Opinions expressed by entrepreneur Shareholders are their own.
As much as we would like to hide the virus, declare independence and move forward, these are not among the options available to us. As we enter a new phase of Covid-19 and situations calm down, there is still a risk that you should be aware of.
So a new breakthrough in the relationship requires – a new set of points and aspects – as a path to sustainable operating models, not to mention personal sanity. small business Owners who have been in the wrong end of an abusive attitude for the past two years.
To be fair, Covid has produced a lot of creative adaptation in business. Transformation programs that would have taken place over years, were accomplished in months. Innovative “hubs” are now new business lines and revenue streams.
However, the common theme was a set of intensely short-term decisions, both at the level of individual companies and national governments.
And as we realized in the early days of 2022, there is debt owed by many of the actions taken so far in response to the virus – along with some unexpected consequences – almost all of it beyond the control of any individual business.
So let’s reassess where we are, what we’ve learned, our choices and what we can control.
First, a sincere acknowledgment that we may be closer to the beginning of this virus and its variants than we are to the end.
So what will happen in the future can’t be an endless series of stop-gap actions, but rather, getting out of the hamster’s wheel of opening and closing, hiding or not mandates, stimulus extensions or not, and expanding the payroll to reach warmer weather or Holiday spending season.
Second, while it is impossible to calculate or even understand the depth of the changes that the virus has activated or imposed on us, it is clear that this change at the level of human attitudes and behavior is the most profound.
Change at the level of real people tends to be permanent, so we better understand how it reshapes both our customers and the people who work for us.
Third, this is not an exhaustive list of considerations, but it is as difficult as it has been for the past two years for people running small businesses EconomieThe overall difficulty score continues to rise.
Factors extending to the ongoing uncertainty over the supply of everything from building materials to computer chips, the evolving contracting of our people and the complex race for talent, along with the rise. economic inflationlower access to capital and the cost of servicing any debt.
Not to mention the ups and downs of Covid, even in a more stable relationship.
Managing a small business has never been so easy. But was it ever so difficult?
Either way, we certainly won’t become overwhelmed or appreciative—especially since we’ve come this far.
For me, the path back to greater control begins with fragmenting and separating the macro level problems from what is closer to you.
I find it clarifies what is in or out of my direct control.
Start with the market. Not the global economy, the market it directly serves.
When we look there, we find three types of people – customers and competitors of course. And for me, our employees shortlist the high-priority things that I am most directly affected by.
“Customer” has always struck me as a very open word. So generalize broadly, and if you care about the idea of ”meeting them wherever they are,” I think it’s fair to assume that:
- They are highly digitized in their purchasing behaviours, even more so as a result of Covid.
- They expect to be treated as individuals, but they depend on the opinions of people in their networks.
- They trust their ability to research products and services.
- They care about price, but they also want to buy from brands that reflect their personal values, and are increasingly concerned with social and environmental issues.
This is an interesting profile for customers today and tomorrow, especially given that Research by Top Design Firms He found that about a third of small businesses in the United States still lacked a web presence.
Related: 3 ways Covid-19 has changed Marketing world
In terms of workforce, people have always had choices about where they work, but never before have so many people exercised that choice at the same time, deciding that the answer right now has no place.
When I think about the talent at Xero — and the fair agreement between the company and its employees — I must admit that I can’t solve it for everyone. incentivize. But I can listen.
This is a time for people to think deeply – about their time, value and value, how they define resilience, and their view of personal well-being; And their belief in the purpose of the places in which they work.
Once we understand what matters to the individual, we can at least make sure that we are not missing out on something essential.
A final word on what I can control.
I think there has been a tendency – and I have certainly seen this in myself – to look for the latest newsletter On the virus, but also, the performance of the stock market that day, the cost of money, short supply, courts or political events.
I choose to do a little more of it. Staying informed does not require an addictive connection to multiple news feeds.
Instead, I want to be more adamant about taking back the time I spent on macro-level issues in the world, and redirecting that time to listening to my colleagues across our workforce; listening to our customers and partners; And modify the value we offer each.