Accept and move on? Or what should we do now, in times of crisis, to define a brighter future? These were some of the topics starting the webinar organized by Tiffin University together with three business owners and consultants from USA, on May 13.
Joseph Takacs – CEO, TheMVPService and Professor at Tiffin University Romania, Meredith Viguers – Owner of the Award Winning Central Texas catering company Let Us Do The Cooking and a Certified John Maxwell Speaker, Trainer and Coach and Chris Aird – CEO & Owner, With Purpose – Business & Leadership Consultants and speaker-coach in the TEDx community answered some of the most common questions we experience in our business and personal live in times of Covid.
Fear is ok as long as we focus on the things we can control
For any business people, when trying to forecast and to grow a business, the worst possible scenario is the unknown. And this happens to everybody, despite the planning of every single possible scenario that our mind can come up with. The most important things to do are around our mindset, the willingness to understand the situation, to find solutions for what we can control, to accept what we can’t control and to constantly learn and grow.
‘There have been moments that I’ve been scared. I also conditioned myself over the years not to stay in that mindset and this is an important part. All of the things I do with all of the entrepreneurs that I work with, in order to start and grow a business, as a business owner it’s important to control your mind. You have to change your own mindset to be able to go forward. And Fear and faith can exist at the same time, but the business owner must condition the mindset to get out of it once he feels it’s there, in order not to stay paralyzed in it. It’s really important to understand that it’s normal to have really low lows and really high highs and everything in between, but the most important thing that I can do is to take a step back and see if my emotions are healthy and if not, how can I change my mind to get myself out if this process and move forward. Fear is a natural emotion, but we must always find productive ways to get out of it.” Says Meredith Viguers.
Adapt your business and your life. Reinvent yourself.
Almost 100% of all businesses had struggled with the situation happening now. People, as well as small or big companies, adapted their business models to make ventilators not only for US, but for the entire world, from their initial production of cars, or vacuum cleaners, etc. Adaptive companies didn’t skip a blink, they changed part of the activity to serve the situation, and this way they haven’t lost employees, visibility and they also brought added value to the market. In a way, they reinvented their business.
“People are looking for help – either you are a business owner or an employee. People are looking for direction. And if you are not giving it to them or they don’t find it in you – someone they know and trust, they will get it from somebody else. So we have to be careful with that. Mind shifting or resetting of mind in these times of crisis, this is the solution. This is a perfect opportunity not only to reinvent yourself, but to reinvest yourself. Take the time to really figure it out what your core values are, not only personally but also business wise, get the most of it.” Explains Chris Aird.
Issues vs opportunities in HR and Employee motivation applicable anytime
A lot of businesses had to reduce their activity in these times. A lot of people are now unemployed or the incomes are smaller for both companies and employees, but there are also positive sides or opportunities on the market.
- There is a lot of talent now, that was not available until this moment, and we have access to it.
- People and business are learning and using new creative ways to overcome the lack of activity, and some of them are gaining or creating new markets.
- It’s a perfect time to consolidate or to create dream teams, to clarify and to develop the core values of the company. And team means employees + contractors + vendors and everyone from the infrastructure of the business.
Regarding Employee motivation, this is different for every employee, and there are a lot of ways to do it, ways that are applicable at any time. But here is an example from Meredith’s business experience.
“Most of people say that the only way to keep good people and to motivate them is to give them more money. What I believe is that if you invest in your people and you find out what’s important to them, their life, and partner with them to help them achieve their goals, then you will have partners that will help you for years and years to come.
People are not always motivated by money. There are some who are but for the vast majority of people, there is something else that is driving them to get up and come to work.
3 years ago with my catering company, we received a massive contract for feeding 5000 people twice/day, for 30 days. Long hours, from 2 or 3 a.m. until 10 p.m., in the rough conditions of a Texas summer. The staff knew that this was a very beneficial contract for everyone. And after a week or so I came in and found a list with the reasons for which the staff was willing to stay late and come early – items they were saving for, vacations, cars, etc. A high school student was saving for an expensive photo camera. And then I understood. At the end of that project, I was able to go to her and give her the other half of money needed to buy that camera, and after that I hired her to be the photographer who takes photos at the events. We sent other families in those dream vacation, some bought that car they wanted and so on. It I would have took upon myself, and giving them what I thought they needed, it wouldn’t mean anything to them, because there was something else they valued.” Continued Meredith Viguers.
So, in the long run, take the time to find out what’s important to your people from the team, to your partners, and help them in that process. You will gain a loyalty from them you had no idea it exists.
Trends in customer’s behavior in times of crisis
We are sailing in uncharted waters. There are people who are buying for their new needs (technical equipment, extra hygiene or virus protection for e.g.), others to support the economy, others are saving, but everyone is still consuming.
Even schools have adapted, from in class teaching to online learning. Why can’t businesses do the same thing? People must continue to learn to adapt in different manners, the economy is going on, and for a business perspective, the important thing is to identify solutions in any situation.
Take decisions and take actions. Few thoughts to take and to develop within your business and life
- In any situation, do the math, take the decision, do the things you know it will help you. You are making the decisions or your future is taking the control on you? And get around you people you know that they can help you. No one can do things completely alone, and in business you have to have people you are transparent with and who can help you to pull the sledge in the same direction. (Joseph Takacs)
- Be optimistic. Re-orientate your business, try different markets and make sure you create a great team along the way. Also, for a business to grow, it’s important for you to grow.
Creativity is also massive at this time. And don’t forget, if you are a new or an existing business, you have to be in full marketing mode, either you can sell your products or services right now or not. It doesn’t matter if you are actually opened, you have to stay top of mind, you have to be in your customer’s vision at all times.
We are in a period right now, when the action takers will win the rewards. So if you are thinking today…. I am staying in a corner, well maybe it’s time to attempt something. Action takers today will be rewarded. Go ahead and jump. I dare you! (Meredith Viguers)
- Reinvest yourself at the business you work for, as a business owner or employee, reinvest yourself in your family. What can I control now in my work, how can I set myself today for having success tomorrow? Know yourself, respect yourself, listen to yourself, find out what your oxygen mask does for you, find out what your purpose is. Do that first with yourself and then with everybody else. Put a list together! And if you need help with anything, don’t hesitate to discuss with a specialized consultant in business or life. (Chris Aird)
For any extra information regarding Tiffin University’s Bachelor and EMBA programs in Romania, or for getting in contact with the business consultants, please contact Tiffin team here.
Tiffin University is the first and only 100% American University in Romania, offering Bachelor of Business Administration and EMBA programs. Since it was founded in 1888 in SUA, Tiffin University has successfully trained its students for fulfilling lives and leadership careers remarked by excellence. Entire generations of Tiffin Alumni brought their contribution for the benefit of their families, communities and professions. Tiffin University has an excellent reputation, valuable academic programs, careful and competent personnel and teachers, outstanding students and a warm and friendly environment in which students always come first.