If you are old enough, you know that this isn’t the first recession we have had in the last twenty years or so. Yes, this one may seem a lot worse, because most of our country is shut down, and the impact may be greater than the others if you are not reacting the right way.
There are five stages during a recession and the very first one is where a business owner like yourself will simply freeze. This is understandable because you are in shock since this all came on so suddenly. I mean, it’s not like you had months of advance notice, where you could create a plan for this massive struggle in the business world!
The worst thing you can do right now is, stay in the grief-stricken phase where you are frozen and have no idea where to turn. Doing that will mean the end of your business, which is the last thing you want after all of your hard work.
It is common to go through the second phase of disorientation for a little bit too. I am not telling you that you shouldn’t have a million different scenarios going through your head in the beginning. However, I urge you to not just jump in headfirst and do the first thing that comes to mind or try to work multiple angles without any clue of whether it will work or not.
This reactive phase will usually have you doing the wrong thing, even if you are thinking you are doing it for the right reasons. This is not the time to incur a ton of new expenses, because it will cause you long term agony. The impact of those types of actions can cause your business to fail before you have the chance to rebuild.
Out of the five phases, the third stage is going to be where you want to have your focus sooner than later during this current recession. Not many businesses are there yet, so don’t feel concerned if you are still a little disoriented. However, now is the time to get busy and start evaluating the data you have available.
Now, it normally takes between two and four weeks to get a real trend from all of the data you collect. This is the time when you are going to need to ask some hard questions before creating a plan that has appropriate actions with a positive impact for your business. Most of the time, your action will be only one thing, but it is the most important item when it comes to moving your business forward.
This is also the time when you will see many of your competitors closing up shop. Do not begin to panic again, or start ignoring all of the data you have been collecting. Instead focus on the fourth phase, which is the action that you came up with using all of your data and nothing else.