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THIS MONTH'S GUEST ARTICLE
Across a wide range of business and engineering topics, these articles are presented with the intent of sharing knowledge and provoking thought, possibly even serving as a catalyst for action. Send us your topic suggestions and abstracts. We are always in search of engaging professional content. Contact us at news@vaeng.com for details.

The Top 5 Business Strategies Leaders Must Adopt During Times of Crisis
September 2020

By: Shelley Armato

Entrepreneurs, business owners, and company leaders in every industry are living in a state of overwhelm right now. The rules of business have changed seemingly overnight, and many are struggling to adapt to the new normal of our current reality.

The number of decisions business owners and leaders need to make daily is staggering. How do we communicate with customers? What do we do about projects put on hold? How do we keep our employees safe? What kind of infrastructure do we need to support our remote workers? And of course, the biggest decision of all, what steps must we take to ensure our business survives this crisis?

Being a business owner or company leader requires you to be nimble and ready to react at a moment’s notice. But that doesn’t negate the fact that you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Now more than ever you need to commit to your goals and squash any fears that may be holding you or your company back.

The following 5 strategies will help you persevere through any challenge, stay on track with your dreams, and emerge from the crisis victoriously.

1. Be tenacious
As an entrepreneur, business owner, or company leader, you likely made the decision to be tenacious long ago. After all, if you hadn’t, you wouldn’t be in the position you are today. Now is the time to double down on that commitment, not back away from it. Times of crisis demand boldness, innovation, and tenacity like no other. If you feel your tenacity wavering, pick a mantra that is powerful and motivating for you and have it play on a loop in your mind. Some common mantras leaders use to build their tenacity are “never give up,” “tough times don’t last; tough people do,” and “persistence breaks down resistance.” Pick a phrase that works for you and use it as your guide.

2. Look to your past challenges and how you overcame them
We’ve all had to overcome challenges in the past. Whether it was a business failure, a job loss, the death of a loved one, or anything else, no one’s life is without obstacles. And, believe it or not, that’s a good thing, because by living and working through those setbacks, you learned some important and useful skills. Even though the current global challenge facing us may seem different than anything anyone has experienced in the past, the fact is that the skills you have honed over the years during other challenges are the same skills that will get you through the current crisis. Just as a skilled cyclist picks themselves up after a wipeout and can ride again, so can you if you focus on the skills you already have.

3. Get comfortable being uncomfortable
During times of crisis, you will need to try new things—maybe even things you never imagined you’d do. Often, that means being uncomfortable. For example, many business owners are now doing live videos on social media to stay in front of customers and prospects. While they may be very comfortable giving scripted messages to the camera, talking off the cuff, in a casual setting (such as their home), is very different. During any crisis, “business as usual” isn’t enough. Therefore, think about what new, uncomfortable things you can do to keep your company top-of-mind for your customers.

4. Reinvent your message
If your sales have dropped or projects have been put on hold, taking a “wait and see” stance is dangerous. You need to keep your business profitable during the crisis, so you may need to reinvent or reposition your message and your offerings. The key is to find the pain your clients are having right now (which may be very different from the pain they were trying to address a mere 3 months ago), and then deliver solutions to meet their current needs. Realize that repositioning your offering often requires only a slight pivot, not a 180-degree change. Look at some examples currently occurring in communities across the country: restaurants offering grocery delivery services, distilleries making hand sanitizer, apparel and shoe makers adding face masks to their product line, etc. You already know how to reposition—you did it when you started your business or leadership position. Simply put that skill to work again now.

5. Protect your company’s culture
In order for your business to survive and thrive during a crisis, you need to nurture and protect the company culture you’ve worked so hard to create. This requires you to model strength for your employees, and to communicate honestly and often with them. The goal is to keep fear at a minimum and to make your employees feel safe. Let them know that they are doing a fabulous job during all the changes. Listen to their ideas. Ensure they feel part of the team and valued. Above all else, make sure they know—both by your words and your actions—that you are going to lead them through the storm.

Embrace the Challenge
They say that necessity is the mother of invention. And it’s true! In fact, often the best innovations come during times of crisis. The key is for you to assess the situation, determine where your business can add value, and then take action using the strategies outlined here. When you do, you’ll find that your company can weather any obstacle and emerge as the marketplace leader.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shelley Armato is CEO at MySmartPlans, a provider of best-in-class SaaS construction technology that eliminates risk, creates transparency and protects the budget. She provides professional construction services to some of the most prestigious business owners in the healthcare, scholastic, government, and other commercial market sectors. Contact her at www.mysmartplans.com.



Guest Articles
Below are listed the 12 most recent Guest Articles.
To see the entire list of Guest Articles, visit the Guest Article Archive.
To be alerted to new Guest Articles, subscribe to The Virginia Engineer Newsfeed: Atom / RSS

The Top 5 Business Strategies Leaders Must Adopt During Times of Crisis
September 2020

Entrepreneurs, business owners, and company leaders in every industry are living in a state of overwhelm right now. The rules of business have changed seemingly overnight…

By: Shelley Armato

Four Tips to Re-Build Trust Through Writing
August 2020

As a leader, you can build trust during turbulent times by following these four writing tips…

By: Dr. Julie Miller

7 Signs Your Team Isn’t Ready for Change
July 2020

These 7 signs can alert you to problems in the workplace that affect your team’s ability to successfully pivot to a changing environment.

By: Liz Uram

Three Ways to Select the Best Candidates Without In-Person Interviews
June 2020

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Maintaining a Leadership EDGE in Turbulent Times
May 2020

Why is it that some people seem to weather any business storm or crisis without appearing to break into a sweat?

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7 Reasons Not To Share Ownership with Key Employees
April 2020

Many business owners consider at some point sharing ownership of their company with one or more key employees.

By: Patrick Ungashick

Leadership in Change and Uncertainty
March 2020

Successful leadership requires navigating your organization through periods of change and uncertainty. Learn how to do this well, and you can adapt and thrive in any environment.

By: Brad Wolff

Asking Questions to Enhance Your Strategic Thinking
February 2020

The foundation of effective strategic thinking and strategy development is knowing how to ask the right questions.

By Jill J. Johnson

First Aid for Burned-Out Teams
January 2020

Even in the best of times, creating and maintaining a high-functioning team is work. When the team is burned-out, the task is infinitely harder, but it can be done.

By: Kate Zabriskie

5 Double-Edged Sword Philosophies that Lead to Destructive Company Culture
December 2019

Most of us spend the majority of our time at the office or actively working inside or as part of a human work system. Whether we are conscious to it or not, the corporate culture of an organization can…

By: Magi Graziano

Bolster Your Company’s Culture with 7 Skillsets of No Fail Trust
November 2019

Daily, you are faced with important decisions, and how you handle those decisions as well as how you interact with your team, will dictate the culture.

By: Jason O. Harris

5 Critical Steps to Better Meetings
October 2019

Are your meetings creating valuable new insights for the business or are they a series of multitasking-filled monologues?

By: Rich Horwath


Guest Article Archive
 
 
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