In a matter of a few months our whole world has changed. A virus that your body either can handle, or gives you so much lung problems that you end up on an Intensive Care Unit desperate for some air. It’s like Russian Roulette when you go out, at least that is how it feels for many. And not only is it causing problems by the intense need of medical care, but just as much economical damage because half the world went in some sort of quarantine or lockdown, and in some locations a complete stop in business. Shops closed, barbers and dentists closed, travel restrictions…
The current coronavirus has many names. We decided that in this blog we will call it Covid-19, and then everyone knows which one we are talking about.
There are still people who say that the flu kills more people every year, that car accidents are more deadly… That this is all some sort of cover-up… That is then your opinion. But regardless of believing in all the conspiracies that also circulate: you still have to get through this situation.
If you run a business these are definately scary times. Many we talk with are still in shock and have no clue how to proceed. Our crisis management experts made this blog for you, hoping that you get a sense of what to do next to first deal with this situation, and then how to get out of this. We decided to not make this blog too technical. We give you the basic ideas, that are probably more than enough to get your mindset on track again. If not we are here for you to help you out.
First we discuss how you can find out your situation. After that we provide you some tools to deal with the situation and find your exit strategy. Stay with us, it comes in parts, and we promise you, you find some answers as long as you stay relaxed, have a drink and cookies nearby, and keep reading…
The number of people who need hospital care is rapidly increasing in higly affected areas. The key to deal with this is to make restrictions in such a way that the hospitals can handle it.
And a curve we also use for several sales and business strategies, for instance for the stages in the sales process:
So, this virus Covid-19 also has a curve. And that makes it a very easy gimmick for you to get through this situation!
All you have to do is draw a curve… Your ‘personal corona virus curve’. This is your curve when it comes to your own situation in your location with the Covid-19:
Find out where you are on this curve. Is the virus in your city, state or province over its worse and in relief, or is it still growing? Maybe you already had the worst and you found ways already to recover. Understand that it is not about the situation of the virus but the situation of your organisation compared to the virus.
This curve is a blanc one, for you to fill in with your information as far as known:
It could turn out to look something like this:
The first step to determine your plan is to start with drawing this personal curve. If that curve resembles the virus, then it should be fairly easy for you to determine your current position on this curve. Is Covid-19 not (yet) very active in your area, or your country? Then you are obvious somewhere at the beginning, still climbing up. All you can hope for is that the (local) restrictions are good enough to prevent the virus to cause many sick or death. But for you it is important to understand that it means you are still in the response phase, and not yet in relief. During relief you initiated new ways of doing business, your clients are adapting, and you figured out how you can get what you need from your suppliers. When you are at the beginning, you know that you have time left to prepare for a worse scenario.
Adding other parties
But now we make it a little bit more complicated. Because your crisis management plan involves more than just ‘you’.
You also deal with your suppliers, your customers, anyone who is a stakeholder in your organisation. So now you make the same curve for all parties, each their own, with the curve as good as you know on the timeline, and puting dots if you know their current and past situations. If they went into response three weeks before you did, and are now at the top you can add those two dates and spots and lay their curve over yours.
If it seems your clients are still open, you can still work on location, still deliver, you can relax a little bit and focus on the changes in your business that make you get through the coming months and the world after corona. Maybe you can discuss with your client if you can bring forward certain payments to ensure you can get all the (raw) materials to their location before a possible lockdown.
Your clients or customers are also dealing with the virus on their location. Your suppliers might be at the ‘apex’ or top of the curve, in a complete lockdown situation and not able to get you anything because they don’t have the materials for it themselves. Meanwhile some of your clients or customers might be already recovering, while some are just getting themselves in a quarantine and expect their business to go in lockdown within days. Find out if the people you deal with are in response, relief or recovery.
You can make a curve for every client, every stakeholder, every supplier, just simply every party you are dealing with, and see how it is compared with your own.
After you have made a curve for all parties involved you might have found out that you are fairly ahead of your clients, but enormously behind your suppliers. And with that you have all the information you need to know.
When you know that your clients will be recovering sooner than your suppliers, you know that you will have demand a lot bigger than your supply. Now you can think together with your suppliers if there are things that you can help them with that can speed up their recovery. Maybe if you can get the needed raw materials already, you can order that for them and have it delivered to them as soon as they can get deliveries. That can save some crucial days.
Maybe your suppliers can make all you ordered, but your clients are still in lockdown. Then you can think of options to still have the products delivered but to another location, maybe even renting a warehouse in your area. If you do that you can have all the theming or attractions delivered as soon as your client is allowed to reopen. This can save time, and money.
