Before we get into practical pointers on how to survive I thought it best to reflect on the question what are you feeding?
There was this Indian who sat down with his grandson and told him the tale of two wolves. He said there are two wolves within you, one is evil and the other is good. The grandson asked his father, which one will win, the grandfather respond, the one you feed the most! Wow!
Our responsibility is not to feed the beast. The beast is fear. I am not saying get rid of fear, fear is inside of us, I have fear, we do not get rid of fear and have none. We will have negative emotions and positive emotions within us, the faith and the fear. The question is not if we have them both, we do. The question is who is going to win. If we feed the fear, that will win, if we feed our faith that will win. In other words what we focus on, expands. They are both present, we need to ask the question, am I a faith pusher or a fear pusher?
Does this mean, that it will be easy. No, however with faith we can maintain vision, make adjustments and see opportunities. We cannot give what we do not have, it is therefore vital that we continue with our daily responsibilities and for our own sanity to keep a healthy lifestyle and equipping ourselves during this time.
Over the following few weeks I will be sharing some of my personal thoughts and tips extracted from the Small Business COVID-19 survival guide on a weekly basis. The guide was compiled by Marnus Broodryk out of input received from over 27,000 other South African entrepreneurs.
Principle One: Look after your People
Our people are probably our biggest casualty during this time, and they are the one’s who are going to get us through this. They will remain our biggest asset.
- Everyone is scared, and everyone is stressed. Send your staff something special to say that you care for them;
- Assist your people “advanced salaries” if they need to stock up on supplies, medication or groceries (you will know who they are);
- If workers get sick, let healthly co-workers work from their homes to look after their kids;
- If you absolutely have to retrench, first consult with your staff to see if they are prepared to work for lower salaries or are willing to take unpaid leave. Now is not the time to take advantage of their vulnerability. If you can find out a way to pay good people, don’t make the mistake of letting them go. You may very well wish you hadn’t when this is over.
- Employees might need emotional help. Provide them with support, and information details of your local elders or National support services such as LifeLine 0861 322 322 or SADAG 0800 567 567.
- Record and distribute daily videos, recordings or messages to keep your staff updated and motivated. All you need is a decent phone.
- Family will always come first. Ask your staff how things are going, letting them know you care.
- It may be a bit quieter than usual, so use this time to upskill your staff through online courses, webinars, or any form of online learning.
We have a responsibility to lead our teams through this season. Let them know you care.
Take care of yourself, your team, your clients and your community. Seek the opportunities that will undoubtedly arise and monitor your finances closely. You have our full support.
Together, we’ll do this!