By Hâfi Martinsdóttir
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes | 847 words
One of the first things that people do when they hear the word pandemic or recession is to panic. It’s human psychology that makes us drop all rationality and begin hoarding, protecting and restricting our thinking to the short term. We let irrational thoughts and fear lead the way. The same goes for our business. We no longer want to consider taking risks, we stop advertising, we stop anything that we deem unnecessary. We hold on so tight that we end up crushing our own business beyond repair.
If we don’t bend, we break. We all know this to be true, and yet so many of us are guilty of holding on until we, and our business, cracks. Let’s take a little space, breathe and clear our thoughts. The whole world is coming together with a sense of community, from neighbours singing together in Italy, to the emergence of non-contact, drop-off grocery delivery service for frightened elderly people in London. Now doesn’t need to be a scary time for your business too, it’s our attitude that matters and our community. This is what will get us through.
Adapting will look different for everybody, but increasingly business owners are opting to move their businesses online. So, if this is something you’ve been considering, now would be the perfect time to do it. The whole world is seeking strength, leadership and inspiration online. You can be that for them.
It can take a little creativity, but if you have products or services to sell, now is a great time to get that online store up and running. Do you have knowledge to share? Get blogging or onto YouTube! Do you have super valuable, how-to information that can change lives? Create an online course.
This couldn’t be more relevant than today. While everyone else is panicking, this is the time to step up and lead your community. Now is the time to show our real character, show that we have the right attitude and are ready to lead the way, to pave a new path. Step up and reach out to your clients, customers, former and future guests, neighbours, community.
TAKE this opportunity to establish yourself and your business as the strong, reliable force for good. Don’t bow down beneath the pressure. Use it to rise. Step up your game and let’s thrive during these times.
I love the story of when Cleveland Home Brewing Company first opened their brewery in 1907, their future looked promising. But in 1920 the prohibition threatened to shut them down. So they had 3 options, either they could shut their doors for good (remember the prohibition lasted for 13 years), continue to sell alcohol illegally or adapt with the times and get creative. Fortunately, they chose the latter option and began producing liquid malt, malt extract and ice. They waited out the course of the prohibition and were positioned right at the top when the prohibition ended. The didn’t break, the adapted.
So while people are letting fear control their emotions, and even the most rational amongst us can still let fear get the better of us, let US instead think about reinvention. Let us get creative, just like Ernst Mueller did, owner of the Cleveland Home Brewing Company, let us be the ones who still think in the long-term.
At times like these many business stop advertising because they worry they can no longer afford to do so. They stop producing, they stop creating. But now is PRECISELY the time when we need to be creating and advertising. During these isolated periods there are millions of people online LOOKING for businesses like yours to lead the way, let us deliver the solutions, the respite, the service that they need.
With so many business owners holding on tight and not spending a penny, especially on advertising, you have less competition out there than ever. While everyone else backs off, you need to be the one shouting from the rooftops, drawing people to your website with your new online shop selling your products, with your helpful articles guiding people, with your informative YouTube channel leading the masses. Not only will the amount of advertising reduce, but it will also become cheaper simply because fewer people are doing it at this time.
This is not an opportunity that lasts forever, this is very much now. There is a vacuum being created for you to choose to step into. And it will be scary, it will feel completely mad to be doing the opposite of what everyone else is doing, but taking that leap today will set you up for reaping the benefits later. While everyone else is preparing to curl up and quit, we need to be amping up and serving.
So while the whole world is watching, what will you choose? Quit or amplify?
As COVID-19 is unlikely to disappear completely without an effective vaccine, it’s expected that we will have a W shaped recovery with lock downs repeatedly being enforced, relaxed and enforced again over time. Being prepared for this tumultuous recovery will stand you and your hotel in good stead to ride the waves to come.
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