Your coronavirus crisis management plan
These are always the steps in any crisis management plan:
Prevention for other crises could be for instance a canal system to prevent flooding, a tight security system so that people with bad intentions can’t enter your building, building your office in such a way that a tornado will not destroy it… There is very little you can do to prevent such a virus from starting to spread. But you can prepare for it. And while preparing you also work on prevention. People are desperately searching for facemasks, handgel and other disinfecting products. Make sure that you have all you need before you need it. Your influence will probably not be enough to prevent the coronavirus to enter your city. So, when it does you can be prepared with preventive measures to assure you and your people get as little problems as possible.
During response phase many people freak out in this Covid-19 period. They don’t know what to do next. Completely lost, because so much in their lives changed that they cant adapt.
That means that these people also don’t find their way to recovery.
When your organisation is in the recovery phase, still in the middle of the corona crisis, what you must do is find out how you can still do business with your clients or customers, and how you can get what they need from your suppliers.
If you can’t deliver the attraction, if your craftsmen are not allowed to work on location on theming, then find out how you could for instance make at least some of the theming in a warehouse on another location. And make sure you get all the supplies you need for when your craftsmen can get back to work again. Maybe your supplier can’t send it to the country you are working in, but can send it to you office. This is important to find out, especially if you know that your supplier is currently still open, but might go on lockdown (again) soon. If your client stopped paying, then you also stop spending money on the project, until your client can continue. If you are a supplying company you have to find out what you should finish, and what to delay until your client can continue. Go with the flow of money…
The Organisation Crisis Management Plan
This is quite a schematics to chew on, but basically this is all you need to do for crisis management. On the left side there are the customers or clients, with their old or previous buying habbits, and your new ways of dealing with your customers. On the right side there are your suppliers, with the previous ways of getting your ‘stuff’ from them, and the new ways of dealing with your suppliers. You create new marketing and new business options, in the middle, based on the new patterns, and let go of your old patterns for the time you can’t do them. Your recovered organisation will be the blend of your old way of doing business, plus your new ways of dealing with your clients and suppliers, and your new promotions will be the blend of these as well.
This will very rapidly change again as soon as the parameters of the Covid-19 virus change again: when there is a vaccin, or a medine come available that treats it in such a way no one has to go to hospital, people and businesses will very likely go back to their old habbits again very quickly.
We deliberately didn’t add in human resources. Because this can be so different for any organisation. One thing you do have to keep in mind, is that your goal is to re-open your business. You can send everyone home, but you also must assure you have the people then to start again. Understand that workers without money will move on, find other ways to earn money to pay their bills, and you might not get them back that easily if they started working elsewhere. Even if they want, they will often need one or two weeks notice. We are not saying you keep them on the payroll. Don’t if you can’t. But find ways to stay in contact with them, keep them close to you, know what they are doing, and allow them but make sure they tell to if they temporarily do work elsewhere.
Your Private Crisis Management Plan
For anyone who is an employee we made this above schematics. In the middle there is you, and you are dealing with Covid-19 with your old and new habbits. On the left are the things you do in your private life, such as sports, creating art, shopping, in the way you used to do this, and how you now have to do these things in this corona time. On the right is your work, and how you used to work compared to how you are now doing this work (or not at all). This results in your new life strategies which are a blend of your old and new life style. There is a big chance the right side, your work, has suffered a big blow. Maybe you have lost your work completely. We strongly recommend you see how you can get at least one flow of money coming your way. Even the simplest job, that you would normally not take, might be a good one for now, when it gives you the money you need to pay your mortgage or rent. If you were sent on furlough, it might sound great that your employer is paying your health insurance. But that will not be doing much if you can’t pay your bills. Paying your bills becomes your crisis management focus. You can decide to go back to your old boss, but maybe you find a new future elsewhere. Go whatever direction you feel you must go, because it is more survival than being nice to your boss.
What do you think? Did we help you out at least a bit surviving this current situation?
We also heard a lot if we have some templates or example texts for new ways of promotion, and crisis communication with all your stakeholders. If we get to it we will definately make a nice blog with examples.
Currently, even during the corona crisis, we have experts on the ground in:
the U.S.A., Peru, the Netherlands, Spain, Pakistan, the Philippines, Australia.
We can get your project up to speed quickly in those and surrounding countries!
Need help getting through this coronamisery? We are here for you.
Meanwhile we have another tip for you: our partners at Moxiom:
Moxiom is the ultimate tool to bring professionals together in the Theming Industry from all over the world. Whether you need theming at your entertainment facility, or you are a producer, supplier or freelancer specialized in themed projects. Now is the time to make your free profile, so that when new projects on there are looking for suppliers and experts, they can find you.