This post about mitigating the impact of COVID-19
We’ve been in lockdown from 5-6 months depending on where you live. Here at Mac Productions we have been working (from our home office) during that time. In that time I have redesigned this website to optimise the page load speed of all pages see the results here.
In that time I have also been contacted and shared a number of new ideas on SEO and also on the Covid-19 situation.
Below is an article I am happy to share by marketing wizard Guy Kawasaki (chief evangelist for Canva). He is probably best known for his time at Apple with Steve Jobs at the time of the 1984 launch of the Macintosh line of computers. In addition he has launched a number of tech companies in Silicon valley.
I hope you like what he has to say but if not then hopefully you will take a second look at your own outlook on the the future.
I haven’t been through a worldwide health and economic crisis of this severity, and I doubt that most people have. I mentally revisited my stint at Apple when it was flailing and failing in the 1990s and my ups and downs with companies that I’ve led, advised, and invested in to provide a framework for persevering through this pandemic.
This list isn’t about pixie dust and unicorns. It’s about grit and courage and do or die decisions. We can’t defeat a virus with bluster, machismo, and fake news, but we can mitigate its impact by making wise, albeit tough decisions.
1) Run the right race. This is not a sprint. It’s a marathon. It’s not a hundred yards. It’s miles and miles and months and months, perhaps even years and years. An even better metaphor is that it’s a decathlon because it takes multiple skills to survive.
2) Focus on cash. Cash is king, queen, prince, and princess. Perseverance is not about perceptions and images. Perseverance is about surviving. Think about this. The iPad that Apple announced a few weeks ago is now discounted on Amazon. Wrap your mind around that. When have you seen a new Apple product discounted on Amazon? The lesson is to turn your inventory into cash because you can’t pay your employees and bills with inventory.
3) Cut deeper than you think you should. The rising tide floats all boats, but the falling tide affects big boats the most. My experience is that people, in hindsight, regret not reacting fast enough and tough enough.
It’s better to look back and say, I cut too much and left money on the table than I should have done more, but I didn’t, so I died. With the former, at least you’re still in business with the latter. You are gone.
4) Go direct. You cannot depend on multiple tier distribution. Imagine if Amazon decided your product wasn’t essential and delayed fulfillment. Or if your resellers aren’t even open to accept your product, much less sell it.
You should be so lucky that your biggest problem is that your channel partners, assuming they’re still around, resent that you did business directly.
5) Tap your customer base. The easiest people to sell to are the people that you’ve sold to before. If you have a good product or service, you can tap dance all the way to the bank.
6) Don’t depend on white knights and silver bullets, especially politicians. Magical forgiven loans from the government aren’t going to suddenly materialize. If you get a loan, hallelujah, take it and run. But a good business strategy is never, “And then the miracle will occur.”
7) Be transparent with your employees. If there was ever a time to be transparent with your employees, it is now because everyone is suffering. It’s not like you’re going to tell them something that they haven’t read about or heard from their friends, families, and colleagues.
Also lying and shading take a lot of time and energy, and you have none of either to spare. That said, a leader can never have a bad day. A leader’s role is to provide a calm, rational, honest, and empathetic model, even if you have to fake it. I never saw Steve Jobs have a bad day.
8) Give to get. You’re asking a lot of your employees, so give a lot. The currency that you have is stock. Using stock is not going to affect your cash balance. I hope you end up in a situation where you say, “I should not have offered so much equity” because it means you’re still alive. That’s a lot better than owning 100% of a dead company.
9) Evaluate your supply chain. Stuff made locally doesn’t need to be shipped. Robots don’t get sick. Maybe paying a little more is worth not being subject to the whims of trade wars, much less pandemics. So examine your supply chain to see if you can simplify and control more of it.
10) Do the crap that you never had time to do. Establish and document new processes and procedures. Upgrade technology, learn new skills such as video conferencing. Making videos and remote everything. This is the time to do the yucky stuff that you never had time to do before.
11) A bonus: ask the question, “Therefore, what?” What will this pandemic change, and how will it create opportunities?
Let’s go back a little in history. Suppose that you came to the insight that people were going to have phones, these phones would have cameras, and these cameras would be able to take high-quality pictures that you can share via the internet. Therefore, what? Therefore, you create a photo-sharing app such as Instagram.
Now is the time for you to ask the question, Therefore, what? You know it’s going to be a long time before we fly to large in-person conferences, gleefully go shopping and crowded malls, learn only in physical classrooms, and sit in the reception areas of medical facilities.
I have a fun example of, therefore what an animal sanctuary called Sweet Farm has created a service called Goat 2 Meeting, not Go to Meeting. This service enables companies to include animals such as a llama in your video conferences to provide a bit of levity and relief.
Video conferencing is exploding. But the meetings are boring and stressful, so Sweet Farm came up with the idea of offering live video appearances of animals.
If you liked this post by Guy Kawasaki here are a couple more places to learn more from him.
Listen to Guy Kawaski’s Podcats ay https://guykawasaki.com/remarkable-people/
The Guy Kawasaki Guide to Rocking Your Online Marketing – https://neilpatel.com/blog/guy-kawasaki-marketing-guide/