Sort Out Your Own Business Before Helping Others

When a plane in flight hits turbulence, and oxygen masks drop from the overhead compartment, the advice from all airlines is to secure your own mask first, before helping anyone else. Right now, that same rule applies to your business.

If you’re not breathing in and out calmly and soberly, with a good oxygen supply of your own, you won’t be making optimal decisions, and you certainly won’t be as much use to your clients as you could be.

To help you focus on your own business first, we've put together three easy steps.

Step 1: Spend time sorting out your own business

  • Carve out a day to work out your own cash flow, and look at different scenarios—what will the future look like in different eventualities?
  • What would it look like if you continue to grow at more modest levels in a shallow recession?
  • If growth stalls, what levers can you pull to maintain the status quo?

And if we’re in for a long-term super slump, what is your strategy for short-term pain, but long-term gain?

Step 2: Align your strategy with what customers want and need going forward

  • Keep charging a fair fee for your services. Many of us are tempted right now to become charities, but doing so would undermine not only your own business and viability, but the market as a whole.
  • Everyone will be under pressure to discount, put things on hold, and not buy, but the more head-in-the-sand we are about the situation, the more others will follow.

Economies will become inevitable downward spirals of minimised interactions and commercial transactions, to the detriment of us all.

Step 3: Humanise your communication

  • Always keep in mind tone and method—right now, email is not the best way to offer empathy.
  • Ask questions, answer questions, and follow up over Skype, Facetime, or Zoom. If your clients aren’t online, pick up the phone.

In short, offer your ear, deploy your brain, and open your heart to staff and clients. We can be the industry of calm, sober thinkers, making models, plans, and actions for the benefit of all.

This article contains information from a section of our webinar Advising Clients in Troubled Times. To watch the full webinar, click here.

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