14 ways for businesses to "Survive and THRIVE"

14 ways for businesses to "Survive and THRIVE"

“If you are going through hell, keep going.” This phrase has helped me time and again when facing challenging circumstances. Giving up is the worst thing that we can do. To reach the other side, and there is another side, you have to stay the course. Here are some suggestions to help make recovery efforts less painful and may even help your business thrive in uncertain times. This isn’t about taking advantage of a state of emergency or price gouging, it is about engaging the American and entrepreneurial spirit to never give up and support your community and employees by staying in business not just to survive, but thrive.

· Document SOP’s- Take the extra time to document your standard operating procedures (SOP’s) including each job function in your business. This can help you find efficiencies and is a key component to succession planning and business continuity, but many businesses just don’t have the time to do a thorough job and maintain them.

· Succession planning is critical. - Speaking of succession planning, prepare now to lose many of your employees for up to 2 weeks at a time and permanently for some of them. Begin cross training immediately. Everyone should have a backup.

· Steal shamelessly – Pay attention to what your competitors are doing and copy them if it seems to be working well. Why re-invent the wheel? If you see communications that they are sending to clients which speaks to you, use them and customize them to your business. Still….be careful of trademark and copywrite infringement. Our legal system has not stopped, people are still suing each other.

· Take the help –take advantage of tax breaks, low interest rates, free offers, government and community support. Stay engaged. This can help you stay afloat until you can adjust to the post-pendemic “new normal”.

· Beware of scams – There are groups, individuals and companies out there who will e advantage of the state of emergency. First, don’t be one of them. Second, just use common sense. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. That said….many companies are truly just trying to help or keep themselves afloat. Tempest Risk Management and Pride Business Strategy are both offering free, 1 hour consultation to any company in need. Will we follow up with those clients in the future about engaging our services? Probably, but this is not an ulterior motive, it is an additional one.

· Knock out that wish list – We all have one, the 100 things that you need to do but never seem to have the time. Well….now’s the time. Refresh your website, bolster your social media presence (or start one), deep clean the kitchen or re-paint your entrance. Take training courses online or view webinars. Join a group on LinkedIn and start networking. There are many things you can do for less than $500 that can make the difference in your business survive now and THRIVE tomorrow.

· Get creative –

  • Ask your employees, leaders and professional network for ideas and suggestions. Try them out on a small scale. Keep the ones that seem to work and stop the ones that don’t. But keep in mind attitudes and behaviors are rapidly shifting from one point to another so don’t be afraid to dust off an old idea and try it out again. Now may be the right time.
  • Consider repurposing your infrastructure to offer services and products new to you that will be in high demand in the future.
  • Can you deliver products direct to customers? Can you open temporary or pop up stores? For $100 you can buy a pop up tent, folding table and square credit card reader to sell your products and services anywhere.


  1. Costco announced aggressive hiring accelerating their normal hiring process from 2 weeks to one day. They will also provide only basic and required training before putting new employees to work.
  2. Most restaurants have shifted to a takeout only operation. This is putting a strain on carry out containers so get creative if you have to. Dollar stores sell Tupperware containers, you can buy large rolls of butcher paper from various locations or paper lunch bags.
  3. Engage your community and social media – community groups on facebook are bursting trying to support their local businesses. Put a flyer or email with each order encouraging customers and clients to share their experience and that you are OPEN FOR BUSINESS, although slightly modified.

· Think counterintuitively – can you lower your prices or delay payments and fees? What can you give away for free now that could help you in the future? Besides feeling good about yourself and helping your community, customers and clients will remember your goodwill when spending returns to normal. That said, don’t give away the farm, you still have a business to run after all. Be open to bartering. Do anything you can to keep your doors open, even if they are virtual doors. 40% of businesses do not reopen after closing their doors.

· Get ruthless with expenses – Stop doing anything that is not necessary and ruthlessly cut expenses.

· Network like your business depends on it….it does – If you have strong network, engage it now. Talk to other business owners, share ideas and worries. Consider a barter exchange with other businesses. Networks such as ITEX barter can be valuable in these circumstances. This is an excellent time to partner together for the greater good.

· Think medieval – this is not meant to scare, but prepare for things to get worse. Have a plan for a shifting landscape. Have a though exercise with yourself and your staff imaging how your business could function in the 1800’s. How would you operate? What could your new normal be and how would that look?

· Prepare for the other side as well – Start preparing now for restrictions to be lifted and a possible new normal. You may have to move quickly to recoup your losses. Look at things from your markets perspective and offer products and services that are higher in demand.

· Keep your head up – Try and stay upbeat and positive. You will have days and moments that you feel defeated and overwhelmed but you have had these moments before and survived. You will survive this as well and if with a little luck, hard work and creativity, you can thrive in this brave new world.

Good luck, be smart and keep it simple

Andy Ziegler

Tempest Risk Management LLC

If you are interested in engaging Tempest Risk Management to provide Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery consultation, email info@tempestrisk.com to schedule a no cost, no obligation consultation.

Related Posts