I honestly didn’t pay much attention to all the talk about the coronavirus as the media tends to really latch on to any form of sensationalistic journalism these days. That is until I received our first call from a client wondering about a strategy and plan of action.
That hit me like a wet towel in the side of my head from outside my field of vision. You see it’s never really the reality that matters, it’s the perception.
The reality is that as of the writing of this post, 36 have died from this in the US to date. That’s less than die on our Florida roads in a single day but nobody talks about those unfortunate souls. What about the tornados in Tennessee last week? That only made the news for a day.
THE PERCEPTION ALWAYS TENDS TO BE THE REALITY. And that’s the double edge sword.
You can’t ignore this in case it turns into something really big and you are viewed later on as irresponsible to both your clients and staff. And you can’t over react as you probably can’t afford to and surely don’t want to contribute to the panic.
What do you do?
That depends on what kind of person you are. If you already have a years supply of toilet paper and you can’t park your car in the garage because of the hand sanitizer you stocked up on your business may already be on lockdown. If you are like the rest of us, however, it’s probably a good time to start to at least have a contingency plan of action. This should follow logical steps in an if-then scenario. Obviously how this plan takes shape depends on the nature of your business.
The reality is we are living in a different world now and the decisions we make today effects what we do tomorrow. Trust me, you’ll sleep easier tonight knowing you have crafted a working plan of action.
To get you started your plan might start something like this:
1. What do I tell my employees who ask me about the Virus? They may continue to work, work from home or take voluntary leave etc.
2. What do I tell my clients who ask about COVID-19? We are on watch alert to this point and will continue to remain open for business as usual until such time as our staff and clients are at risk etc.
3. What things can we do now to minimize exposure? We can eliminate unnecessary person-to-person meetings, sales calls and attempt to replace these by conference calls etc.
4. Are there any staff who can work from home should their children not be able to attend school?
And the plan of action goes on and on… but you should prepare for that first call, because I sure didn’t.