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Profitability and morality: the dilemmas of crisis-management

Posted by Simon Taylor - 20 March, 2020

Hands up who needs help!

That's a reality we are facing every day now, as the full impact of the Coronavirus crisis only begins to emerge. But who needs the most help? The need to keep your business going so staff are paid, and suppliers and their staff are

 paid, is balanced by a myriad of personal concerns for family well-being, local community concerns and in some cases very serious health hazards.

At the end of what feels like only the first week of nationwide, government led societal change, it has been eye-opening to see some stark contrasts in business behaviour towards customers.

Take the mind-boggling war in the property industry that started way before this crisis, now risen to a new level:

https://propertyindustryeye.com/eye-newsflash-zoopla-to-offer-agents-free-use-for-nine-months-if-they-leave-rightmove/

https://propertyindustryeye.com/eye-newsflash-rightmove-announces-75-cut-in-rates-for-agents-and-says-sorry/

Where is #bekind today? The announcements of the last 48 hours will have left Estate Agents bewildered as to where any morality lies, but equally how much sway morality can hold in a fight for financial survival. Because, in the end every decision is personal.

Only yesterday a good friend and ex-colleague, Rowan Jackson of Promising Outcomes, told me a great story that I'll paraphrase and leave details to Rowan elsewhere. It dates back to the UK Coalminers Strikes, and the days when TV sets were widely rented from a shop in the high street. In one particular mining town there existed 2 TV rental businesses.

The first decided to inform all their customers, mostly miners facing financial catastrophe, that rental payments would not be chased whilst the situation prevailed, and no TV sets would be retrieved in the event of lapsed payment.

Their competitor did not follow suit. They maintained business as usual, with no allowances made for their customer situation. Needless to say, when the strikes were gone, one business still existed and the other had ceased trading.

Looking after their customers, the first business created an enduring loyalty and incomparable brand value, that secured their long-term future. Customers with the second business voted with their feet.

But we cannot miss the fact that the successful business took a brave decision, and somehow weathered the financial storm to be capable of doing this. They still had to pay others, and put food on their own table, so again - every decision is personal.

Every business must do what they can to look after all their stakeholders, and appreciate the balancing act others are facing too. Talk to each other, and find ways to make it work.

There are some wonderful innovations happening, and for every bad example there are dozens of heart-warming examples of positive action:

A very considerate action here, by media production agency Webmart, to support supplier cashflow.

Coffee chain, Pret a Manger looking after NHS staff.

Do every small step that you can. At Yomdel our incredible team are striving on a daily basis to help our customers stimulate their business. Our Twitter feed will tell you more

 

Let us know if there is anything we can do for you, or if we can support each other in some way. Just email me anytime at simon.taylor@yomdel.com

We'd love to hear what you are doing, and the challenges you are facing. #weareopen #bekind

 

 

Topics: Crisis Management, Emergency, Coronavirus