The Corona Virus Gives You the Gift of Time. Are You Using It?

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The disruptions caused by the Corona Virus is giving you the gift of thinking time. It gives you time to improve your business instead of just operating it. A chance to work ON your business instead of just IN it. Are your events cancelled? Are you forced to work from home? Why not use this time to review your strategies? Why not use this time to learn and sharpen your skills?

In 2001, the SARS virus hit Asia.

People were evacuated, events were cancelled, and places were locked down. I was a corporate sales person serving the hotel & restaurants business. The disruption forced me cancel meetings and events. I was not allowed to see or talk to my customers. I was forced to be creative in the way I do business. Revenues declined and there was nothing I could do about it. People said that all I could do was wait. For an action-orientated person like me, that was hard!!

But I learned that this quiet time can be used better. Instead of complaining about things out of my control, I chose to do something I can control. I added value and maintained relationships through fax instead of meetings (yes, the internet wasn't really a thing back then). We created new services that catered the needs of businesses suffering from the epidemic. And as a result, after the virus scare was over, I maintained all my customers and the revenue from the new services made up for the loss.  I had similar experiences leading businesses through political riots and floods that affected the economy and disrupted business activities when I was working in Indonesia/Singapore between 1996-2019. All those disruptions gave me gifts that I have used throughout my business career. 

Here’s what I learned:

As much as we want to blame the virus for the decline in our business, truthfully there are at least a few things we can improve about the way we do business that has nothing to do with the virus. The quiet time we are forced to experience now is a good time to diagnose our business and make plans to improve it. I’m not saying that the impact of the virus is light, but it’s not the only thing that is negatively affecting your business. 

Everyone is affected by the virus.

Everyone is experiencing a decline. But there are only a few of you who will come out of this better than before. There are only a few of you who will use this time wisely. Everyone else will just be complaining and waiting.

Here are some examples of some business leaders I am working with right now:

  • A coach who is using this month to improve her bio, her avatar and her marketing plan.

  • A designer who is using this to reshape her offering from transactional products to more strategic services.

  • A retailer who is working on increasing his online sales instead of depending on physical traffic. He is also using this time to negotiate better pricing from his suppliers.

  • An entrepreneur using this time to plan her business exit

  • A group of self-employed professionals joining a webinar about marketing

They use this time because now they have time. When business is good, they usually have no time to get coached, no time to think. When business is bad, they’ve suddenly got lots of time. 

External disruptions give you the gift of thinking time. So what will you do with it?

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