Storms. You know, the ones that bring wind and rain, or maybe cold and snow. They come every year. They are part of the world we live in. Some storms are fast and fierce. Others seem to camp out overhead for days. Storms change our plans. Cause inconvenience. And sometimes they damage property and hurt us.

However, one thing I do not hear very often is what to do after a big storm hits. What do we do a couple hours afterwards or the next day? To me, that seems just as important as surviving the storm. Perhaps one reason why there is not a good 1-2-3 list is because we react to the storm damage. We see what happened, then we know what to fix or who needs help.

However, maybe there are some things we can prepare for after the storm.

Our current COVID storm seems to be winding down. Vaccines are reaching the population and business starting to open.

It seems we are entering a time after the storm. What should we be do being?

It seems we are entering a time after the storm. What should we be do being?

In my opinion this is harder challenge than, say a tornado damage. After a tornado we can immediately see the damage and the people who need help. It is obviously what needs to be done and whole communities come together to help at whatever they can, even if picking up debris. It’s reactionary and a good thing.

So, after the COVID storm we expect there will be damage to fix, debris to clean up, and people to help. This includes inside our business. The world has changed. Fixes and adjustments are likely needed to start quickly. Customer habits have changed. Supply chains need to be fixed. Employees are likely to need retrained. Marketing messages tweaked.

Storms bring change. Are preparing your company for after the storm?

🎧Listen to the Aris2Live Podcast of this topic

Ramp-up Your Business by Helping to Clean-up

There’s going to be damage. And unfortunately, we are likely have to be reactive and planning is a challenge. That’s okay for the short term. Like after a nasty storm, we really don’t know exactly what that the damage will be. So as business owners, we can prepare for the general and figure out the specifics later when the bridge is crossed.

Here are two reactive approaches that we can prepare for after the storm:

  • Have a method to access the COVID damage. Just identified them, access them. Don’t worry about fixing them yet.
    • Access the financial impacts.
    • Identify the costs to protect employees & customers from COVID.
      • What are the new employee and customer expectations?
    • Identify the family strains. Has the children’s education fallen behind? Is a spouse stressed by some weird and convoluted business and family schedule?
  • Accept that after the storm you have to clean up the mess in your place and help clean up the mess in your neighbor’s house.
    • In cleaning up in your business, you may have to help a key customer or suppler, or perhaps an employee. Again, this is reactive territory.
    • Focus on people. We try to help out and cleaning up like after a tornado.
    • This phase can be a weird combination of giving help and accepting help.

Ramp-up Your Business to be Nimble as the Economy and Opportunities Open Up

As our country comes out of the COVID recession, nobody knows exactly what things will look like. Trends in customer habits, new government initiatives, and employee expectations indicate there will be big changes. I don’t think anybody knows exactly sure what is going to happen.

That’s where a nimble attitude and business comes into play. There will be good opportunities opening and that’s a good thing.

  1. Have flexibility with employee hours and time off.
  2. Be Nimble with customers, how they pay and delivery methods
  3. Be accepting about receiving help.

Now we start to move out of being in reactive mode. Now that we have access the damages from the storm and adopted a nimble attitude, we can ramp up in an intentional manner.

Ramp up Yourself by Keeping the Better Family Habits

Don’t forget the home front in your business ramp-up after the storm. There will be changes as schools and offices opened up. Using your leadership skills in your family and friends can help make life easier for everybody. Help them process and adjust to a new economic reality.

It is not probably healthy to go back to the super-rushed, overloaded schedule that was in the pre-COVID days. A suggestion is to keep the best and ditch the bad in times of change. It’s hard to be specific here because there are so many types of families. At a high level, maybe keep the time together and activities that build relationships. Did you have movie night that the family and friends enjoy? Keep it. Find things that work for you.

On a side note, there will be likely new opportunities for school ages kids to take.

Move Your Business By Updating Your Business Model

Okay, for us business owners this is key. This is where the rubber meets the road because after a big storm there is a lot of things going on and many things that will distract us. The COVID pandemic changed a lot of things and if we stick to doing pre-COVID efforts and process, well, the risk of financial troubles are very likely.

Here are a few things to consider with updating your business model:

  • Increase your financial resilience.
    • This might be messy depending on your situation but the storm might of caused a big mess. Don’t give up and work through it day-by-day. There are sunny days on the horizon.
    • First work towards 3 months of expenses in cash reserves, then increase reserves from there.
    • Increased resilience works in two directions. First is handling unexpected costs and second is having the cash to take advantage of new opportunities.
  • Costs after the are going to go up.
    • Budgets have changed.
    • There’s been supply chain disruptions.
    • Potential of inflation.
    • Old technology might need to be replaced.
  • Be nimble to make changes, invest in new technology, and create new product, and so-on.
  • Ramp up Your Business Plan and model
    • When going over your business plan and business model, get a clear on your business’s strengths and weaknesses.
    • Navigating the current crisis and thriving in the next normal will require significant changes in business and operating models for all businesses