I think the word “Coronavirus” has been spoken more than any other in recent weeks. We entrepreneurs know all too well how our businesses are being affected by it. Business is probably down across the board. That’s a given.
I like to ask questions of my audience, so here’s mine for this week, “What are you doing to work ON your business?”
“ON” includes those things that drive business forward — being in touch with customers, marketing to get new ones, thinking of ways to improve service, etc. “IN” is pretty much what you’re thinking — answering emails, returning phone calls, paying bills —- the stuff you can do in your sleep (or at least in your pajamas while you are under ‘stay at home’ orders).
About a year ago my son, Corey, and I bought a computer repair company. Here is some of what we’ve been up to:
- Although we’re able to remain open because our business falls into an “essential services” category, we still have to implement the mandated/recommended COVID 19 precautions. We let customers know about these new operating policies via our website and in our written correspondence. It occurred to us that this visible compliance with the civil authorities also serves as a welcoming sight to our customers who may otherwise be hesitant to do business with us during this time. So it’s good for them and good for us.
- Since acquiring the business, we’ve sought to provide great service. We request that our customers write Google reviews as to their experience with us. Now we’re asking them to include their impression of how we are doing at making them feel comfortable in light of COVID 19.
- We’ve added some relevant slides to the large LED sign on the street in front of our location. They refer to our being open as usual, precautions we’re taking, pick up/delivery at no charge, etc.
- We’re fast tracking a concept that is new for us — remote and on-site hardware/software support for people working from home. The work from home model has been gaining ground for several years. We think it’s going to move at the supersonic speed of the internet in the coming days.
I know this stuff should not be a revelation to the guy who wrote, One with Everything: Anatomy of a Hot Dog Stand, the “how to” book on starting and operating a successful family business. But, what can I say — everything becomes so much clearer when it’s personal!
Bottom line — we’re spending increased time and concentrated effort working ON our business during this Covid19 pandemic season.
Next time, I’ll address making innovation a daily practice.
About the Author
Mike Cheney is an entrepreneur, investor, and advocate for the family business. He teaches on mentorship and discipleship as foundational elements of the family economy. Together, the Cheney family is involved in a number of entrepreneurial business ventures. Audio recordings from his Australia conference and his two books, One with Everything: Anatomy of a Hotdog Stand and Other Great Family Businesses You Can Start and, Money 101: Earn, Give, Save, Spend are available at AMEProgram.com.