15 Mar How to handle the impact of CoVid-19 on your dental business
In the past 24 hours I have spoken to a number of dental clients and our own dentist team member. You can guess what the conversations have been largely about. At the same time, Mrs R and I had the very good fortune of getting flights back from our holiday and without any disruption. Although we kept an eye upon Global events whilst we were away, it wasn’t until after we had passed through arrivals that we began to notice what the news media attempts to, but frequently fails to describe as accurately as it can be sensed and felt.
Jumping fully in to Social Media last night for the first time in a week, it is clear that there are lots of opinions about every aspect of ‘Corona’, ranging from the varying strategies of governments and healthcare bodies, through to how many loo rolls does one person need. Bizarre and troubling times. Everybody is and will continue to be affected by this.
From the things we have read, and the conversations we have had, here are a few thoughts that we all at Rose & Co. hope will help.
- Corona Virus splits opinions, even at the highest level of Governments and their advisors. We need to keep that in mind. People are making the best decisions they can, based upon the information about CoVid-19 available to them at the time. This information is changing rapidly and plans are going to change
- Money, cashflow and UDA’s. As many have already suggested, it’s time to get a pencil and paper out and look at the basics and stress test the numbers. As a former lender and underwriter and unless human behaviour has changed, I think that the key is to talk to your financial stakeholders. Bad news to a lender delivered over time is very different to a bucket load of it all at once. I hope the support hinted at during the budget, does trickle down to common sense at the front line and that there will be flexibility on overdrafts and UDA targets. I have seen some evidence of this already and Force Majeure could be called.
- Leadership. Talk to your teams. They are reading the same news as you. Businesses are made of people not rules and regulations. We are in this together and nobody should profit any more than anybody should suffer more than another. Keep doing things that matter to your team, they matter more to them right now.
- Marketing. Although the financial crash of 2008 and previous recession did not have the same direct impact upon health, there are some comparisons, least of all with the impact upon businesses and the column inches devoted to one single topic. In 2008 and at the organisation I was working with, we continued to invest in developing our business. Those that survived the previous recession can also show that they didn’t turn off all the taps. What messages you put out there may need to be adjusted though. For some this will be major shift and for others it will be smaller realignment. This does not have to mean spending money. Our behaviours will shine a light on the common ground that we all share, we’re all just closer to it than before. Our behaviours will be remembered once things do get back to some kind of normal.
- This too shall pass.