It’s time to recover your dysfunctional relationship with Covid-19
It’s time to recover your dysfunctional relationship with Covid-19

It’s time to recover your dysfunctional relationship with Covid-19

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

It’s time for to regain control of their dysfunctional relationship with Covid-19.

As much as we would like to joke about the virus, declare independence and just move on, then that is not among the options we have. As we enter a new phase of Covid-19 and attitudes are relaxing, there is still risk to be aware of.

So a new relaxation in the relationship required – a new set of T’s and C’s – as the way to sustainable operating models, not to mention the personal sense in owners who have been at the wrong end of an abuse situation for the past two years.

Related: 3 great ways to get in touch with customers in a post-covid world

To be fair, Covid generated a lot of creative adaptation in business. Transformation programs that would have taken place over years were executed in months. Innovative “pivots” are now new business areas and revenue streams.

Yet the common theme has been an intensely short-term set of decisions, whether at the level of individual companies or national governments.

And as we are aware in the early days of 2022, there is debt due to many of the actions taken so far in response to the virus – along with some unexpected consequences – pretty much everything beyond the control of any individual business owner.

So let’s reassess where we are, what we have learned, our opportunities and what we can control.

First, an honest recognition that we may be closer to the beginning of this virus and its variants than we are to the end.

So what awaits ahead may not be an endless series of stop-gap measures, but rather stepping out of the hamster wheel with open-close, mask mandates or not, stimulus extensions or not, stretching the payroll to reach warmer weather or holiday consumption season .

Second, although it is impossible to calculate or even understand the depth of the changes that the virus has activated or forced upon us, it is obvious that this change at the level of human attitude and behavior is the most profound.

Changes at the level of real people tend to be permanent, so we better understand how it is made about both our customers and the people who work for us.

Thirdly, and this is hardly an exhaustive list of considerations, but as hard as the last two years have been for the people who run the small business the overall difficulty level continues to increase.

The factors span the ongoing uncertainty about the supply of everything from building materials to computer chips, the evolving compactness with our employees and the complicated race for talent along with increasing reduced access to capital and the cost of servicing any debt.

Not to mention the whims of Covid, even in a more stable relationship.

Running a small business has never been easier. But has it ever been so difficult?

Either way, we certainly will not be overwhelmed or fatalistic – especially not after reaching that point.

The road back to greater control starts for me with segmenting and separating the issues at the macro level from what is closer.

I think it creates clarity about what is within or outside my direct control.

Start with the market. Not the global economy, the market you directly serve.

When we look there, we find three kinds of people – customers and competitors, of course. And for me, our employees are the short list of top priorities that I have a direct influence on.

“Customer” has always struck me as an overly open word. So generalizing broadly, and if you like the idea of ​​”meeting them where they are,” I think it’s fair to assume that:

  • They are very digital in their buying behavior, and more so as a result of Covid.
  • They expect to be treated as individuals, but trust the opinions of people in their network.
  • They rely on their own ability to research products and services.
  • They care about the price, but also want to buy from brands that reflect their personal values, and are increasingly interested in social and environmental issues.

It is an interesting profile of customers today and tomorrow, especially considering it research conducted by Top Design Firms notes that about one-third of small businesses in the United States still do not have an online presence.

Related: 3 ways Covid-19 has changed World

In terms of the workforce, people have always had choices about where they work, but never before have so many people exercised that choice at the same time and decided that the answer so far is, nowhere.

As I think about talent at Xero – and the fair deal between the company and its people – I must admit that I can not solve for every single person . But I can listen.

This is a time of deep reflection for people – about their time, about their value and what they value, about how they define flexibility, their view of personal well-being; and their belief in the purpose of the places where they work.

Once we understand what matters to a person, we can at least make sure we are not missing out on anything significant.

One last word on what I can control.

I think there has been a tendency – and I certainly saw it in myself – to seek the latest on the virus, but also the day-to-day stock market development, the cost of money, supply shortages, the courts or political events.

I choose to do less of it. Staying informed does not require an addictive connection to multiple news feeds.

Instead, I want to be more aware of regaining the time I spent on macro-level issues in the world, and redirecting that time to hear from colleagues across our workforce; listen to our customers and partners; and adjust the value we deliver to each one.

Related: Why your health is the most important thing in this Covid-19 era

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