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    Let’s Plan to Thrive, Not Just Survive

    Here are 10 tips for thriving during and after the pandemic and not just surviving:

    1. Focus Yourself

    First, if you are glued to CNN listening to the gloom and doom of COVID-19, take a break. Yes, this is a tragedy, however; don’t let those messages dominate your thoughts. Right know we need energy, courage and conviction more than ever.

    The good news is that everything you need to be successful, is already part of who you are today. The most successful owners have these three key components in place: a proven process or technique, a proactive business plan or strategy and a positive attitude.

    2. Assess Your Staff

    In times like this, Anthony Robbins would say: What is good about all this? Perhaps this is a great time to evaluate all your employees. Do I have the right person in the right seat?

    A simple evaluation test: Do they “get it," “want it,” and have the “capacity to do it” (well)?

    If any employee does not score a “yes” on all three questions, you don’t have a right fit. You should either consider them for an alternative posi-tion in your firm where they can excel, or you owe it to them to let them find a more appropriate job outside your company where they can be more productive and happy.

    3. Build Your Bench

    While we assume many printers may not be hiring right now, it’s an excellent time for companies to engage an industry recruiter or their HR person-nel to be connecting with the top industry talent and built some needed bench strength. After all, potential candidates are in their home offices open to accept a call and probably concerned about the viability of their company, not to mention their job!

    4. Evaluate Your Market

    It’s a perfect time to evaluate your target market and pivot. What companies are busy today that you can serve? Examples: retailers such as Amazon and Walmart; most packaging companies; medical products manufacturers; healthcare service providers including senior living facilities; video conferencing companies; groceries stores; pizzerias and restaurants with take-out service; and security companies are adding people and profits to their bottom line. How can your firm leverage that?

    5. Evaluate Your Product Mix

    What products can you manufacture or distribute that most clients need? Examples: masks, sanitizers, medical supplies, labels, large format printing, or packaging.

    6. Embrace Working Remotely

    It is here to stay. It will no longer be just a perk for some employees. Future and current employees will want it, and most will be more productive. And, it could save you on rent, utilities and car reimburse-ment. A two-year Stanford study found a decrease in attrition, employees taking shorter breaks, and less use of PTO.

    7. Embrace the Cloud

    Invest in digital cloud technology so you can better manage your business remotely while providing the new technology to make your employees more productive and customers happier.

    8. Welcome New Ways to Connect

    It's paramount to master and use video conferencing software often to stay connected with vendors, employees and customers. Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting and Microsoft Teams are top choices.

    You'll find that video conferencing will improve your focus, too: 57 percent of people admit to multitasking when on the phone, but only four percent when on video conferencing. It’s a no brainer!

    9. Keep on Connecting

    Continue to market to new and existing customers with empathy and compassion. Leverage LinkedIn and other social media avenues to stay connected. Pick up the phone - chances are, they are working at home, are online more and would be glad to hear from you. Set Google alerts for your customers and hot prospects so you know the latest news about their company.

    10. Don't Be Shy to Share Your Own News

    Lastly, send out a blog to your customers and promote it on your website, LinkedIn, and other media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Let them know what you are doing to promote safety for your employees, customers and vendors. Share information on any volunteering or donations your firm may have in place.

    In summary, this is not a time to sit on our hands. You are deserving to walk through any door of opportunity to pursue your dreams. Your employees are looking to your leadership for energy, courage and conviction. Continue to take actions to care for yourself, family and employees while maintaining your financial stability. The proactive owners and executives who implement these tips will not only assure their company will survive but will thrive for years to come!

    Gary-Bozza

    Gary Bozza, President & Managing Partner of WorldBridge Partners Chicago NW, has been winning industry awards and recognitions in talent acquisition for the last 23 years, following a highly successful 18-year career as Vice President of National Accounts and Director of Midwest Sales primarily at MOORE (now RR Donnelley). Gary’s business is dedicated to helping Owners, CEOs and Presidents hire industry talent, drive new revenue, optimize operations and maximize enterprise valuation. His firm specializes in executive recruitment and coaching owners on how to improve the eight key drivers of business value from the “buyers set of eyes.” He has helped dozens of GLGA members produce significant growth and profits results in a variety of ways for their businesses. Gary is a Certified Value Builder Coach. Contact Gary at (847) 550-1300 ext. 33, garyb@worldbridgepartners.com.