Do what you can, then ask for help

Be strong enough to stand alone,
smart enough to know when you need help,
and brave enough to ask for it.

The New Zealand 4-level Covid-19 alert system specifies public health and social measure to be taken against Covid-19. But there’s another system in play for New Zealand businesses… These are of course, very generalised and not meant to minimise the important roles the essential workers are carrying out.

Stage 1: Pre lock-down – panic buying.
I’m going to be stuck in my home for a while and even though they say there’s plenty of provisions for everyone, I can’t help but be affected by the panic buying. If they’re doing it, I should probably make sure me and mine are sorted.

Stage 2: First week of lock-down – this isn’t too bad.
I get to spend time as I choose and I’m getting lots done around the house. I’ve binged watched all the good stuff, played all the board games in the house, done colouring in and crafts and discovered the local park and walks.

Stage 3: Second week of lock-down – the gloss has worn off.
We’re bored now, and all the conspiracy theories are coming out to play. Is Covid-19 real, or are they covering something else up? I’ve never received so much spam mail in my life and I’m sick of reading about Covid-19 and the stupid people still being stupid. The word ‘new-normal’ is on repeat.

Stage 4: Third week of lock-down – panic and stress are setting in.
Paying and receiving rent, what’s fair and survivable, please help. I need to get back to my job, if I have one. What help is available? Are we all in the same boat, really? People will start thinking more about themselves and their situation rather than the collective.

Stage 5: Fourth week of lock-down – over it.
There’ll be a lot of noise on social media about getting back to our new normal. Businesses will want to start making a comeback as soon as possible. Post-lock down specials will be rampant.

Let me first speak to stage 4 situation. It’s not one I want to happen, but people are inherently selfish. Put an animal in a corner and it will fight its way out. We saw it with toilet paper demand. I really hope that it will just be a blip and the ones who are more aware, will shut it down.

The concern is that the social cost will outweigh the economic cost. It’s the drug addictions, alcoholism, battery and abuse that will likely be at its worst behind closed doors and isolated homes. It’s the parents who are trying to work and keep their kids entertained at the same time. Or the ones who have lost their employment and have no money to pay rent or get food – and whilst they might be able to get financial help, what is it doing to their self-esteem?

This is the time when we really need to find our strength to pull through and be kind to each other.

Be strong enough to stand alone…

Change comes, we know that. It’s the suddenness and the amount of change that makes the current climate even more difficult. The gloss of our new-normal is gone and it can be hard to get out of the funk.

A great mentor of mine ran an online session on reflection during this lockdown. A sentence rang out so true “we tend to equate change with loss”, so this exercise was to adapt. Everybody’s different and will have different feelings from a shared reality. We wrote down answers for these…

  1. What can you still do now, that you could do before?
  2. What couldn’t you do that you still can’t?
  3. What could you do before, that you can’t now?
  4. What couldn’t you do before, that you can now?
  5. How do you feel about what’s not changing?

After reflecting on these and letting go of the negatives, it made me feel more in control of my situation and more positive about this new-normal.

Smart enough to know when you need help…

If your excuse was always ‘not enough hours in the day’, then this lock down is for you! With social media being the main form of communication right now, plenty of businesses are jumping on like it’s a life raft.

Facebook has a new look coming out and is available for you to switch to now if you want. So, make sure your company page and community groups are ready for it.

  • Get on the correct template (General Settings > Templates and Tabs) and make sure each tab you have visible has content.
  • No harm in experimenting with boosts during the last week of lockdown – just get your targeting right (subject matter and audience location) and ensure your content is valuable.
  • Ensure contacting someone is easy. Many office phones aren’t answerable as present, so get it redirected to a mobile or home number, or include a button to contact by message

Newsletter and bulk email messages are a part of online marketing. But if I receive one more that talks about what their company is doing to make me feel safe about Covid-19, I’ll unsubscribe immediately.

  • Don’t post for the sake of posting or just to say ‘hi, I’m still here’ – provide some value. Helpful information or even something entertaining, don’t just add to the noise.
  • Clean up your database and take some time to get the details right. Newsletters that address the receiver directly do far better than those that don’t.

If you’re in leadership in your industry, start talking on LinkedIn.

  • Post what you really think and don’t be shy about it. Any conversation nutting out thoughts and values outweigh the ‘what if I’m wrong’ excuse, stick to your values and you’ll be fine.
  • Collaboration is key, more than ever we need to be supporting each other’s businesses to make it through and two experts talking together provide a conversational learning piece

Be website ready so if people find you, they find what they’re looking for.

  • Contact details are clear during this time – what you and your business are doing
  • Provide any help you can from your industry for your clients and potential clients
  • Tidy up pages, page headings and keywords to make sure Google finds your content

And brave enough to ask for it…

Essentially, if you’re not in a good place once this lock down is over, it’s going to be a long, hard haul to catch up – if you do at all. Get your mental and professional strategy sorted before it’s too late.

The team I work with is phenomenal, I’m constantly hearing stories about helping and adding value to our clients that inspire me and make me proud of GS. If you need help, even if it’s not listed below, please ask…

  • Business rescue packages
  • Wage and leave subsidies
  • New tax legislation to free up cash flow
  • Difficulty paying tax
  • Restructuring to ensure liquidity
  • Commercial leases – tenant or landlord
  • Strategic planning
  • Business valuations

Do what you can yourself and what you can’t, our team can help, just send me or us a message.

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