BUSINESS CONTINUITY PLAN

A Business Continuity Plan with Doug Morneau

  • The one thing that you can expect from a global crisis like we're experiencing is that not everybody will lead well in this situation.
  • “Once the quarantines over, what will my business look like?”
  • How will customers want to be treated when we reopen for business?
  • There are lots of different ways that you and I can support our local businesses and support each other.
  • Is there something new you can do in your business to take advantage of the time that you have?

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There are lots of different ways that you and I can support our local businesses and support each other.

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Well, welcome back listeners to another episode of Real Marketing Real Fast. Today's going to be a solo episode. I just want to have a chat with you and just a conversation to see where you're at and how you're doing. In these crazy times that we're living in, I guess, there are a couple of ways that we can respond. One is to fight and the other one is flight, so we could run and hide or we could face what we're going through and just work through it. As I said, I'm not sure where you're at, but if you know me at all, you'll know two things for sure, that I'm very bold in my approach and have taken that approach pretty much all my life. Many other people call it arrogance, but really that's just how I'm wired. I tend to be pretty persistent and I don't quit easily.

The one thing that you can expect from a global crisis like we're experiencing is that not everybody will lead well in this situation. Several years ago, like a long time ago, I attended an event in New York and it was organized by Fast Company, the magazine, and it was called The Innovation Conference and I found it interesting on so many fronts. First of all, as an entrepreneur in small business and a Canadian small business, I was by far the smallest business at the conference and from what I could see I was only one of two Canadian companies that had made the trek to New York for this particular conference. The other one was a very large telco company in Canada called Telus and we were the two representing Canada.

One of the many seeming out of place activities that we did, there were many actually, there were skits, there was music, they had a series of speakers on all sorts of topics and the speakers were from very large companies. I'll share a little bit of that a little bit later with you, but one of the ideas that they wanted us to do is they wanted us to work with an artist to sketch a concept or an idea.

After having listened to several of these big companies like the NASDAQ Stock Exchange and Kevin from Dig and Lexus were there from their car division, The New York Times were there, is I worked with my artist and my sketch was simple. I had him do a sketch, which I titled Chaos and I'll tell you why in just a minute. If you see my sketch, if you just imagine for a minute, it was a bunch of people, men and women, basically with their heads buried in the sand. The concept I was trying to portray was that they were hiding or not acknowledging what was going on.

When I did this, I didn't have any a particular idea of what it was they're trying to ignore, but just the fact that often when there's chaos and there's confrontation and there are things that are happening around us, lots of people will hide versus looking at what's happening. If you can see this sketch this artist so brilliantly drew up for me, in the forefront of this sketch was a man standing tall with a pair of binoculars looking over all the butts of all the people bent over that had their heads in the sand. The caption just said, “What a clear view.”

My thinking then was really simple. I had listened to a number of these companies talk. I listened to huge brands like the NASDAQ Stock Exchange arguing on stage with several of the other presenters of why TV advertising was king and Lexus talking about their whole secret to their marketing campaign were test drives and The Wall Street Journal debating and arguing that bloggers and social media wouldn't have an effect on their business and they didn't see why they would needed to go online.

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Now, all of these things seem silly as we're talking about it today, but I mean, I'm talking about probably 10, 15 years ago at the most that we had the had these conversations. Then we fast forward to 2008, 2009 and at that time, if you remember back, we had a global financial crisis, which was led by the United States mortgage fiasco and now we're dealing with this global pandemic. There are two times, at least in my short life, where I've seen kind of chaos and a book I read years ago regarding the stock exchange crashing, called Blood on the Streets.

I was horrified at the time and what I thought was just simple ignorance from these big brands not getting it, but on the other side, I came back from that conference so excited to think that there were these major corporations that had analysts, advertising agencies advising them and in my opinion, just an opinion of one, they were clearly out of touch with what was going on and they were going to miss the mark. We don't need to debate that we can look to where we are today and we can see that clearly those guys at that time, it proved out that they were going in the wrong direction.

If we look back again to 2008, 2009 the stock market had a meltdown after the world financial markets crashed and many of my competitors closed shops. A lot of them did exactly what I described in what I wanted that artist to create in that sketch for me and that was they put their head in the sand and they just hoped that things would get better. What happened was many of my clients panicked and my advice to them is the same as my advice is now and that was a double down then and then double down again and that's pretty much my same advice today.

If you think about what happened in that landscape and at least happened with myself and my company was the competitors that were hoping that things would get better and this would just go past them, what happened was their clients moved over and worked with me. As you're thinking about your business and where you're at and whether you should continue to advertise and market and what you should do at this time, I would just say that for me, at least in my past experience in that particular situation, it worked really well for me and it worked really well for my clients. I guess, time will tell whether that approach will work well at this particular time.

I mean, this crisis is obviously different than the last economic crisis because people are sick, people are hurting, people are dying, there's entire industries that are just closed, so it's not just there's less money to go around. The industries are closed. The question is what should you and I do now moving forward? Like I said, the last time my clients quadruple their budgets and I went in, I renegotiated median advertising prices.

