A Time To Communicate
The world is a different place today compared to what it was just three months ago. While all of us have undoubtedly changed to varying degrees, I wanted to share a bit more about the change thrown my way over the last two months.
If you’re not familiar with me and my posts, here is a quick background. I am 39, am married, have two daughters (10 & 4), run a successful eight figure (sales revenue) company, and attempt to maintain hobbies such as writing. Check out this post for more on my journey. As you might imagine, the bulk of my time over the last three months has been focused on running the small business. Let me tell you, if there was ever a time to communicate, now is it!
The amount of change our small business has gone through is enormous. On the plus side, we provide products to first responders. This has definitely helped us stay in business and productive over the past few months. On the negative side, I was faced with managing a new world along with a staff of over 20 – trying to keep them safe and employed all at the same time. When we talk numbers, I’ll share that I had about three weeks in a row that I pushed 80 hour work weeks. It took that much time to figure things out. That is part of the reason my posts are light lately.
The purpose of this post is to share a bit more about how I managed our small business through this enormous change. It is also to call out just how important it was to communicate constantly throughout. By doing this, I grew as a leader while being able to sleep at night knowing I did everything I could think of to continue to provide a paycheck to the other 20+ families that rely on our company. Let me share a bit more…
The plan was two years in the works. I spent time upgrading individuals to notebooks from desktop computers. I also upgraded operating systems to be cloud based and set a communication hierarchy. These steps helped immensely. When we received news that our state was locking down, years of planning were set in motion.
Within two days, our entire office team was up and running at full speed from home offices. To ensure questions were answered and that I had a constant pulse on the company, we scheduled standing daily calls. Our staff received daily updates, reports, and action item lists across all functions of the company. While this helped me, it also came along with additional benefits.
The Staff Calmed Down
With regular communicate in place, the staff quickly calmed. The worried looks on faces over Zoom meetings eased. Tension came down considerably as well. This was a huge win to keep people feeling good, motivated, and inspired to continue to do a good job. I’m grateful that the communication structured worked as well as it has over the past two months now.
With the staff calm, the interactions with our customers improved as well. We took doubt out of minds and replaced it with confidence. Our customers knew what we were doing, when we were doing it, and what they could expect in the way of delivery and service. The result of this was more interaction. Customers responded well to invites for webinars and conference calls to discuss our products in more detail. I’m happy to report this communication continues to happen throughout our customer base today.
To Wrap It Up
In my pursuit of FIRE, I’m faced with incredibly difficult decisions and situations in my day job. When faced with a pandemic, I’ve learned (and wanted to share) that stepping up your level of communication helps inspire calm and confidence in others. So, whether you run a small business or you are captain of the ship at home, remember to communicate. In your personal financial life, communication about goals, adjustments, progress, risks, and issues is as important now as it has ever been. Don’t lose sight of the goal…just communicate and modify plans accordingly to help you and your family weather the current storm.
If you or someone you know is struggling with the state of the world, this article outlines some good resources to tap into.