Welcome to the new normal. Not to be confused with the old normal, or the next normal where you can go to a restaurant but can’t sit next to anyone. Or the normal after that where you can get together in groups of more than ten but you can’t touch each other.
So as we all slowly start to adjust and realize life’s too short to keep complaining or worrying constantly, here are some ways I’ve used to begin moving forward.
Cut with a scalpel, not with a chainsaw
I don’t know about you, but my finances don’t look like they did just a few months ago. That is on both the personal and business side of the house. Changes must be made, spending cuts are necessary.
I’m a big believer in having emergency funds set aside and I do for both personal and business. But I’d prefer not to burn through this while waiting for the world to get back to work and people to start spending like they used to. As I mentioned in my last post, I don’t believe things are going to turn around quickly. So I do need to make some cuts.
But I can’t just hack away at all my expenses. I need to be strategic. For instance, it’s tempting to say that marketing is not necessary right now since no one is spending. Instead, I need to evaluate my marketing expenses and move from what’s not working to those areas that are. I need to make wise choices and not hack away and later regret the change.
That means it’s necessary to look at every expense and sometimes make tough decisions. Trimming and cutting things out with a scalpel and not slashing away with the chainsaw.
If you’re to the point of needing to make drastic cuts across the board, it may be time to start working on an exit strategy.
Invest now for the next wave
I grew up in central Florida, before Disney World and all the other forms of entertainment you’ll find there now. Back then it was just a hot, humid place with more than its share of bugs. Occasionally, my dad would take us to the beach. We only went a handful of times so each was a special occasion. We never knew if it would happen again.
We loved to body surf when we went. The goal was to find the biggest wave so you could ride it all the way to the shore. That meant being ready, getting out in the deepest water you could and then gauging the waves as they rolled in.
The last place you wanted to be when the big waves started rolling in was on shore.
Get your house in order now so you’ll be ready for the next big wave. That means making sure your customers and clients know you’re still available to help them. That you’re ready to serve when they’re ready for your products and services. Don’t be standing on the shore while others are out in the ocean ready to catch that next big wave. It may be too late to catch up by then.
Read the room
When speaking before a group, you learn to read the room to see if they’re hearing and understanding what you’re saying. You try to discern whether the yawn from a listener is from boredom or lack of sleep. You encourage the group to ask questions to make sure they understand.
We need to do similar things to get a reading of the current business climate. The news is one source of information. But don’t forget, the products they sell are their headlines and it appears bad news sells very well.
Talk to other business owners. Talk to past and present clients. What are they hearing and saying? What are you hearing? Does it appear our local market is following the national trend? Or is it ahead or behind what is taking place nationally.
Use your time wisely. What we are experiencing right now will not last forever. It will pass. Will the economy look like it did last year? Probably not. But that’s okay, You will survive.
You may have seen this video recently. It sort of sums up my feelings, at times, as I watch the news. One day we’re told one thing and then the next another.
Till next time, live and laugh a little.