It’s impossible to know exactly how long the COVID-19 crisis will last. With businesses all over the world in quarantine, for many, the financial future is a big question mark. While it is important to focus on what you can do to help your family and community right now, it is also important to start to think about the future and how you can ensure your business survives this time of uncertainty.
Yet too many companies have no planned response to a disaster. According to a survey by Refresh Leadership, up to 67% of respondents are strategically unprepared for a crisis. Right now is the time to think of your agency’s response to this once-in-a-life-time situation.
Here are 3 steps you can take to plan your crisis recovery.
Step 1 – Turn Employees into Team Members
We spend a good portion of our life at wor. In times of crisis, your employees must understand that their health and safety is a priority to both you and the agency.
Authentically communicate concern
Take an opportunity to be more authentic with your team than you might be otherwise. Let them know that that this moment transcends “business as usual” and that you want them to come together to help each other and provide support.
Create a communication matrix
You may have a few people at your agency or you may be part of a large team. Either way, make sure your company has a communication plan and that everyone is included. Designate who acts as the point person and what the process is for disseminating information.
Ensure employee needs are met
Keep involved in your employees’ lives and make sure everyone is safe and secure. Keep in regular communication with the company as a whole and use your communication matrix to make personal check-ins. It is important for your team members to feel the support of the agency is behind them.
Step 2 – Create a Recovery Plan
Sit down with your team members and take the time to capture a plan in writing. There are many questions to address and many possibilities for the future.
What is the scope of the crisis?
The first point of your plan is to define the scope of the crisis. Where is the current estimate for containment and what is the variable on when that will happen? Keep an eye on official recommendations for the insurance industry and business professionals.
What are your readjusted goals?
If you haven’t set goals for the success of your businesses, this is a great time to do so. Think about what you would have hoped to be a metric you saw through the year. Now calculate the differential between that and a new projection.
What is your timeline?
It is impossible to know exactly what will happen, but at some point, the world’s economy is going to start back up. Make a rolling calendar, a calendar that starts on an unknown date. Instead of picking dates, use terms like one week after, two months after, one year after.
Step 3 – Think short term and long term
While you need to act in the short term to meet your employees’ needs and put out any fires, take a long view of this moment as well. A large percentage of businesses are suffering right now. There will be massive changes to our culture and the way we do business after this. How will your agency play a part in this new world?
How will you maintain continuity?
It will be important for you to demonstrate to your customers that they can still count on your agency to provide the services they have been accustomed to. In the cases where things have changed, be upfront and direct, providing as much help as possible. If your customers see you working to establish the security you once provided, they will be on your side.
What will be your brand promise?
How will you position yourself in a post-pandemic world? You have a unique opportunity to redefine your agency’s focus and values. This will make for a powerful communications campaign that will help you connect with ideal customers after the crisis is over.
Where can you invest in your business?
Even though money will be tight and it will be tempting to shut down after the crisis, it is important to keep investing in your company after things start running again. Of course, we believe a great way to invest in your business is to invest in your marketing and we are excited to offer you that. But even if you don’t do a thing for your marketing, find ways to keep life flowing through your agency.
This is a unique moment in time and Agency Revolution wants to express our concern and gratefulness for all of our clients. You make our business possible and we hope that our products help you succeed. We will all get through this together and go back to business as usual.