I am reaching out to provide some thoughts on the COVID-19 Pandemic and how we can respond as leaders of our organizations.
First, you have to act now. As a leader, it’s time to lead. This means providing comfort to your employees, clients, and extended communities. As leaders, we are lucky to have resources to weather this storm. Many of those working for us and with us don’t have the same buffer we do, so use this as an opportunity to be of service.
- If your customers are one of the non-essential industries, plan to be open to service them, but expect shut downs (e.g., construction sites will most likely not be open this week or next week). Stay in close contact with your key customer relationships.
- Draw down on your line of credit if you need cash to fund payroll. In fact, you may consider drawing all available credit from your line so that you have it in your checking account. This will help ensure that your bank can’t reduce your LOC availability in the crisis.
- Develop a draft communication plan (customers, job sites, employees and vendors) to be released if the President does shut down non-essentials. Revise if there is an announcement based on the facts presented. Send out a daily communication if this occurs or use zoom or equivalent. Below is a draft emergency communication in the PPS. We recommend all companies move to LEVEL 3 immediately! This will probably go to LEVEL 4 by end of week at the latest!
- Only pay payroll during this time and aggressively collect cash prior to an announcement (meaning go get the check and take it to the bank!)
- You are a leader – Remain calm, this too shall pass and this is your opportunity to shine!
- Get two weeks of supplies and food. Make sure your extended family is prepared and safe.
- Figure out something fun to do with your family (go old school). Khan Academy has great e-learning on a free app for K-12 kids!
- Make sure to have enough cash on hand.
- Make a list of what stocks you’re going to buy at what strike price. Don’t forget that we want you to take advantage of the massive buying opportunities that these once every ten year downturns can bring!
- Have a ROCK solid plan for future events. If it does happen, then you are ready. Hope for the best, but plan for the worst! Our workbook and tools are helpful on thinking through cost cutting and strategy coming out of this (www.recession.com).
At a minimum, I recommend you send out a communication to all employees explaining your company’s EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLAN. If you don’t have a plan, I am providing a template to help get you started. You’ll want to customize it to fit your business.
This communication should go out ASAP by email, slack, text, or in person if you’re employees are still working at the office.
Stay safe and be well, everyone!