I’ve been reminded of resiliency continually over the past two weeks as I’ve spent all of my waking hours on the phone with founders as business dries up and our economy takes a downturn.
Here’s where I’ve landed from these conversations:
1. Understand the latest resources
Right now, we are bombarded constantly by news and media from all sides; it’s hard not to get lost in the noise. As an early-stage founder, I highly recommend checking out the Small Business Administration website daily. Make this routine, every morning.
2. Identify and label the changes
Make a list of what has changed in your business as a result of COVID-19. Look at each item and brainstorm for each a possible short term solution (30-day cycles) and a longer-term solution (90-day cycles). It doesn’t need to be shared necessarily, but you can reference this when talking to customers, investors, as well as your team.
3. Get a sounding board
Find a peer, another CEO or founder who you can check in with daily. Literally, daily. Make a pact with one another. This is your time to express concerns, anxieties, and strategies. You’re not alone in this and having a trusted sounding board is key to staying sane.
4. Reach out
If you have current investors, reach out to them for support — even if it’s just time to talk through where your thoughts are on the business.
5. Learn from the past
Find a former founder or CEO in your network who may be willing to talk to you about their experience with facing massive company challenges and economic downturns. We learn from history and past experiences.
If cash flow is an issue, think in 30-day sprints. What resources can you use in 30 days to achieve goals? Any existing internal resources? Outsourcing? Have conversations now with your banker, credit card companies, and vendors. Do not wait.
7. Document it
Reserve 10 minutes daily to document/write/journal because this is part of your company’s experience and a part of your story as a founder. I also find that when I refer back to these notes, I see how much I have overcome, day by day, month by month. Revisit this to remember how much you’ve achieved.
8. Health check
9. Unexpected help
Unfortunately, many people are finding themselves home alone and isolated. Is there anyone in your family who is quarantined, not working, and looking to stay distracted, who would be interested in helping out in any way? Data entry, bug testing, proofreading? Think inside and outside your business.
10. Homeschool interns
Have you seen all the Instagram memes with parents trying to figure out what to do with their kids?! Who do you know at home with middle school and high school students? There are a lot of parents who are looking for academic/homeschool work for their children. Think of these at-home students as — hopefully — a very short term new field of interns. If there’s a job to be done that is suitable for a student, I can assure you it’s a win-win, and parents will love you.
This article was written by Katie Palencsar and originally appeared on Women 2.0.