When you look at the current crisis, the biggest concern is the sheer uncertainty of how long it’s going to last and what the long term impact on business will be. You’ll be hearing scenarios for all sorts of lengths, but the reality is, no one knows. Not even the greatest epidemiologists in the world have a crystal clear idea about the pandemic’s estimated duration.
In both his recent Facebook Live sessions and Phorest FM Episode 158, Ronan Perceval reflected on the parallel that can be made between the crisis we’re all experiencing and the Stockdale Paradox, a concept popularised in the best-selling business book Good to Great.
The courage to continue and confront the reality
The Stockdale paradox, or the idea that confronting reality — balancing optimism and pragmatism — is vital to success, was named after Admiral James Stockdale, who was awarded the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War. One of the most decorated United States Navy officers, he was made a prisoner of war from 1965 to 1973, along with many others. During this time, Stockdale was tortured over 20 times and had no release date, let alone any prisoner’s rights. While he survived, many of his optimistic “we’ll be out of here by Christmas” co-prisoners didn’t. In retrospect, Stockdale attributed his survival to his way of thinking: pragmatic, without ever losing faith.
You can hear Ronan, CEO of Phorest Salon Software, tell James Stockdale’s story at the very beginning of Phorest FM Episode 158:
Through his research on identifying what “good” companies did to become “great”, Jim Collins, author of the book Good to Great concluded that alike Admiral James Stockdale, “you must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
We could easily say that the pandemic will blow over in two or three months. But what if it doesn’t? What then? What are you dreading to look at within your business right now, that could help you be best prepared for any eventuality the crisis could bring in the coming weeks?
This might necessitate a shift in mindset, but may we suggest, this is when your salon coach or your mentor can help. Sometimes all you need is someone asking you the good and hard questions. If you don’t have a mentor, you can visit the Salon Mentorship Hub to book yourself in for a free 15 to 30-minute consultation with an industry coach or consultant.
Three steps to take now: Ronan Perceval’s Facebook Live session
Step 1: Cut your costs
Given the current context, that goes without saying. Still, make sure you understand what costs are making revenue versus what is merely costing the business. Often, people don’t differentiate between the two.
Also, we encourage you to do your due diligence on the following; however, in the UK, there is a coronavirus helpline where tax deferrals can be discussed. The UK Chancellor has announced £330 billion in Government-backed loans for firms of all sizes so they can keep paying employees’ wages. There will also be £20 billion in giveaways, including grants of up to £25,000 for small firms, and a full year without business rates for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses. Here is another link where you can find additional details and along with details on what you can do if you find yourself unable to pay your tax bill on time.
Step 2: Take advantage of ways to generate revenue while you’re closed
Ronan spent a lot of his Facebook Live session on this, so here is a resume of what was mentioned:
- Gift vouchers (enable them today in your Phorest Salon Software system)
- Selling retail via eCommerce (if you do not have Phorest or an online store, check out this exhaustive guide on how to proceed)
- Online consultations (which can be done over Zoom and other similar video conferencing platforms — another way to stay connected with your clients during the crisis, and some salons have been working on charging for these)
Step 3: Plan your reopening strategy
First of all, things you can implement to cater to the current and future wellbeing of your business can be (and more details on each of the following can be found here):
- Creating a marketing plan
- Reviewing and improving your Google Business Page
- Redesigning your logo and branding
- Reviewing and improving your website
- Running key reports to ensure you make informed decisions about your business
- Taking on free Phorest Academy training
Always there to help
It is understandably a difficult time, but it is the courage to continue and confront the reality that matters.
Stay positive, united, and use any extra time in your day as an opportunity. Most importantly stay informed, follow all precautions suggested by authoritative sources and remember to consult local government websites for help and support.
Thanks for reading! #LetsGrow