War has always been an abstract concept to me. I’ve never dealt with shortages, famine, or a significant reduction in quality of life. I’ve certainly never been sequestered in my home for days or weeks on end. One of my entrepreneur buddies said it best: “There are peacetime CEOs and wartime CEOs. We’re at war now.”
I’ve noticed many businesses and salespeople going about their lives as if we’re still at peace when we’re clearly not. The folks who are out there trying to sell things vs. helping others right now are coming across as tone deaf. Conversely, there are great examples of leaders putting others before themselves and focusing on helping their community.
There has to be changes in how you run your business. Every Wednesday we have a leadership meeting following a precise format with a solid agenda; a peacetime agenda. We suspended our normal plan today in favor of reviewing potential budget cuts we should make now and other changes we might need to make down the road.
Related: Coronavirus — Update From The Field
Here’s a quick list of expenses we decided to freeze until further notice:
- All Meals and Entertainment
- All Travel
- All Training
- Demo Items
- Stationery and Printing
- Pay Raises and New Hires
- Any non-essential purchases from any category (no computer upgrades, phone upgrades, office enhancements, optional purchases unless absolutely necessary and approved by department head)
Here are the items we decided to keep a closer eye on and keep as low as possible:
- Utilities (watch the thermostat while the office is empty)
- Courier and Freight Expenses
- Office Supplies
We’re going to favor cutting things before cutting people, but we also identified key sales and production points where we’ll have to make some tough decisions. I don’t know about you, but I feel more comfortable having a plan we can get in front of than getting behind and reacting after it’s too late.
Each department manager will communicate with their direct reports about the importance of these cuts and how to handle approvals for those purchases that cannot be avoided during the crisis.
Stay frosty, and see you in the field.