Right now we've got many industries that I think, and many agree, will be changed forever. I'd like to ask you, I mean, is the way that you and I shop going to change when things get back to normal, whatever normal might be? Are the places that we work and the way that we communicate with one another in the marketplace going to change or are they going to stay the same? What's your vision and what's my vision beyond the pandemic?

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I was in a Mastermind call today with some really good friends of mine and business associates and this really struck me with one of the guys in the Mastermind. Rich asks, he says, “So, what's your vision beyond the pandemic? If you're just focusing on surviving while you may survive, you probably won't survive after the marketplace rushes to get back to normal as quickly as possible.” The question I wrote down on my notes today when we got off the call was, “Once the quarantines over, what will my business look like?”

Another question that we talked about was how will your customers and my customers want to be treated when we reopen for business when the social distancing is done and we're allowed to reopen for many of us that are closed? I mean, I'm obviously, I'm still working. Well, I'm working home base, so it looks like most of you are. But how are customers going to want to be treated? How are they going to expect to be treated?

One example we talked about and obviously this isn't a fit for everybody, but it was a simple example because there's been so many jokes on social media around people cutting their own hair and people dying their hair. We just talked briefly with one of the guys in the Mastermind who's got a client that's got a very large hair shop, I think 47 staff. I'm thinking of my hairdresser and when I go to see her for a haircut, I have to book two to three weeks in advance and that's in a normal period. What's going to happen when they say, “Hey, your hair salon or your nail salon,” or whatever it is that you'd normally go see, your chiropractor, your massage therapists, “When they reopen, how are they going to handle that business?”

If we had to wait two or three weeks to go and see them before everything was closed, what's the demand for the service going to be after they reopen? One of the guys in the Mastermind said, “Well, I'm not going to want to wait for two months or three months for an appointment. I'm going to want something instantly. If I find another vendor or another supplier that can look after me, I'm very likely to go there. If their service is good, I'm very likely to stay there.”

That got me thinking, “Well, how could you and I scale up our business? How do we need to prepare for that rush of our existing clients all wanting to come back and see us and have immediate service.” For me, that got me looking down at systems and staff and training and technology to be able to handle those inquiries and process those requests more quickly, the better tools to manage and communicate with people.

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I would just ask you when things get back to normal, whatever normal looks like and the social distancing is done and we're allowed out of our homes and allowed to go back to so-called normal business, what's your business going to look like? What do your plans look like to deal with the rush of people that are going to want to deal with you again because they had good service from you before? I'm asking, you know what systems training processes, onsite staff, offshore staff, will you need and will I need to retain our existing customers?

With that in mind, I just want to shift gears just for a minute and I just want to take a different direction and talk about how other people are doing? Lots of us want to support our local business and you'll see, I see lots of posts say, “Hey, support your local business. Hey, you should support your local business.” But you know, really there's only so many things that we can order online to support our local business. I just want to encourage you that there's lots of different ways that you and I can support our local businesses and support each other.

One way is you can leave a comment, you could share their social media posts, you could phone or text them and encourage them and say thank you. You could leave a review or an online rating for them. You could pray for them. None of these things cost you a penny, nor do they take more than a few minutes of your time. Your encouraging word could be exactly what they need at that time when they're just ready to give up. I'd like to encourage you to think about what your business will look like after the quarantine. I'd like to encourage you to send a message, phone somebody, leave a text, leave a comment just to lift them up.

At these times, I'm not really shocked at how some people are acting poorly. I'm just disappointed. I think that as business owners, it's our time to step up and it's our time to lead the leaders and to brighten someone's day. Only if we lift up and help one person today, I think that'll make a big difference. I'd like to also encourage you to try something new.

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There are lots of different ways that you and I can support our local businesses and support each other.

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I've just recently started hosting daily live interviews. It's called a Daily Live with Doug and Friends. I'm hosting this for a couple of reasons. I'm hosting this to encourage the business owner that I have on as my guest. The goal really is to have a short conversation and discuss the current business climate in a positive, encouraging way and how to support businesses. It's really just a casual conversation about current events, how it's affecting the business, how they're serving their customers, and how this may change their business or our business over time.

I'm not an expert. If you've listened or watched any of my lives, you'll clearly figure out that I'm not an expert, but it is a goal that I had was to create more video content in 2019 and 2020. In 2019, like many other years, I just got busy and just never did it. It's not that I'm any less busy now, but I figured now that I got a little bit more time or I'm willing to set aside more time, use more of my team and just get started. I'd encourage you to take a look at where you're at. Take a look at how your business may look at the end of this pandemic. Look at people around you. Is there somebody that you can lift up? You can shout out, you can send a text, leave a positive comment, leave a review. Is there something new you can do in your business to take advantage of the time that you have, if you have a little bit more free time to show your leadership, to encourage people to engage, to serve your customers? I just encourage you to get started today.

I just want to say thanks for tuning in. I appreciate each and every one of you that listen to the podcast. I appreciate the emails that I get and I also appreciate the reviews that you leave. So, thanks again and I look forward to serving you on our next episode.

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