Skill Level Intermediate
- [Narrator] When you own a business, crises can suddenly appear in many sizes and flavors. Some crises are local and perhaps only affect your own business while others can affect entire industries, but some crises can only be described as global. They affect everyone, everywhere. They can diminish or destroy demand for your goods or services and they can affect your ability to create or deliver what your business normally offers. Right now, in early 2020 we're dealing with just such a global crisis. National economies have slowed to an extent never experienced before and every sort of business, from single location coffee shops to huge, multi-national corporations are affected. In such an environment, everything can feel like a priority, and yet as the cliche goes, if everything is a priority, then nothing is. How will you guide your business to the other side of our current troubles and how will you provide some version of the goods and services that your customers are accustomed to? My name is David Gassner and I'm now a staff instructor for LinkedIn Learning's technology library, but before I worked for LinkedIn, I experienced a previous global crisis as a small business owner. When the financial crisis of 2008 exploded, I had a technical training company in Seattle, Washington. We were busy, stable, and profitable, and then, seemingly overnight, our clientele and bookings dried up along with the rest of the economy. We had to prioritize. Where would we put our attention? What was most important to protect? Every business is about its people. The ones who work there and the ones the business serves. What can you as a business owner do to cushion the blows that accompany such enormous disruption? How do you continue to reach out to and serve your customers? Answers aren't always obvious and will be different for different industries, but focusing on the needs of those who depend on you can help guide you to fair choices. Communication in such a crisis is vital. Difficult choices may have to be made and those decisions have to be communicated. Clarity and honesty are at a premium, especially when difficult news has to be shared. Avoiding communication might feel safer in the short term, but it mostly creates problems and never makes the situation go away. In fact, it's usually better to overcommunicate. Share as much of the details as you possibly can and remember, flexibility is key. As the boxer Mike Tyson said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." Businesses all over the world are feeling pretty worked over right now, but unless you've decided to throw in the towel, that's right, I'm sticking with boxing metaphors, it's essential to keep moving forward. Make your plan with confidence. Then, when circumstances change, be ready to adapt and change directions as you must. Be flexible and keep your eyes and ears open. In this course, the staff instructors of LinkedIn Learning offer some concrete ideas and tools that we hope you find helpful as you steer your business through our current troubled waters. Some may be useful for one business, some for others. We hope they'll help you develop your own ideas about the right path for your operation.