A business is nothing without its people, and in our current times of isolation and social distancing, it’s important for leaders to show their staff how to remain connected – but without getting into bad habits around concentration and motivation.
It’s also critical to understand that contracting in fear is the worst response a leader can have to an economic crisis. In order to build business resilience, it’s time to push hard and get aggressive with your marketing spend. When the crisis is finally over, you’ll be several steps ahead of your competitors who failed to understand the long-term thinking required to build a sustainable business.
1. Stay connected
When it comes to business’s structure, it’s important to keep your teams as connected as possible, even during periods of social distancing and self-isolation. At King Kong, we’re achieving this through daily chats and video meetings on Google Hangouts, and we even recreated Friday drinks by all having a huge video chat with everyone in the company. It’s a great opportunity to blow off some steam and feel connected.
Connect with your staff virtually, remind everyone to still have fun and continue to work hard because the business is pushing forward and will come out stronger. Demonstrate positive leadership and make sure that your people understand that this thing is going to end, whether it’s in six weeks or in six months. With a sense of certainty and positivity from their leader, it’ll be easier for staff to quieten the feelings of anxiety and get on with doing great work.
2. Choose the way you interact wisely
Chat is a very inefficient way to communicate, and it’s a great way to get yourself out of the zone of deep work. Interruptions all day long can really take your team out of their zone of concentration. Ensure that deep work can still be executed across your organization by limiting meetings to video calls and trying to reduce chat where possible.
As a leader, you need to make sure you’re giving yourself the permission to jump off chat and not be responsive to everyone to everyone at all times, as true leadership can only come from those periods of intensive, concentrated work.
3. Stay optimistic
Understand that news channels are a business in themself: they are in the business of extracting as much eyeball attention as they possibly can. You don’t want to be oblivious to what’s going on around you, but schedule time for news and limit yourself to the amount of news that you’re consuming. It could be a 10 to 15-minute diet of how much news you want to consume in your day.
4. Get active – both mentally and physically
Instead of being in a reactive state, get on the front foot and invest in bettering yourself and bettering your business. Buy courses, buy books, make sure that you’re still actively exercising, and keep yourself in that positive frame of mind, because this too shall pass.
History has given us examples of many businesses that emerge stronger from testing times are those who have looked for opportunities instead of looking at challenges. They’re the ones that always come out the other end in a much stronger position while everybody else is frozen in fear.
Now’s the time to get on the offensive, and take action for your business. During an economic contraction, the companies that thrive are the ones that don’t retreat and don’t contract with the economy. Do not stop advertising and marketing, because if you do, you’re restricting the oxygen that forms new sales, new customers and revenue. And whatever you do, don’t let the fear and uncertainty phrase you.
5. Take advantage of the extra eyeballs
People are currently at home, looking for solutions to their problems. As your competitors are contracting in fear, now is the time to push forward and be very aggressive with your marketing because you can get those eyeballs for cheaper, get better cut through and a bigger share of voice.
According to an internal Facebook report obtained by the New York Times, U.S. traffic from Facebook to other websites increased by 50% within the past week. There’s no doubt that similar statistics are true in other countries too.
The emphasis now needs to be on building prospects and engineering a sales funnel that’s not focused on immediate conversion. People may not be buying right now but they are certainly researching, and when the crisis blows over, they certainly will be buying.
This is a great time to put out information and nurture a list of prospects that are great candidates for what you sell. And then when things do blow over, the economy does snap back, you’re going to be in a position where you’ve developed a relationship. When they’re ready to buy, who do you think they’re going to buy from?
Sabri Suby is the founder of Australia’s fastest-growing digital marketing agency, King Kong, and author of international bestseller Sell Like Crazy. Having originally founded King Kong in 2014 from his bedroom, Sabri has bootstrapped the company since day one and in under five years has successfully built a team of 61 specialists now achieving $20million+ in total revenue (year to date). As a pioneer in the digital marketing arena, his business has impacted 250,000 businesses in 42 different countries, and has generated in excess of $1.33 billion in sales for him and his clients.