There are many challenges a business owner can face but none more than where everything around them stops, and access to everything they know is closed. It can be as if the captain of a ship loses all instrument support in the middle of a raging storm and can see no further than the bow of the vessel.
In business as in life – and using the analogy of a ship at sea – the ship will remain afloat so long as the elements on the outside do not get into the ship on the inside. It is the same for our mental health if you think about it.
I have been discussing the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) with business owners in the Sesame network, and actually those in other professions too, and this “blindness” – this sense of helplessness and the feeling that the chaos they see on the outside of their business is finding its way into the inside of their business – is causing many business owners and firm principals to feel overwhelmed.
What has been fascinating to see, as well as exciting for me to support, is how these owners of mortgage and protection firms have found ways to re-establish clarity, vision and purpose. And while saving their business from being overwhelmed, many have also been preparing for the post-COVID world, the future.
So how have they done this?
The answer I have seen time and time again is by taking six clear steps and sticking to them.
Step one: seek out experience
Many of our members who are successfully navigating the unknowns of the pandemic and starting to get a clear plan for the other side have spoken with others who have lived through similar a crisis before. Not necessarily a pandemic but there are business owners who are in our network how who have navigated their business through massive black swan events and come through stronger and more profitable.
Step 2: consider everything you say…. to everyone
All too easy is it to slip into panic mode as the elements on the outside get into the inside of our hearts and minds, and then words that are used show that emotion. Customers and colleagues need their mortgage broker and their boss to be calm and focused. So these folk have clearly been “guarding their lips” as an ancient saying puts it.
Step 3: focus on your business and what you can control
Many of our forward-thinking members have been working hard – very hard – on inching their business towards blue waters. This is not easy, but I have observed business owners when speaking with me back in April, focusing entirely on the little 1% changes that have brought them through to June, and now they are revving up again.
Step 4: look for the truth
It’s not just you and your firm experiencing a crisis – your customers are also experiencing it as well. When something this big hits, although they may not be intentional in making mistakes when providing information to you, it is easy for the full truth about their position to fluctuate. So business owners who are ahead of the bounce back focused on the truth from everyone and to everyone. This provided them with one less thing to worry about! “If every decision being made is based on a true starting position I can sleep at night”.
Step 5: integrity is everything
Throughout the pandemic, some of the most forward-thinking business owners have maintained their integrity. That means not taking short-cuts in processes, and not dropping their standards. These people say what they mean and mean what they say, keeping promises or simply not making them.
These five steps I have observed are five immoveable pillars providing the launch pad for the post-COVID world. Trust and stability are what are needed for the battered UK and these five pillars will provide customers and colleagues exactly that.
Step 6: the final step
The final phase to preparation is ensuring that your business vision, purpose, strategy and processes are all clear, both to yourself as the business owner, and to your colleagues, while also making sure that you are offering a service that customers want and need post-COVID.
More support from Sesame
At Sesame we host one-day consultancy events, to work with our business owners and help them develop these thoughts rapidly so that their mortgage and general insurance (GI) firm can become super productive.
To find out more about the consultancy expertise available from Sesame, click here.
And as we continue to look forward to the end of lockdown and the ability to meet face to face once more, we will once again be offering this out to those who would like our support in steering their ship. For more information contact your Regional Development Manager. Please note that as regional places will be limited, you are encouraged to pre-book your place on our fast-paced and dedicated consultancy events by emailing me at [email protected] to register your interest.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog there’s more coming soon as the latest trends emerge through to COVID-19 era.
More from Consultants’ Corner
Browse all Consultants’ Corner articles