Well, here we are. It has been six months since Covid-19 shook our world, and I am getting tired. I have finally realized that the term “new normal” means nothing is normal anymore. This is a huge admission for me and probably for many others as well.

Anyone who has any familiarity with what a 12-step program is (I am a member) knows that accepting where you are is critical in learning how to survive. Don’t worry as I am not going to get preachy, but I think this is important for all of us to understand.

There is one other strong suggestion that is communicated to people looking for a better life, and it states that we should not spend a lot of time comparing things today with the past. Doing this is a huge waste of time and extremely counterproductive. It can lead to one feeling down and depressed or feeling like things are okay and that there’s no need to change anything.

The reality for all of us is things have changed. We need to accept where we are now, and we need to react accordingly. The cards have been dealt, so now we have to “play the hand” or fold!

Below are some steps that each of us can take to survive, not in the new normal, but to survive in business today and into the future.

  1. Business owners need to get their financial house in order. Bring expenses in line with your current sales NOW! Don’t budget based on 2019 sales! Enough said.
  2. Salespeople should review all customers to examine their viability for the future. This is your pipeline for income. Will your current pipeline provide you with what you need for income? The answer today for most people is NO. Oh-oh… I need to act to change this!
  3. Salespeople MUST acquire new accounts. Look towards companies or industries that are coping or adapting well to today’s world as they will provide the best opportunities for future income.
  4. Owners and salespeople should have all their suppliers vetted. Consolidate your sales with those that provide the best support and services and those that have a strong financial foundation. Many companies are very unstable (both suppliers and distributors). Partner with those that are here for the long term!
  5. Learn how to source and provide Personal Protective Equipment to your current customers and to NEW customers. These sales will help offset unexpected losses in other areas like event planning.
  6. Hone your communication methods and skills to meet today’s new marketplace. Reach out and talk to customers where they are. Also, find prospects where they are. The quality of your communications and presentations say a lot about who you are and what you bring to the table.
  7. Surround yourself with positive people. This might be easier said than done today but doing this or not doing this will have a great impact on your results.
  8. Do not be afraid to ask for help! You can ask industry peers who you know in your local associations. You can call some of the larger industry distributors to see what assistance they might be able to offer. Remember it does not hurt to talk and it just might help!

The ultimate goal is to stay in business and to be successful going forward. To do that, you’ve got to take the time to look at your situation today and to make a solid plan for the future. Once you’ve done this, you can begin taking the steps needed to grow and thrive.

The Vernon Company is recognized as one of the largest and most successful promotional product firms in North America. Founded in 1902 by F.L. Vernon, we serve more than 40,000 customers from our Newton, Iowa corporate headquarters.

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