March 10, 2020

Make use of your downtime

Any crisis will come and go. From the dot-com bubble to SARS to the Great Recession, we’ve lived through a couple of them this century alone. Times of financial difficulty may come. But they will definitely go away.

If your business has been slowing down, it might be a great opportunity to make use of some needed downtime. Especially if you’ve been so overwhelmed by your busyness. But that’s only if you’ve not overextended yourself with debt. And only if you’ve been prudent in times of prosperity and not spent every single cent you’ve made.

The thing is, downtime can be a great time for you to regroup and to plan ahead for the years ahead. You can make use of this gift of time to invest in your own and your employee’s education. Or you can keep a lookout for investments that might great business sense. You can even use this time to get to know more about your co-workers.

Maybe this Covid-19 outbreak is affecting you because your business was highly dependent on those few big clients. But perhaps it’s time to rebalance your client portfolio to include many smaller clients instead. It might make more financial sense the next round of crisis come. This way, it’s more unlikely that all of your clients will quit on you at the same time.

Anyone can appear successful in times of prosperity. The challenge is to know if you were successful because your boat was simply caught up in the rising tide or if you have truly built a business with a strong foundation.

But hard times can be a gift if we truly learn the lessons that those times are teaching us. Are you positioning yourself to provide solutions for others in such challenging times? Are there things that you’ve taken for granted and will need to challenge your own assumptions?

Maybe instead of building your business on trends (remember Fidget Spinners, anyone?), you can build it on doing good work instead. Serve someone else. Go the extra mile for your customers. Perhaps it might help you remain profitable during the next crisis.

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