accident. God saw it coming and He has made a way through it. If we are honest, when times are good we can get a bit sloppy in our business. Maybe we don’t set our margins or reserves as we should. Maybe we haven’t sharpened our systems and processes. What an opportunity to re-examine!
Take time to step back and work on the business. We will get through this crisis and the economy will rebound on the other side. Will you take the time now to prepare for then? Take some time to learn and plan. I highly recommend joining my friends at Christian Business Fellowship who have an excellent business academy for a nominal cost.
Beyond general business learning, it is important to stay educated on this crisis. Let us help. Reach out to me anytime (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here is some current guidance:
- Families First Coronavirus Act (H.R. 6201). This became law on March 18. Guidance from an employment law firm can be found here. The bill will require paying additional sick leave and paid care leave for those infected, caring for those infected, or parents staying home with school aged children. Employers will bear the brunt of these cost until being given a credit on future taxes.
- SBA Loan – Getting states to file paperwork and working with lenders for this loan has been a real challenge, but is an option for cash flow assistance. Fortunately, the next stimulus bill from Congress is expected to provide easier relief to small businesses. Renegotiating terms with your lender, landlord, vendors and others is also a wise approach to help with cash flow.
- Unemployment – You may be forced to lay off or terminate employees. Help them by sending them to the state’s site for benefits related to COVID-19.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Prov. 3: 5-6.
You were on auto-pilot cruising down the highway when suddenly a torrential rain storm hits and you realize your windshield wipers don’t work. When it’s sunny, sometimes we get complacent. How about you? How is your prayer life? What about your devotions with family? Time in the word? God uses times of suffering to draw us closer to Himself. Let Him. Abide in Him.
“in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.” Php. 2:3b-4.
The Coronavirus is no respecter of persons. All of us are vulnerable. What a great opportunity to identify with those who are the most vulnerable. Sometimes it is easy to forget about our seniors, disabled, or economically disadvantaged neighbors when times are good. But times of crisis force us to confront who we are. Will we become afraid and focus on ourselves and our needs or will we recognize we are all in this together and look outward to the interest of others? Here’s some ways to do that:
- Compassionate Care Campaign. We are asking people to call some of our vulnerable clients to check on them. Most of the time this will mean leaving a message of encouragement. I’d love for you to join us.
- Do your own campaign. Feel free to implement your own care campaign. Your employees probably have parents or grandparents staying home. Show your business cares and invite people to call. A friendly voice means a lot.
- God prepared Administer Justice in advance to weather this storm. We have six months reserves. But our clients are not as fortunate. Consider donating $30 to help a client gain access to the help they need. Invite others to join in this. A little goes a long way in sharing help and hope to our neighbors in need.
Love makes a difference!
Last week a young lady came to us overwhelmed. She was losing her job because of this virus. As a 21-year-old she is not at risk. She struggled with the unfairness and fear. Our lawyer helped her with unemployment but he also entered her fear and shared the hope of Jesus. That young lady prayed to accept Christ.
God is on the throne and He will be glorified through these challenging circumstances. Trust your boss. Then do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with Him (Mic 6:8) into His future.