What you communicate to your staff, clients and vendors – NOW, today – will set the stage for your success during the Coronavirus Crisis – and how successfully you will bounce back after this crisis passes – and it, will eventually pass – as everything eventually does. In order to stay relevant to your target audience you must embrace a visionary mindset – you have to see farther down the road. You have to focus on the end game.
While you are scrambling to get employees set up to work remotely, while you are past that concern about the filing deadline now that it’s been extended (I wrote to the Treasury, too!) and you are figuring out PTO …. you need to be thinking outside the box.
We don’t need any more e-mails telling us to sing songs while we wash our hands and we don’t need to read a message now from you that simply says your office are closed, you are cancelling meetings with clients and/or the tax deadline has been extended – we are not stupid – we are watching the news! We are expecting all this!
Get out of your head and into the mindset of your clients.
Start empathizing, empowering and ADVISING your clients on what they specifically need to do in order to get through this. How? Simply, expand your mindset to include VALUE:
- Technology – Your IT guy is figuring it out for your employees – have him share the same information he is with your staff to the clients you are serving – how to scan / upload documents, how to download/use virtual meeting software. How to use Google and YouTube to learn … well, just about anything these days.
- PTO / HIPPA Concerns – If you are getting advice about PTO and HIPPA from your attorney, ask about sharing that information with your clients – they need it, too.
- Sharing Current Developments -Consider setting up hotline / call hours for a personal experience and/or Posting a FAQs / hyperlinks to pertinent sites – perhaps on your website or on your LinkedIn profile – for your clients to get up to date information that relates to them.
Address the ramifications of the Coronavirus Crisis with your particular clients / sectors.
Education – schools are closed and institutions are being forced quickly to adopt an entirely online curriculum – how can you get them the help they will need with this?
Nonprofits – what can they learn from you to get that audit done – virtually (they don’t want you in their offices any more than you want to be there)?
Healthcare – they are in full operation, but are facing a multitude of new concerns, such as protecting their front line of care givers and getting equipment – how can you help support them? How can you show your appreciation for all they do?
Construction / Real Estate – in PA, these companies have been temporarily shut down. Cash flow and layoffs are an immediate concern.
Small Businesses / Retail – they are being forced to stop operations in many places. They will need guidance on where to apply for financial aid and advise on how to handle laying off staff.
And the list, obviously goes on…
I know it’s a LOT. We’ve been hearing for years about how the accounting profession needs to elevate into a role of a trusted advisor – offering flextime and remote access to employees and to shift their mindset from what they DO for their clients to what their CLIENTS need.
Ladies and gentlemen – NOW is the time for you to show your greatness to the world!
Stay calm and carry on – and think long and hard to the future – these are troubling and unsettling times but these are the days that will change and define us as a profession – as a nation, as a world.