What is Your “New Business Normal”?
by Hal Levenson on Apr 15, 2020 5:11 PM
Most businesses are now 4 weeks into working remotely and even essential businesses have been impacted by the shutdown. In some way, we all are working under a “new business normal”. On Tuesday, April 14th, Trilogy Partners hosted our 4th Navigating Covid-19 Town Hall call where we had an exchange around some common themes we’ve heard from our network. Thank you to our call participants for sharing how you are handling your “new business normal.”
What tools and/or methods are you using to stay in touch with your team?
- Slack.com – video chat, text chat, create channels & groups of people for internal and external meetings
- Monday.com Project Management Tool & Communication tool complete with Dashboards & Integrations
- Vonage: Group chat for company/department. Some companies set up chat rooms for “Water Cooler” talk
- Slack.com & Monday.com for inner office
What tools and/or methods are you using to stay in touch with your Clients?
- Randomly touching base via email to check in
- Email blast to clients with general updates and/or helpful resources
- Phone calls – Business Owner to Business Owner
What tools and/or methods are you using to stay in touch with your Vendors?
Are you handling A/R, A/P, payroll differently? If so, how?
- Using bill.com for electronic payments; more efficient solution.
- AR: Receiving requests from extended terms and granting on a case by case basis.
- AR: Wave credit card fee; gets cash in the bank.
- AP: Most important thing is communication. Paying critical vendors first with credit card to extend terms. Vendors will remember who paid when times get better.
- AP: Contact vendors to extend terms.
- Payroll: Some have done salary cuts across the board. Must be careful during PPP 8 week-period since you will not get forgiveness if money does not meet criteria.
How are you approaching business development and sales and How is it different now?
- Telehealth platform: Physitrack.com
- Mailing to population – letting them know that business is open and the steps that they are taking to ensure a healthy environment. Some of insurance providers are relaxing measures based on challenging times.
- Reluctant to approach new clients – messaging is tricky.
- Host webinar to demonstrate leadership with new/existing clients.
- Be the helper by providing valuable information.
- Marketing to current situation – be content oriented. This may lead to something down than the road.
- Chat rooms that are blacklisting companies that are trying to capitalize on COVID19.
- Great value in webinars – for example, SBA has frequent updates that are communicated by reliable sources.
What new technology have you used to help with daily work?
- Asana – task & project management
- Microsoft teams
- Zoom – Meetings & Webinars
What duties, if any, have you outsourced?
- Website design & updates
- CFO/COO/Accounting & Bookkeeping
How has your marketing changed in the last 4 weeks (method or messaging)?
- Content: Blogs that educate, not directly sell services.
- No direct marketing – offering resources (town hall calls/webinars/How To’s)
- Private Groups – a resource for all members.
- Social Media Sharing – Help others by sharing content to cast a wider net (and keeps your brand top of mind as well).
- Video snippets from webchats – more palatable in short 30-second bursts than replaying an entire webinar.
- Giving Back to Community – i.e., provide PPE, sponsor a meal for essential workers.
How are you managing work-life balance working from home (family/distractions/interruptions)?
- Essential and remote work often comes with longer hours and burnout – set parameters to turn business “off”.
- Even for those who have always worked from home: with everyone home, need to maintain routine but also do something that separates home life and work life.
- Communicate to have a greater understanding of what everyone’s schedule looks like and set expectations.
- Silver linings: dog is happy, family dinners, movie night, walks outside
How are leaders helping their employees?
- Mental health days
- Company Happy Hour
- Rotating time off
- Bonus for going above & beyond
- A sincere Thank you
Has anyone heard back from their bank regarding the PPP loan?
- Yes, but no one has received their EIDL or PPP loan yet.
- Change in EIDL, retroactive to start of application process: the amount of your Advance will be determined by the number of your pre-disaster (i.e., as of January 31, 2020) employees. The Advance will provide $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $10,000.
- Applications will take 3-4 weeks to process. At that point, a representative from the SBA will contact the Company, verify some information and, if approved, the $$ will be deposited into the Company’s bank account within 3 business days.
What information are you sharing with your employees? How transparent are you?
- Be as honest as possible, focus on values and provide assurance.
- Do not need to provide concrete numbers but be as transparent as possible without providing false hope. Can share that there is no intention for layoffs but if anything changes, there will be shared responsibility.
- Keep dialogue open, check in every week with your team.
- So much depends on how long this will last – want to be very cautious about false hope.
DISCLOSURE: Please check with your trusted professionals prior to acting for your business. This Q & A recap should not replace professional services from legal, financial, payroll, HR, insurance, or consulting professionals. If you need a resource in one of these areas, please reach out to us at https://gettrilogypartners.com/contact/.
About Hal Levenson
Hal Levenson is the Founder and Chief Visionary Officer at Trilogy Partners. Trilogy Partners is an advisory & implementation firm whose mission is to help companies grow and transform. We accomplish this by focusing on 3 critical business areas: Financial, Strategy & People.